Inbox Detox Day 2 – Automatic Sorting…

Today we are looking at how filters or rules can automatically sort out the emails we know we will get into our Inboxes. 

You can watch the videos below or scroll down further for the written information if you prefer.

Why bother with rules and filters:


As there are different ways to set up the rules depending on the email client you are using I have made some different videos to show you how to do this. Watch the one that applies to you below:

Setting up Filters in GMail…

Setting up Rules in Oulook

Set up Rules in MacMail

Written Instructions for those who prefer:

We are going to start setting up some RULES to allow automatic FILTERING (or sorting) to happen without us doing a thing. All the email clients will do this just in slightly different ways but they do the same thing. They move emails into folders for you while you sleep. A bit like a inbox fairy that just pops in and does tidying for you. Lovely.

Rules like this work brilliantly for the emails that you do want to receive but which you don’t want in your inbox to distract you from why you are there. You know the ones, usually from someone who sends good content? The email arrives and you think you’ll take a quick peek then half an hour later you wonder where the time went as you get drawn onto their website and while you’re there you might as well check Facebook and then boom it’s lunchtime!

They also help you to see the really important emails by moving those to client or VIP folders.

The way these rules work means you need to tell your computer exactly what will happen at a specific time. I suggest you create a few folders in your email software that makes sense to you. Please don’t create hundreds of folders, it will be too confusing to keep on top of!

I have the following: 

– Admin
– Clients
– Personal
– Marketing
– Z Archive (Z so it gets filed at the end!)


Then you need to set up the rules so that emails that you receive from people who send great content but who you don’t want to get distracted by an time of the day. All the emails from the people who you have rules set up for will automatically get sent to your Marketing folder and then you can consciously choose the times that you go in and read the emails. They won’t distract you when you are trying to get on with other things and they will all be neatly together, ready for you to read for inspiration when you need it.


So, your mission for today:

1. Create some folders to keep your admin emails, ‘reading material’ and personal emails in. These should be for emails that you don’t need to take action on but you want to read when the time is appropriate.

2. Watch the videos below to see how to set up rules for Outlook, Mac or Gmail.

3. Start creating rules for the people who send you emails that fit these “Information Only” emails category or the VIP category

4. Have a treat! You may not feel like it but you are making great progress. Well done.


SPEEDY SUMMARY: Set up rules or filters to allow you to automatically sort emails as they come in. Create a few basic folders for anything you would like to receive but don’t want to be bothering you throughout the day. (PLEASE RESIST THE URGE TO CREATE HUNDREDS OF FOLDERS)

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