Good email management skills are essential in order to prevent too much email clutter. Emails coming into your inbox generally fall into one of three categories: emails from personal contacts (messages from friends, family, etc.); unsolicited emails from spammers; and subscription emails (advertisements, notifications, confirmations, newsletters, etc.).
First, I’m going to give you tips for managing what comes into your email inbox so you won’t find yourself dealing with so much stress-inducing spam and other email clutter.
Part 1: Manage your Email Spam
Email spam is email that comes from a company you have no relationship with and that you never asked for, and it’s illegal. Nowadays, email service providers (such as Gmail, Yahoo! mail, AOL, Windows Live Hotmail/Outlook) have sophisticated spam filters. The software automatically scans incoming emails and filters out emails that are likely to be spam or to contain viruses. These emails are sent directly to your account’s Spam folder, and are automatically deleted after a number of days.
1. Sometimes spam emails slip through the filters. If an email hits your inbox that is obviously from a spammer, don’t just delete it. Select the email and flag it as “Spam” so the filter can catch it next time.
Here’s where you can find you spam button in Gmail. Your email may look slightly different, but the process will be the same.
2. If you seem to be “missing” emails that someone claimed they sent to you or you were expecting, open your Spam folder to check that the email was not accidentally flagged by the filter as “Spam.” If you see an email in your Spam folder that you want to keep, select the email and flag it as “Not Spam.” Your email’s filter is sophisticated enough that it shouldn’t make the same mistake twice.
Here’s where to find the Not Spam button in a Yahoo! account. Your email may look slightly different, but the process will be the same.
Next week, I’ll explain how you should manage your email subscriptions.
Got a question? Ask it in the comments box below, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org