In today’s business world, email is the primary means of communication. No one has time anymore for phone calls, and text messaging is a bit too casual to be a valid medium for professional dialogue. And besides, who really wants to give out their cell phone number so that it can be used for work purposes? As a result, almost all work-related communication, whether it is notifications, questions or the giving and receiving of documents, is all done via email. What does that mean for you? Well, nothing exactly, at least not directly. But the real question is what does that mean for your inbox? And the answer to that is chaos. With so many emails from different people about topics that range in importance from very to not at all, your inbox will soon become full to its capacity, making it difficult to track down the messages that require your attention. Additionally, with an influx of emails, it becomes very easy to lose information and forget it even existed. Similarly, emails that are accidentally closed before reading become lost and forgotten without their indication of being a new message. The result is a loss in productivity as you are forced to spend time searching through your inbox every time you need a bit of information, weeding your way through the clutter of emails to get to the ones that actually matter. Fortunately, there are ways to optimize your inbox in order to increase your productivity. Here are some ways how: #1. Create Folders A good way to clear up your inbox is to organize all of your emails into folders. By archiving emails in such a way, you will be able to both clear up your inbox and make finding past emails even easier. Similarly, if you spend time each day putting your new emails into their proper folders, you will never accidentally pass over an email that may be important. Even if you accidentally click it before reading it, removing its new email status, you will still have to go through the email again in order to get it out of your inbox and into its proper folder. Additionally, by creating folders in which you store all incoming emails, you will escape the fate of having an inbox that is too full and almost out of space. You can sort your emails in different ways. Examples of folder titles could be: in office, out of office, staff, events, vendors, spam, personal, important, to do, to read, etc. For some of these, you can even create subfolders. An example of this would be breaking up “staff” into a folder for each department, such as “accounting,” “HR” and “Productions.” #2. Delete If you receive an email that is trash, there is no reason to keep it. Even putting it in a folder labeled trash is a waste. You should just delete it. Whether it’s a newsletter you signed up for that you never read or just general spam, there is no reason to keep it clogging your inbox unnecessarily. All of those emails from online colleges that you never intend to read or respond to are all perfect examples of emails that can be deleted for good. #3. The Comment Section For people getting a large quantity of emails through a website, a great way to limit their number is by removing your email address from the website and replacing it with a comment box. This way, if anyone has an actual question, they will leave a comment there, while all of the companies sending you spam about their own products will not be able to reach you. And, if these companies decide to leave a comment anyway, you’ll at least benefit from a higher quantity of comments on your website. Ultimately, this will allow you to save time running through your inbox and therefore increase your productivity. While these are only some of the options available to you, they are all good places to begin. Clean up your inbox today and help yourself put your time to a more constructive use. Images: ”one computer folder icon with the email symbol (3d render) / Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator. Want to get your business featured on Tweak Your Biz? Check out #TYBspotlight.