This is how to organize work emails

This is How to Organize Work Emails

Are you struggling with too many emails? Wondering how to organize work emails so that you can process the inbox quickly?


March 12, 2024

9 mins read

Did you know that, on average, a person receives 70+ emails in a day? Now think about what that amounts to over weeks or months; crazy, right?

To survive the email chaos, you need to organize your work inbox. You need it not only for productivity but also for mental sanity. Because, let’s be honest, a messy inbox is not the best motivator to push harder at work.

But how do you do it? In this article, we’ll give you 11 tips to organize work emails. Let’s begin!

Why should you organize your work inbox?

No one wants to go through the hassle of organizing their work inbox, but here’s how you can benefit from organizing your work inbox:

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  1. Efficiency: Organizing work inbox emails allows for quicker retrieval of information. When incoming messages are categorized or sorted according to their relevance or urgency, it becomes easier to locate specific messages when needed. This email organization strategy saves time and reduces the likelihood of missing important emails buried in a cluttered inbox.
  1. Prioritization: A well-organized email client inbox enables better prioritization of tasks. By sorting an email into an appropriate folder or using labels/tags, you can distinguish between emails that require immediate attention, those that can be addressed later, and those that are low-priority. This helps in focusing on important tasks and managing time effectively.
  1. Reduced Stress: A cluttered inbox can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and stressed. Inbox organization into distinct categories or folders can help alleviate this stress by providing a sense of control and clarity. Knowing where to find specific information and having a clear overview of tasks can contribute to a calmer work environment.
  1. Enhanced Collaboration: Organized emails facilitate smoother collaboration within teams. When email accounts are properly sorted and labeled, team members can easily locate relevant information, track progress on shared projects, and ensure that everyone is on the same page. This fosters better communication and teamwork, ultimately leading to increased productivity and efficiency.

11 tips to take back control of your work inbox

Here are the best tips you can use for inbox organization to gain back control over your work inbox:

#1. Set specific times to check your email

Setting specific times to check your email is a proactive strategy aimed at increasing productivity and reducing distractions in the workplace. This tip involves designating certain intervals throughout the day solely for the purpose of checking and responding to important emails, rather than continuously monitoring your inbox as messages arrive. 

When you limit email checking to specific times, you can dedicate uninterrupted blocks of time to important tasks, thereby improving concentration and overall productivity.

By scheduling specific periods for email management, you gain a better understanding of how much time you spend on email-related activities. This insight enables you to allocate time more efficiently and optimize your workflow.

To implement this tip, do the following:

  • Identify Optimal Times: Determine the most suitable intervals during your workday for checking emails. Consider periods when you’re less likely to be engaged in deep, focused work.
  • Use Notifications Wisely: Disable non-essential email notifications to minimize distractions and maintain focus during designated work periods. Reserve notifications only for urgent or time-sensitive messages.

Lastly, communicate your email-checking schedule with colleagues and stakeholders to manage expectations regarding response times. Encourage them to respect your designated focus times for improved collaboration and productivity.

#2. Use the two-minute rule

The two-minute rule in email organization strategies suggests that if you come across an email that can be handled in two minutes or less, then you should handle it immediately. This principle is grounded in the idea of swift decision-making and efficiency, aiming to prevent small tasks from accumulating in your inbox and ultimately saving you valuable time in the long run. 

By promptly addressing short and straightforward emails, you prevent them from lingering in your inbox, thereby reducing clutter and streamlining your workflow.

To effectively implement the two-minute rule:

  • Assess Emails Quickly: When reviewing your inbox, swiftly evaluate each email to determine if it falls within the two-minute rule criteria—whether it can be responded to or acted upon in two minutes or less.
  • Prioritize Actions: Sort emails based on their urgency and importance. Address those that align with the two-minute rule first to prevent them from accumulating or becoming overlooked.

Handling quick tasks immediately saves time that would otherwise be spent revisiting emails multiple times or sorting through a backlog of messages, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency—making it the best email organization strategy.

