Consider your physical mailbox at home. Would you store pieces of mail in your mailbox that require action? What about mail announcing that your friend has moved and has a new address? How about mail reminding you of an upcoming appointment? I didn’t think so. Your email inbox should not be any different. A mailbox, whether physical or virtual, is a place to receive mail. It is NOT meant for storage. Mail should come in and out quickly. Below are some of the most common items that we find “stored” in our clients’ inboxes. An email inbox is NOT a:

* Filing System – create folders to store email that you want to keep for future reference.
* Contact Management System – use a contact management system to store contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, addresses, etc. Some options include Microsoft Outlook, ACT!, Goldmine, and
* Calendar – store your appointments in your calendar. It doesn’t matter whether you keep a paper-based calendar or an electronic calendar. You need to have one place to look to see all of your appointments.
* ‘Favorites’ List - if someone sends you a great website, don’t leave it in an email in your inbox. You can add it to your “Favorites” in Internet Explorer, your “Bookmarks” in Mozilla Firefox, or try Delicious . Delicious is a free Social Bookmarking website. It allows you to bookmark your favorite sites and access them anytime from any computer with internet access. You can keep your “favorites” private or share them with others.
* To-Do List – your email inbox is the worst place to store your to-dos. Again, you want to have one place to go to see all of your to-dos. You cannot possibly compare and prioritize them if they are not stored together. This is probably the most common offender.

Many of you are familiar with the old adage - A place for everything and everything in its place. By creating “homes” for each of these types of items listed above, you can gain control of your email inbox, keep it organized and save time.

Author's Bio: 

Organized Office Solutions is a professional organizing firm dedicated to providing nonjudgmental and confidential services to business clients. We offer seminars, workshops, hands-on organizing and virtual organizing (anywhere in the world!) to help you manage your time, space and information. For more information, visit our website at or contact us at or (248)726-7096.