Just follow these steps to get your Gmail inbox from thousands to zero.
1. Prioritize emails: Start to set levels of importance in your pile of emails. Priority Inbox, the useful Gmail feature, sorts your important emails automatically and separates them out from everything else, so that way you can focus on what really matters.
2. Unsubscribe to everything you don’t read: Unread newsletters plague us. We intend to read them, but how much time do we really have in a day to read all that interesting stuff? If you never or rarely open newsletters, just unsubscribe. If you decide you really want that information later on, you can just as easily re-subscribe, or find it somewhere else.
3. Set social network filters: Facebook and Twitter updates are not something you need to check in your email on a regular basis. There are two ways to avoid this problem. You can either turn off notifications altogether (this cuts down on a lot of undesired messages from Facebook group postings, for example), or you can set up your Gmail filters to immediately send these incoming messages to a designated spot where you can scan through them later if you feel the urge.
4. Use the “Report Spam” button: A lot of people tend to just delete junk mail without actually marking it as such. Since Gmail has an easy way to filter this out before it hits your inbox, you might as well be using it. This will prevent a huge build-up of this kind of junk.
5. Make it fun: oBoxer is an application that actually gives you points for clearing out your inbox and all the steps along the way. This one is only available for Chrome and Safari right now, but you can watch your progress in a little bar at the top of your browser.
6. Use Gmail keyboard shortcuts to make the job go faster: KeyRocket for Gmail in Chrome will speed up the process of managing your email at any stage of clutter. This download will help you master shortcuts so that no matter what your goal, you will get there in the least amount of time necessary.