#3. Use labels and filters

Your email inbox contains labels and filters which are essential for work email inbox organization. Folders move your message from the main inbox to the designated folder. While, labels categorize your emails without moving them from the main inbox.

Here’s a simple way to work with labels and filter with your email clients:

  • Emails that need to be addressed within a short period can be labeled into the type of action required.
  • Filter emails that are needed for reference in the future but do not need to be addressed.

Here how you can create a label:

  • Open Gmail: Go to and log in to your account.
  • Find the “More” section: On the left sidebar, scroll down and click “More.”
  • Create a new label: Click “Create new label.”
  • Name your label: Choose a descriptive and clear name for your label (e.g., “Work Projects,” “Travel Booking”).
  • Click “Create”: The new label will appear in your sidebar.

Of course, your inbox will not always remain organized once you label and filter your inbox. This is why you should keep updating your labels and filters as and when necessary. 

#4. Unsubscribe unwanted emails

A lot of times your work inbox is filled up with emails you no longer read. Or never even the ones you never needed in the first place. Unsubscribe to these unwanted emails. 

This proactive approach aims to declutter your inbox by reducing the influx of non-essential communication, thereby enabling you to maintain focus on important messages and tasks. 

A quick tip to organize work emails quickly.


With fewer emails to sift through, you save time that would otherwise be spent sorting through cluttered inboxes, resulting in improved productivity and efficiency.

Set aside time periodically to review the newsletters, promotional emails, and mailing lists you’re subscribed to. Assess whether each subscription still provides value or relevance to your interests or professional responsibilities.

To avoid having to unsubscribe constantly, exercise caution when subscribing to new newsletters or promotional emails. 

Pro Tip: To completely clean out your work inbox, create a separate email account that can be used for all kinds of newsletter or promotional email subscription.

#5. Batch similar tasks

The strategy of batching similar tasks in email organization involves grouping together emails that share common themes or require similar types of actions, and then addressing them in dedicated batches or sessions. 

For instance, rather than responding to emails as they arrive sporadically throughout the day, you allocate specific blocks of time to handle particular categories of emails, such as meeting requests, client inquiries, or administrative tasks. 

By addressing similar emails consecutively, you streamline decision-making processes and reduce the cognitive burden associated with switching between different types of tasks, resulting in greater mental clarity and efficiency.

Here’s how you can batch similar tasks:

  • Categorize Emails: Sort incoming emails into distinct categories based on their content, purpose, or required action. Common categories may include meeting requests, client communications, administrative tasks, and personal correspondence.
  • Allocate Time Blocks: Dedicate specific time blocks throughout your day or week to focus exclusively on addressing emails within each category. 

Within each batch, prioritize emails based on urgency or importance. Begin with high-priority items to ensure critical tasks are addressed promptly.

#6. Turn off notifications

When you’re focused on a task, constant pings and pop-up alerts from new emails can disrupt your flow. By turning off notifications, you can stay focused and stick to your email-checking schedule. Plus, it helps resist the urge to respond to emails after work hours.

Turning off email notifications helps you check your inbox at set times instead of reacting instantly to every message. This lets you manage your email more effectively, prioritize tasks, and focus on work without constant interruptions.

#7. Use templates and canned responses

It’s common to receive similar emails when you’re working. For such instances, you can use templates and canned responses. 

Templates and canned responses serve as reusable frameworks for communication, streamlining the process of drafting emails and ensuring consistency in messaging across various interactions. 

canned responses that help organize work emails.


With canned responses, you can respond to emails more efficiently, allowing you to handle a higher volume of messages in less time. 

To effectively implement the use of templates and canned responses in email organization, follow these steps:

  • Identify Common Scenarios: Identify recurring scenarios or types of inquiries that can benefit from the use of templates, such as responding to frequently asked questions, confirming appointments, or acknowledging receipt of documents.
  • Create Templates: Develop pre-written templates for each identified scenario, ensuring that they are concise, informative, and adaptable to different contexts. Include placeholders for customizable elements such as recipient names, dates, or specific details.

