Ways to manage emails

Connecting with others > Getting online > Ways to manage emails

E-mails are a great way of keeping in contact, but sometimes if you have so many messages in your inbox it might be overwhelming. It can feel like you have had hundreds of letters delivered to your house, yet you are not sure which letters are from people you know and which ones are junk mail. Here are some tips on managing what comes into your inbox.

1. Don’t sign up to everything using your e-mail address

When buying something online, or filling out a form, be wary of using your e-mail address. If you want them to communicate with you by e-mail (e.g. by giving you a confirmation of what you ordered) then use your e-mail address, but make sure that you tick the box saying that you don’t wish to hear from “third parties”.

If you do not want them to communicate with you by e-mail, but they require this for the form to be complete, use a fake e-mail address, or perhaps an alternative one that you don’t check regularly.

2. Unsubscribe from e-mails you no longer want

If you are on a mailing list for a supermarket, department store or restaurant you may get frequent e-mails from them that you do not read. You can unsubscribe from these e-mails if you don’t want to receive them anymore by simply clicking on the ‘unsubscribe’ link at the very bottom of the e-mail. This will take you to the website and a message will appear confirming that you have unsubscribed.  It is a legal requirement for companies to give you this option, so you should not hear from them again. However, this may take a couple of days to go through their system.

3. Use the “block sender” options

Alternatively, you can choose to block individual e-mail addresses. If you are receiving spam messages and you want to make sure you don’t hear from them again, you can block them. If you right click the e-mail, or look at the drop down box from the list of e-mail options you will find ‘Block sender’.

4. Delete unwanted e-mails

It might seem simple, but leaving e-mails just sitting there can build up and before you know it you have hundreds of unopened emails. If you get promotional e-mails that you do not want, delete them when they arrive. This can de-clutter your inbox so you can respond quicker to the more important e-mails.

5. Use the search tool

If you are searching for an e-mail that was sent previously because you need to check details – such as an e-mail from your friend about the time she is arriving, or the reference number for a train ticket – you can use the search tool at the top of the screen. If you know who sent the e-mail, you can type in their e-mail address and will find all your correspondence in date order. Alternatively, if you are unsure, you can type in some of the words that would be in the e-mail to find it, such as ‘train to Birmingham confirmation’.

6. Create folders

To save you time searching for e-mails, or to organise your correspondence, you may wish to create folders. This will allow you to keep relevant e-mails together. For example, you could create categories such as ‘Family’, ‘Receipts’, and ‘Travel tickets’ so you can move e-mails straight from your inbox into the right folder. By right clicking the e-mail or holding down the cursor and dragging you can move e-mails instantly to a folder.