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3 Ways to Tame Your Inbox

Unless you're lucky enough to work for a company that doesn't use email, or are the world's most organized human being, you're probably going to come to a point where your email managment system collapses under the weight of your professional correspondence. Fortunately, there are plenty of tricks to help you get your inbox under control.

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(Photo Credit: nokhoog_buchachon/freedigitalphotos.net)

1. Lean on technology.

The internet teems with suggestions for apps to help you manage your email. One recent favorite: Unroll.Me, which scouts out your email subscriptions, gives you the option to unsubscribe, and organizes your email into daily digests.

Other programs like meinKopp and Zendio offer task management functionality beyond what you get with standard Microsoft Outlook.

2. When you delete, really delete.

Unsubscribing, as we all know, doesn't always work. That's sometimes because companies are breaking the rules and sometimes because you're secretly on more lists at the same organization.

Cate Huston at Lifehacker advises us to deal with this by adding one more step to our delete process: "search for that sender (or keyword), and label:inbox, and then select all and archive."

3. Don't let your email run your day.

Many productivity experts advise checking email at regular intervals throughout the day, instead of looking at our inbox every time the message alert goes off. (And while we're at it, you'll be a lot more productive -- and happier -- if you turn that thing off right now.)

Furthermore, you shouldn't check email first thing in the morning. It seems like a great way to get up to speed on the day's tasks, but in fact, it just encourages you to think about other people's priorities first -- while your projects languish by the wayside.

Remember that email is supposed to be a productivity tool. If you let it dictate your schedule, you won't be using email to its full advantage.

Tell Us What You Think

What are your favorite email management tips? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the conversation on Twitter.

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