Inbox Zero. Ah … That probably sounds like pure bliss, especially if you currently have an indicator on your phone telling you there are 3,421 unread emails sitting in your Gmail account.
Reducing the emails in your inbox can lead to increased productivity and a more harmonious state of mind. Plus, it just feels productive to get yourself a little more digitally organized.
If you want to clear out your mailbox, here are a few easy ways to make it happen.
1. Delete Everything
When you’re in your inbox, select the checkbox at the top of the page. You can then apply an action, like deletion, to all the items on that page.
You can also choose to apply that same action across all the messages in your inbox. Click the Select All banner Gmail presents after you’ve clicked the checkbox.
A quick tap of the trash can icon, and you’ll be sitting at Inbox Zero.
2. Delete All Unread
If you’re not ready to take the plunge and expunge the full contents of your inbox, you can still clear away that pesky notification icon by removing all unread messages.
You can use the search bar to find all unread emails in your inbox. Search for all emails with the label “unread” and Gmail will present you with a list.
Then, when prompted, you can choose to delete either the first 50 emails or any messages in your inbox that match this criteria.
3. Delete By Topic
If you’re still not feeling quite brave enough for overarching delete options, you may still be able to clear substantial amounts of junk or outdated mail from your inbox.
For example, you may regularly receive subscription emails for sales from your favorite brands, certain job searches, or news updates from different online sources. You can enter individual search terms that cover some of these criteria and delete with greater accuracy, making sure nothing you need is swept away during your digital purging efforts.
You can also delete based on a number of criteria, including size, topic, or attachments. Try entering some of these parameters to see whether it yields a good number of emails ripe for deletion.
- For size: Larger:2M (insert the number that makes sense for you; this search is for emails larger than 2MB)
- Subject:(Limited Time) (very useful for deleting outdated retail sale messages)
- Has:attachment (for perusing any emails with attachments; useful for clearing space quickly)
And, if you want additional options for searching, use the drop-down arrow on the search bar to reveal a form with multiple search options.
For more email tips and tools, check out this post on productivity hacks. Then, sit back and enjoy those few peaceful moments before your mailbox begins filling up again.