I’ve written before about my struggles with Email hoarding and digital organization in general. There are very few areas of my life where I need professional help, but Email overload is one of them! Thankfully, I have finally found a solution that works for me.
I think everyone struggles with Email overload these days. I’m pretty good about weeding out of some of it. I unsubscribe from all shopping Emails, (check out my post for that) or keep them corralled in a separate folder. I’m pretty reasonable about not signing up for TOO many newsletters, though I have a few ones I genuinely enjoy. And I have no problem about unsubscribing to anything that doesn’t bring me real value.
HOWEVER, I’m a blogger, so that alone generates probably 60 or 70 Emails a day – notifications I need to see, pitches from advertisers, comments on my sites, or conversations within various support groups. I’m also a VA (Virtual Assistant), so I get frequent notifications from my clients about things they want me to do, or problems to solve. Plus, I’m a Scout leader, so there are always numerous conversations going on about campouts or various Scouting activities. I’m also on the board of another charity, so I’m in constantly working on projects with other board members. Then there’s just life – Emails from friends or relatives, my son’s college, confirmations when I buy stuff, etc.
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This adds up to a lot of Emails and it’s not just junk that I can easily delete. It’s valuable information that I need and want to see. But it can be overwhelming. I check Email about every two hours, just to keep on top of it, but I still needed help. About six months ago, I signed up for a service called Mailstrom. What a HUGE difference it has made in helping me manage my inbox. This was EXACTLY what I needed – maybe it can help you too.
Mailstrom really is a brilliant solution to my Email overload woes. Here are some of the features it offers:
- Filtering – I LOVE that you can filter your inbox in about a dozen different ways. For instance, my Scout leaders – over the course of a month, I may end up with 40 or 50 conversations from different Scouters scattered through my inbox. Mailstrom allows me to filter by sender or by conversation, so I can click, click, click to grab multiple conversations different folks. Then I can scoot them all off to my Scout folder. There is no other way I can think of that I could do that. You can also filter by domain, so I can also grab all my Pinterest Emails or all my shopping confirmations from Amazon and delete or move them. So helpful!
- Expire – This is without a doubt my FAVORITE feature. You can set certain Emails to go to an expired folder. If I haven’t read that newsletter in 10 days, I’m probably never going to read it. So Mailstrom neatly plucks it out of my inbox and shifts it over to my Expire folder. I haven’t lost it and I can still go back to read it later if I want, but it’s out of my hair! This works on both read and unread Emails, which is so handy because I will often read something, but forget to delete it after I’m done. It’s like having a full-time maid for my Email – they just clean up behind me without any effort on my part. Love it!
- Unsubscribe and Spam buttons – Mailstrom will handle all your unsubscribes for you, so you can just go in once a week or so and click, click, click and unsubscribe from a bunch of things at once. Done deal, and Mailstrom will even move them to your junk folder until the unsubscribe takes effect. Same thing with Spam – it just magically disappears.
- Filter by Time Period – This is another useful feature. I can pull up Emails by month, year, or week. For instance, I have 18 Emails from December of 2014 still in my inbox. If they’ve survived this many Email purges, they usually are something important, but I probably should move them off to a folder. I can see the subject and sender of each one so I can decide where to move it to.
- Chill button – There also is a handy Chill feature. I can delay a message for a period of hours or days if I don’t want to be bothered with it now.
I can’t tell you how much better my Inbox has been since I’ve started using Mailstrom. It still requires a bit of effort on my part, but it’s SO much easier. For instance, this morning I noticed my inbox was piled up a bit, so I went in and with about 15 minutes of work, I had removed a cool 1,000 Emails.
The fabled “Inbox Zero” is probably never going to happen for me – I am a visual person and I need to keep things in my Inbox where I can see them or I will forget about them. But if I can easily manage it down to just the essential items, that is exactly what I need.
I hope you will give Mailstrom a try. I’ve used several different mail management services and I think it definitely is worth the $4.95 a month to manage my Email. If you will use my affiliate link shown here, you will get a $5 credit and I will too.