email overwhemI was recently asked to help one of my favourite third sector clients with handling in-box overwhelm.

This is such a huge issue in our sector I’ve decided to share my ‘Banish email overwhelm blueprint’ here on my website. Please share the love, and send this link to friends and colleagues also struggling under the weight of too many unprocessed emails.  We all share their pain.

You really don’t need to be in thrall to your in-box. You are the one in control, and to show it just who’s boss, let’s right now get rid of a great chunk of emails currently cluttering up your in-box.

If you haven’t sorted your emails in a while, you could get rid of 75% of them in just ten minutes. Wouldn’t that feel good?

Got ten minutes? Here goes.

1. Reorder your emails so that the ‘Subject’ heading is the first column. This way you’ll see a set of emails you can save as a cluster and get rid of instantly. Press DELETE.  Do it again. And again.

2. Do the same with ‘From’ as the first column.

By now, you could have deleted:

–        all ‘out of office’ automatic replies

–        newsletters you haven’t read and never will

–        non-work or social chit-chat emails

–        Twitter, Linked In and Facebook updates

–        non-essential correspondence you don’t need to keep

–        FYI emails you’ve not read, will never read, and don’t need.

3. Now spend 5 minutes deleting individual emails you don’t need. This is easier if you keep the ‘Subject’, and then ‘From’ headers as the first column.

4. Go into Trash and unsubscribe from any of the deleted newsletters, or other regular mailings you don’t consider essential reading.

5. Feel good about your new downsized in-box, and wait for my next blog.

Next time, I’ll show you how to get your in-box down to a totally manageable few emails. You’ll then have an in-box which really is just that – a set of new messages that need your attention – rather than a disorganised and really rather frightening storage system for every email you’ve ever been sent.


I support third sector staff to get super organised through coaching and training, so they are really productive as they work towards organisational goals. If you’d like to talk to me about how I can help your organisation give me a call on 0208 772 7808 or email katie to set up a no-obligation chat.