Regularly review and update templates to reflect changes in information, policies, or communication standards, ensuring that they remain accurate, relevant, and effective over time.

#8. Archive emails

Archiving emails involves moving them out of your main inbox and into a separate storage area while still keeping them accessible for future reference if needed. This tip helps in managing email clutter by decluttering your inbox without permanently deleting important messages. 

By separating archived emails from your main inbox, you can maintain a more organized and manageable email environment, making it easier to locate important emails when needed.

Here’s how you can archive emails in Gmail:

  • Open the email: In your Gmail inbox, find the email you want to archive and open it.
  • Locate the “Archive” button: Look for the “Archive” button on the top toolbar. It’s usually represented by a box with a downward arrow icon.
  • Click “Archive”: Click the “Archive” button once. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut “E” for faster archiving.
A quick way to archive emails and reduce the number of messages in the inbox.


#9. Create a separate email inboxes

Managing both personal and business emails in a single account can be overwhelming, causing a loss of productivity and reduced efficiency. Differentiating between personal and business emails allows you to better prioritize and manage your messages, enabling improved organization and increased focus on work-related tasks.” says Kumar Bhimjiyani, Managing Director for an IT strategy company.

The importance of this approach lies in its ability to streamline workflow by segregating emails based on their nature, purpose, or source. While enhanced productivity is one reason, other reasons why separate work email accounts are better are:

  • Better professional and brand image
  • Data security and privacy
  • Healthy boundaries for work-life balance

To keep things simple, you can create a work and a personal inbox. All work related emails can go into the work inbox with an address like Meanwhile, all personal emails can go into the other email account.

#10. Delegate emails when needed

Your inbox often contains messages that could be better handled by someone else due to their expertise in a particular topic or their availability to devote more time to the task. 

By identifying these requests and delegating them appropriately, you not only lighten your own workload but also ensure that tasks are handled efficiently and by the most suitable person.

Once you’ve identified suitable recipients for delegated tasks, assign the tasks to them directly. Clearly communicate the details of the task, including any relevant context or instructions, to ensure clarity and understanding.

#11. Invest in email management tools

You don’t have to manage your work inbox alone—there are tools to do that for you. An email management tool contains features aimed at organizing, prioritizing and automating various aspects of email organization. 

From sorting and filtering messages to scheduling and automating responses, email management tools offer a comprehensive solution to the challenges associated with managing large volumes of emails efficiently.

We know how tedious the task of work email management can be and that is why we created Keeping. Keeping is the customer service software that works on top of gmail, designed specifically for small businesses. 

Keeping comes with the following features:

Ticket assignment: Assign conversations to make sure they reach the right team member. This way you can lower the number of tickets in your inbox and reduce the clutter.

Assigning emails to a colleague.

Workflow automations: With a simple if/then logic create automated workflows. Automate tasks that you do need to do yourself.

Email workflow automation that helps organize messages faster.

Automatic confirmation receipts: This is like canned responses. Every time customer emails flow in a customizable confirmation receipt is sent. 

Receipt confirmation.

Tracking and reporting: Understand how the team is working by monitoring KPIs that matter the most to your business.

Email analytics.

Wrapping Up

Work inbox management is simple if you follow some key tips, like the ones we mentioned. But times have changed. You don’t have to spend all your time trying to sort your work emails. There are tools for that—and there’s no harm in using them.

By using work email organization tools, like Keeping, you not only save time but can also achieve efficiency in managing the work inbox. Check out Keeping and start organizing your work emails today!


Sanjana Sankhyan is a freelance writer who specializes in delivering data-driven blog posts for B2B SaaS brands. She helps businesses attract more audience and sales with her writing. If not writing, you’ll find her helping other freelancers improve their work. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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