3 Simple Email Organization Tips to Keep your Inbox SANE

In there’s-a-week-for-everything news today, it’s National Clean Out Your Inbox Week. And yes, this is an actual sanctioned “week,” not something someone just made up. The issue of email overload deserves all the fuss, because the average person gets around 10,000 emails a year. Sifting, sorting, and managing all that cyber clutter takes up tons of precious time and energy, and distracts from the real moments you want to celebrate, like National Eskimo Pie Day (January 24), or National Escape Day (January 30).

A Refreshed Outlook For Email Overload:

There are a lot of great tech tools to help ease your email overload, and some are built right in to your email account, such as Microsoft’s redesigned Outlook.com (free). The whole idea behind it is to make email more intuitive and easier to use, which includes getting messages down to single digits in your inbox on a daily basis. Here are three quick and easy @Outlook.com tips to help tame your wild inbox, for good.

Categories: Your Priority Dashboard:

First up, it’s hard to find an important message when it’s sandwiched between a million newsletters, social media updates, and daily deals notices. Use Categories as a priority dashboad by following these simple steps:

  • Tap or click View and then select one of the default Categories, such as Unread, to see what you might have missed.
  • Or click Social Updates to see messages that come from social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.
  • By tapping on Newsletters, you can find and clean newsletters out of your inbox.
  • You can also create your own Categories based on your inbox activity, such as a Travel or Family.

I always make separate Categories for photos, and name them after my children, or specific Holidays.

The Clean Sweep:

Sweep can be a busy person’s best friend — a way to quickly get rid of old email messages from a specific sender. This is great for Spam or Bacn, such as newsletters or neverending messages from daily deals sites. While you might save a few bucks every once in a while, you end up paying for all those times you forget to uncheck that ‘I want all your amazing new updates!’ box with wasted time and lost focus. It’s especially bad when you can’t find the work emails you need and the personal emails you want. Ready to purge? Try this:

  • Find a message, or group of messages, that you want to get rid of.
  • Tap or click Sweep, and then click Delete “All From.”

How easy was that?! You can also schedule a cleanup so that emails from a specific sender get deleted after a certain number of days, which is great for those newsletters and coupons that quickly expire. If you want to keep older emails for future reference, you can also use the ‘Move to’ tab and select the folder you want to move those messages into. Or choose New Folder to create your very own inbox filing system.

Instant Action = Instant Gratification:

Finally, for those of us who need to do certain things and do them now, there’s Instant Actions. With little icons right next to the subject line you can instantly delete, mark as read/unread, or flag as important with one click, without having to navigate any menus. It’s a little feature that can save you a few minutes everyday, which seriously adds up throughout the year! You can also create and add your own instant actions, or remove the ones that you don’t want.

Email is a rough business these days, and it’s mostly self-inflicted. It’s especially bad when you can’t find the work emails you need and the personal emails you want. Now, with these new @Outlook.com easy email organization tools, you can clean out the clutter and manage massive amounts of messages with time to spare.

Be sure to watch the how-to video above, to see these tools in action.

Get a Free @outlook.com address

This post has been brought to you by Outlook. All opinions are 100% our own.


  1. I guess I need to tuck into Outlook a bit more and get used to these features. My email simply overwhelms me. Setting up the automatic sweeping features will be a godsend!

  2. This is great i get something like 50 emails a day and most of the time i don’t read all of them… i just look through few i want to read and delete the rest, i also created folders for ref too, i’ts amaizing how much email we get!

  3. I use outlook and Gmail mainly because I am not 100% sure how to use all the features. I highly appreciate the video and the instruction that you provided.

  4. I definitely use folders to keep things organized. It’s essential for you to get a way to clean things up in a fell swoop.

  5. I get too many messages from fans. Please let a sauce have a day of rest… please please please.

  6. That’s why i love technology… it just makes things ever so easy in our busy schedule… juggling so many thing from work and home, thanks to great site like these where they share new tips and new ways to make our lives a bit simplier and easy

  7. I find it easy too to watch the video than looking at the manual! she’s made things easy