Email Trash Talkin’

by Michelle

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“You’re outta here.”  “Don’t make me come over there…”  “Oh yeah?  Whatever.”

We’re talkin’ trash today, and not the kind that shows up on the basketball court.  We’re talking about the dead emails clogging up your inbox mojo.  We all have them at some point, and the trick is to make sure they don’t get out of hand.

Email is a pretty standard communication tool these days, but it can quickly get out of hand if you don’t stay on top of the inbox.  Dead emails run rampant if you don’t have a plan to deal with them.  In my experience, too much unnecessary email is floating around.  It weighs on the mind and clogs up the hard drive.  Take some action and file some of those dead emails in the trash where it belongs.

Here’s a few tips to help you ditch the dead weight email and get control of your inbox again!

Make decisions quickly.

Do you really need to keep that email?  Most emails just needs a reply and then can be deleted.  Think of this: when you reply, the recipient also has that email.  If they reply back to you, they will most likely have that email attached.  So, why keep every email you respond to?

If an incoming email message requires action, put it on the task list and hit “delete”.  It will save you time in the long run, so commit to quick decisions.

Boundaries: your inbox is not big enough to contain everything.  

Do you leave mail in your snail mail or post office box for all eternity? I would venture to guess the answer is “no”.  Why? Because nothing new could ever fit in there if you didn’t check it often.  Get the picture?  Set a boundary on how much email is allowed in your inbox and stick to it.

Archiving is your friend.

Projects and back up email is a reality for most professionals.  While working on a project, set aside a file or specific label for each long term project.  Keep all correspondence in that folder for future reference.  Once the project is over, archive it, preferably on an external hard drive or virtual folder.  Only keep active email in your path.  You’ll be much happier, less distracted and more productive without all that dead weight taking up space in your inbox.

Pick up the phone.

How can you avoid the email pile up?  Pick up the phone or Skype and talk to a human!  Can you imagine how nice it will be to hear an actual voice on the phone?  A quick conversation is many times the remedy to a long tedious string of email correspondence.  Have a quick question?  Pick up the phone and talk to a human (unless you get their voicemail).

Take charge of you inbox, and don’t let email pile up.  Give yourself a break and go sort through you inbox right now.  Trash, archive and clear a path to a happier relationship with your inbox.  No more trash talk, play nice!


This post brought to you by guest blogger Brandie Kijano.





Brandie is a small business technology expert, trainer, author and techie to the core. When she’s not busy searching for a new favorite business app, she can be found meeting clients over coffee. You can find her regularly cracking bad jokes in her monthly teleclasses, blogging, podcasting and connecting with women entrepreneurs about technology on Twitter. Get her free newsletter or read a free article or two at


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