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Cleaning up your inbox is rarely at the top of anyone’s to-do list, but taking on this one-time task can make organizing your remaining email much easier.


Here’s a three-step approach to handling this one-time task.

  1. Go through your inbox and delete any unwanted messages, both received and sent. At this point, don’t worry about labeling, archiving, starring, and filtering messages or implementing any other Gmail features. Just focus on deleting what you don’t need to keep in your inbox or archive.

  2. Review your trash bin for messages you shouldn’t have deleted. When you’re eager to clean up a bloated inbox, it’s easy to delete something by mistake. The Gmail trash bin gives you 30 days to review messages marked for deletion and restore anything you shouldn’t have deleted.
  3. Unsubscribe from mailing lists that don’t provide value. If you’re like most people, you subscribe to numerous mailing lists from the companies you do business with, such as stores, banks, investment firms, and online services. You also probably subscribe to newsletters related to your personal and professional interests. Most social media accounts also flood your inbox with messages unless you unsubscribe from their default settings. Unsubscribing from anything you don’t read and don’t use is one of the fastest ways to cut down on inbox overload.


By default, many social media accounts send you multiple messages a day notifying you about new followers, comments, likes, requests, and more. For example, several years ago when I first joined Pinterest, I forgot to modify my notifications and my inbox was soon flooded with hundreds of messages about every new follower, repin, and like.

If you’re receiving social media notifications that you either delete immediately or leave unread in your inbox, take a few minutes to revise your email notification settings. Some people, for example, prefer to view everything on the site itself, whereas others want to receive selected notifications (such as invitations to connect or comments that need to be addressed).

Although you can often unsubscribe from social media notifications directly from the messages you receive (normally at the bottom of the message), it’s often easier to review your notifications on each site as a one-time project.

Here’s how to manage your email notifications for many popular social sites.


To manage your Facebook email notifications, follow these steps:

  1. Click the down arrow in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  2. Select Settings from the menu.
  3. Click the Notifications tab.
  4. On the Notification Settings page, click the Edit link to the right of the Email section.
  5. Specify your email preferences, such as all, important, or account-only notifications, as shown in Figure 1.3.

    Figure 1.3

    FIGURE 1.3 Control the type of email notifications Facebook sends you to reduce email frequency.

  6. Click the Close button.


To manage your Twitter email notifications, follow these steps:

  1. Click your photo in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  2. Select Settings from the menu.
  3. Select the Email Notifications tab.
  4. Deselect the check box next to any emails you no longer want to receive (see Figure 1.4).

    Figure 1.4

    FIGURE 1.4 Twitter enables you to control email activity about your tweets, retweets, and network activity.

  5. Click the Save Changes button.


To manage your LinkedIn email notifications, follow these steps:

  1. Pause over your photo in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  2. Click the Manage link in the Privacy & Settings section.
  3. Click the Communications tab.
  4. Click the Set Frequency of Emails link.
  5. Click the Edit (pencil) icon to the right of the email notification type you want to manage. For example, you can manage your notifications from other members, groups, and LinkedIn itself.


To manage your Pinterest email notifications, follow these steps:

  1. From your Pinterest page, select Account Settings from the drop-down list in the upper-right corner.
  2. On the Notifications tab, specify your email preferences. If you do want to receive emails, you can choose to receive them once a day rather than as they happen, which reduces email volume.
  3. Click the Save Settings button.


To manage your Google+ email notifications, follow these steps:

  1. Select Settings from the drop-down list on the left side of the screen.
  2. Update the Manage Subscriptions and Receive Notifications sections with your preferences.
  3. Google+ automatically updates your selections.
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Last Update: November 17, 2020