Email declutter challenge

I believe I need an email declutter challenge.
I’m completely into email overload, especially at work. I have lost all control, and looking at the 1211 unread email is just about to drive me nuts (yes, even more so, than I already am 😉 ) Talk about stress factor.

Enough is enough, I’m going to give myself an email declutter challenge for 2014. I’ll be deleting and archiving as best as I can. I know I can’t delete everything since I need to keep some for work, but hopefully I’ll be able to archive most of those, to our digital storage, so that my personal mailbox at the office no longer overflows. And I definitely have some old and “mouldy” emails I should be able to loose with not too much elbow grease 😉

As I write this I have 1,45 GB worth of emails in my work mailbox, amounting to 19592 individual emails! What on earth!!!!

My goal for this year – reduce to less than 500 MB worth of emails – how many individual are this? I don’t have a clue! Guess we’ll find out as I go along. I’m hoping that brings be down to less than 2-3000. That’s loosing 17 000 emails.

How? – Using the Inbox Zero concept.
I will be implementing the Inbox Zero system by Merlin Mann. What is the Inbox Zero, you might ask? It’s a simple but great concept of how to handle emails that comes your way. In short it is an system to help you take your email box from overstuffed (like mine) to zero – and then keep it that way. The system cover the skills, tools and attitude that helps you to accomplish this.

I just about “kissed the ground” when I came across this system a while ago. I had ever intention to start my 2014, implementing this system, but as soon as I walked into my office that first day after new year’s, all “hell” broke loose, and I have not found the time to actually sit down to do this yet. But tomorrow a new day is born – and it’s finally happening 😉

This concept might, or might not, be for you – but regardless if you have a small or a HUGE mailbox, I strongly recommend you reading about it anyway, even if you believe you have everything under control 😉 There might be an idea or two that could help you in your everyday email life!

I could do a quick write up of the concept, but I think I’d rather leave you in Merlin Mann’s capable hands on Inbox Zero instead.

My plan
As part of implementing this system, I need to de-stuff my horrible 19592 mail mailbox. So through 2014 I’ll give myself a couple of 30 days challenges to accomplish this. I’m starting tomorrow, and my goal for the first 30 days is no less than 7000 emails. “Starting a Tuesday in the middle of the month? Why not start the first of the month or at least in the beginning of the week?” You might ask. Well, why not? There is no more perfect day to start, than NOW 😉

Since the intention is to get rid of old emails all together, any new emails will not count against the 7000. By the time my 30 days are over I have to be down to no more than 12592 email left in my mailbox. (Oh my!! That’s a whole lot of deleting and archiving…)

Keeping track
For the fun of it I made myself a template, that I printed out. It is just a simple sheet, that you can easily make yourself, or you can print mine 🙂

Why don’t you join me? I’m sure you have one or two, to many…

Lets get started!!

Email declutter challenge – downloadable PDF

Email declutter challenge picture 1

14 thoughts on “Email declutter challenge

  1. A few months ago, I have about 1200 e-mails in my in-box and got tired of them. so each evening, I sat there for about half an hour and went thru the ones that still needed some action and ruthlessly eliminated the others I left hanging around for reading “later.” Well I went down to less than 100 left in the in-box. It felt really good.
    However, I let things deteriorate AGAIN and have an equal number of emails right now. Guess it’s time for the same ruthless action again!


    1. 1200! Down to 100! Oh my, I wish I was on that level, I’m impressed 🙂 I think when I get around to my personal one I’ll do really good. But my work one! It’s painful… I am chipping away at it though 😉


    1. I hear you 😉 I have to admit, I am struggling, i have been part if a few long tasks that has involved about 20000 people, and if ever audited I need to be able to find any correspondence any of the 20000 might have had! So you see my dilemma on just bulk delete, I actually have to look at every single mail first 😦 having said that, I’m currently 1500 down and chugging away at it 🙂 Great blog you have, I like what I see, you are tackling a lot of the same stuff I am 🙂


  2. Oh wow! I thought I was bad with the email. I ‘only’ have about 1500 at the moment, down from 1700. I’ve already been working on sorting them out for a couple of months now! 😦
    Problem is, they just keep coming and I still have too many other things to do, then to read emails, so they just keep piling up. 😦


    1. Tell me about it 😉 I delete and delete, but it’s hard since I get “tons” of new ones every day. Still, I am making progress, slowly but surely 😉 maybe one of these days I’ll be down to your 1500, that would be great 🙂


    1. I’m trying, I find not quite as easy to follow the new system as I thought, emails still pile up, especially when I’m so busy at work that I don’t even have time to “look at” my emails, which have been the case the last couple of weeks. But I’m chugging along, I’ll make it eventually 😉


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