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How to Squelch Inbox Noise

Posted by Unknown Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm sure I read somewhere email was supposed to save us time? At first we didn't notice it. Our email "Inbox" slowly began to receive more of our time, than we give some people in our own family. Does your "Inbox" sometimes feel like the central command center that puppeteers a good portion of your daily life?

There is much chatter within our Inbox, in the form of different communications. Email comes from coworkers, managers, family, friends, spammers, event invitations, community service messages, social networks, people wanting to connect with you, soccer moms, PTA, politicians, alumni, clubs, associations, shopping specials . . .and the different types of emails seems endless. Please make the noise stop mommy.

The noise in our "out of control Inbox" seems deafening at times. We clean out that pesky little Inbox. A little while later we peek in the Inbox. Oh nooo. It's filled up with more noise.

The paradox is, we need many of the emails we receive. The question is how to control the flow and separate emails that are important from those that are useless. There is hope. Different email systems provide various tools to squelch the noise and control the flow.

It can be as simple as color coding emails; red for coworkers - green for family - light blue for friends. Now your Inbox is a little more under control with relevant emails standing out.  Gmail, Outlook, Thunderbird, Lotus Notes and Incredimail allow color coding or tagging of emails.

For more sophisticated email organizing, you can use filters or rules. My favorite is creating a reverse spam filter which is explained in "Waiting Room for Spam Gives Back 2 Hours". This keeps my Inbox clean all the time.

Creating filters or rules is a 2 step process.

  1. Create and name folders off your Inbox. Each folder will display underneath the Inbox
  2. Set the rules or filters to automatically place incoming emails into appropriate folders
Every email system has their own unique way to create rules or filters. Send an email to CReid3005[AT]gmail[DOT]com for assistance in setting up rules, filters or color coding incoming email. Below are videos for using Outlook to squelch your Inbox noise.

Microsoft Outlook #01: Message Rules and Automatic Sorting

MS Outlook Tips - Color Coding Email By Sender


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