12 Tips to Keep Your Email Organized and Running Smooth

The longer you own an email address the more challenging it becomes to manage your email storage and keep your email program loading and functioning optimally. Whether you use Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Host Baby’s Webmail or any other web based email solution, these tips will help you clear out the clutter and speed up the loading of your inbox.

This article will focus on those folks who are using web based or browser based email but also has tips for those who use email clients like Outlook, Thunderbird and Macmail.

1. Display and sort by size

If your email program allows you to sort by size, you can use this feature to reveal the large email files that may be bogging down your inbox.  Sorting your messages by ‘size’ will help you to quickly identify the space-hogging culprits.  Emails with attachments are big space hogs. They are usually identified by a paperclip icon. Even a single email with a file attachments can take up more space then 100 or even 1000 small, short text-only email messages.

In computer based PC email clients (e.g. Thunderbird, Outlook), you may right-click on the row of column headers to show a list of possible columns. One of those items is “size”. Click on it to enable it. You can do the same in Mac Mail, but if you don’t have a right-mouse button, check under the “View” menu.

In Host Baby’s Webmail, you can enable the “Size” by logging into Webmail, clicking on “Options” and then on “Index Order”. Once there, you can enable ”’Size”’ as a displayed column.

Once the column is enabled, click on it to sort by that column. You can then quickly review the large email messages to target for backup, archive, and/or removal.

2. Display and sort by attachments

Similar to the size column, many email programs will allow you to sort by attachment. You can use this feature to identify these large emails. Save your attachments to your computer and then delete those emails. Your email program will thank you!

3. Sort by date

Unless you really need to have access to your really old email messages, consider sorting your inbox and sent messages by date and remove the older messages.

4. Clear out the Sent box

When was the last time you cleared out your ‘sent’ folder?  By default, email programs save copies of every message that you send in a folder called ‘sent’. If you reply to or forward large email messages, copies are saved in the sent box. You can choose to delete all your sent messages or sort and delete the large ones as we covered in tips 1 and 2.

5. Delete duplicate messages

You can easily find duplicate messages by sorting by the ‘subject’ line. If you don’t need to keep them, clean them out.

6. Auto-prune SPAM and Sent messages

Many web based email programs allow you to set certain folders like “sent” and “trash” to empty every few weeks or months. This is an easy way to keep those folders from getting too full and it saves you the task of manually emptying them.

Host Baby’s Webmail offers the “autoprune” feature, which you can find by logging into Webmail, then selecting ”’Options”’ and ”’Folder Options”’. Down near the bottom you can enter in a number of days that before messages are deleted from the SPAM and Sent folders.

7. Move messages out of your Inbox

Okay, so you have removed any messages you no longer need, but you still have a lot of messages in your inbox. If you have, say, over 1000 messages in your inbox, every time you launch your email program all those messages must be loaded by your browser. If you have over 1000 messages, consider making sub-folders and moving a bunch of messages into those sub-folders.

8. Reduce the number of folders

While creating folders can be a useful for organizing and managing your email, creating too many folders can also slow down your email.   If you have 10 or 20 or more folders, consider consolidating.

9. Create filters

Filters (sometimes known as “Rules”) can be created to check incoming messages and, based on defined criteria, will automatically move messages into specific folders (including into the trash). Of course, running too many filters can also slow down your email.

Host Baby’s Webmail filters can be found by logging into Webmail, clicking ”’Options”’ and then ”’Message Filtering”’.

10. Use a local email client

If you need or want a lot of messages in your inbox and/or a large number of folders, consider using an email client (e.g. Mac Mail, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.). Local clients may be able to handle large numbers of messages and folders better than you a web based solution. If you want to have the flexibility to use both your local client as well an online solution (e.g. when you are traveling), set up your client as IMAP instead of POP3 and your messages will be synced between your Mac/PC and Webmail.

11. Limit Spam

The best way to reduce your email content is to limit the amount of junk email you receive in the first place. There are many ways to do this. I recommend you review these articles and help files:

Avoiding Email Spams, Scams and Malware

Reducing Spam

SPAM! How to adjust your settings in Spam Assassin

12. Dedicated Email Addresses

Sometimes using just one email address isn’t enough. Using one email address for booking, one for work or personal email and another for online accounts can sometimes can help thin out your inbox and make your email experience more focused and organized.

Host Baby’s Webmail gives you the ability to create unlimited email addresses.