This post is part of a series leading up to the new year. This series is focused on helping technology work for you, not against you.

“You’ve got mail” used to be one of the most exciting things to hear when you logged in to AOL to check your email. Nowadays the email notification goes off so often we start asking others around us, “Is that you or me?”. A slight buzz in our pockets and we take out our phones to find out we have yet another email to deal with or ignore.
All of this information creates a new problem – Inbox Overload.

So how do we deal with this overload and reclaim our inbox to something that is useful? Some claim that email is broken and needs to be replaced, I disagree. It is all about how you manage and process the email.

Step one is to reduce the clutter by unsubscribing from any newsletter you genuinely do not want, stop marking as spam and just unsubscribe. Unsubscribing will take some time but will significantly reduce the clutter in your inbox.

Next is to reduce the email you have in your inbox by archiving all email from thirty days back because let’s be honest you are never going to go back that far and reply to an email.

Continue by going through email from the last thirty days and act on them by responding, reading or completing a task. If it’s something you cannot act on immediately, store in a folder for later review. If you are never going to complete the task, delete or archive the item. Continue this until you reach inbox zero.

Every new email that comes in treat it as above. Delete and unsubscribe from junk, read the good stuff, respond if necessary, complete a task or save for later review.

With these simple steps, you can take back control of your inbox and make it useful once again.

There are many email apps that can help you achieve these results. We have put together a list below:

Our Staff Favorite:
Spark (iOS, Mac, Apple Watch)

Airmail (iOS, Mac, Apple Watch)
Google Inbox (Web, Android, iOS)
Outlook (iOS, Android, Windows, Mac)