Email Lists Getting Your Inbox Down? Take Charge!

Mail BasketEmail Lists (or lists) are still a great resource for professional learning with traffic levels from sparse to overwhelming. Many established, active email lists have not rushed to a social media alternative and users still rely on their email to participate in those conversations. The more email lists you subscribe to, the more important it is to control the daily flow of information through your Inbox. Happily, you have options.

  • Too many posts? Check the email list settings for a daily or weekly digest option.
  • Worried you’ll miss something important? Create a rule that moves all the emails from a given source into a designated folder (yes, this does mean you’ll have to check that folder to see your messages).
  • Noticing irrelevant or uninteresting posts? The “Delete” key is your friend.
  • Like to track conversations over time? Forget about deleting on a daily basis. Filter all messages into one folder, ignore the ones you don’t care about, then delete en masse every 6 months or so.
  • Noticing great conversation scattered amidst the clutter? See if your email program allows you to show emails by “conversation” or “thread”. If not, create a Gmail account to use for lists. Now that Gmail lets you send out email through other accounts, people on the list will still see the same email address that you’ve always used while your email management choices make your life easier in the background.
  • You can also read an email list in your favorite RSS reader if you have it coming into a Gmail account. It doesn’t help for replies, you’ll still have to open Gmail, but if you’re in your reader all the time it can keep you up to date and save time.
  • Don’t forget to archive huge folders if you use any version of Outlook (search help for “archive” or “auto archive” if you’re not familiar with this useful tool).