How to Clean Up Your Gmail Inbox

How to Clean Up Your Gmail Inbox

Have you ever found yourself searching for an important email from last month, only to realize it’s buried under a mountain of clutter in your inbox? 

This is a common issue when your Gmail inbox is not organized correctly. 

A cluttered email inbox can severely impact productivity and efficiency because it is difficult to navigate and respond. This clutter can also contribute to ’email overload’ or ’email fatigue,’ a state of being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of emails flooding your inbox in a short period. 

Not only this, but it also brings up the Gmail storage limit issue. Gmail’s default 15 GB free plan may seem sufficient initially, but it will exhaust quickly if you don’t clean up old, unnecessary emails. 

Moreover, 74% of employees feel overwhelmed by their email overload. This contributes to mental stress and sometimes even leads to missing important emails. 

If you are also feeling overwhelmed, you’re in the right place. We have compiled this article on cleaning up your Gmail inbox so you never have to be unorganized or out of space. 

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Getting Started with Gmail Clean-Up     

Gmail cleanup means organizing and decluttering your inbox by deleting unwanted emails and sorting useful ones into neat categories to improve email efficiency and storage space. 

Luckily, you can easily clean up your Gmail inbox using built-in Gmail tools and filters to keep it tidy and organized. 

Importance of a clean Gmail inbox  

The Wall Street Journal reported that most employees spend about two workdays every week on emails and meetings. That’s a lot of time, and with a clean inbox, employees can save some of it for more meaningful tasks. 

You might be looking into the inbox cleaning up due to a lack of space, but there’s much more in store. 

  • Enhanced productivity: The more organized your inbox, the more you can get done. It becomes simpler to locate important emails, reduce distractions, and improve overall efficiency
  • Never miss important messages: Avoid missing an important email by keeping junk out of your inbox. This will help you stay away from the consequences, such as missing deadlines and failing to take the right action
  • Simpler navigation: Gmail labels, categories, stars, and trash folders simplify navigation and email-finding even months later. With an inbox zero, you can find things and prioritize them faster 
  • Reduced stress and fatigue: An organized inbox lowers stress by reducing emails to only important conversations. It also enhances focus by taking away distractions from the inbox 

How to navigate around the Gmail interface

The Gmail interface is designed to make navigation and email use smooth and easy. 

The main inbox view of Gmail provides you with a snippet of the sender’s name, the subject, and the message to help you get a glimpse into what the mail is about. You can also view any attachments separately through the snippet itself. 

Want to look for an email from a specific person? Gmail has a search bar at the top to help you find messages from a person or with a specific subject. You can filter dates and attachments and search by certain words in the email. 

Gmail provides you with vast possibilities to search and filter messages in your inbox

With this, the Gmail app also has a separate navigation pane on the left, allowing you to choose a folder you wish to look up, such as Inbox, sent, draft, starred, categories, labels, etc. 

Gmail navigation pane

Lastly, a settings gear icon is the main source for organizing your inbox. 

Gmail settings gear icon

You can use this to create filters, automatically sort incoming mail, and apply labels. The filter provides various sorting categories, such as To, From, Subject, Has the words, Doesn’t have, size, date, and attachments. 

You can combine these categories to filter current emails and set up filtered paths for future emails. 

Once you set everything up here, you will no longer need to sort your inbox manually. Every incoming mail will already follow the procedure you have prescribed. 

The Gmail interface has all the tools and features necessary to keep your inbox well-structured. You only have to know how to use it. Read on as we fill the gap for you! 

Differences between a Web browser and Tablet/IOS/Android usage

While Gmail’s functionalities remain mostly similar on web browsers and mobile devices, there is a significant difference in using clean-up features. 

The Gmail search bar and the left navigation panel remain the same. However, using the Gmail inbox on mobile devices is done with accessibility in mind. It does not have several bulk functions at once and provides relatively few customization options compared with web browsers. 

Additionally, it doesn’t allow users to drag and drop emails in folders directly. Not only this, but they cannot even add browser extensions on mobile devices, which is very easy on the web browser. Lastly, using keyboard shortcuts for quick cleanup on mobile devices is impossible. 

While basic features like searching and accessing folders are easy on mobile devices, more complex features, such as setting up filters, can be difficult. 

However, on the plus side, mobile devices’ touch features, such as sliding to delete or archive mail, simplify the process. Therefore, web browsers might be the ideal choice while working on a large-scale cleanup. 

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Effective Steps for Cleaning Up Your Gmail

Here are the seven steps to effectively clean up and keep your Gmail inbox organized. 

We cover bulk and individual clean-up options so you can choose the approach that best suits your needs. Here we go! 

Step 1: Delete big attachments

If you’re looking for a quick solution to free up space in your inbox, the first thing to do is locate emails with big attachments. 

Although attachments are an important part of emails, they take up more space than you can imagine. It’s easy to locate these files and decide whether they are worth keeping in your inbox or deleting them to free up space. 

  • Step 1: Click on the filter option next to the search bar
Use the filter icon to find big files
  • Step 2: In the size option, select ‘greater than’ and enter the MB size, such as 5 MB 
  • Step 3: Optionally, select ‘Has attachment’ to filter emails with attachments only 
  • Step 4: Once you have the filtered list, select the emails that are no longer relevant
Select a size range, tick ‘has attachment,’ and hit search
  • Step 5: Delete the selected emails to declutter your inbox

Step 2: Delete entire categories

Do you receive many promotional or social messages each day? Gmail categorizes your emails by automatically reading them and placing them under the correct heading between social, updates, forums, and promotion. 

With this categorization, deleting emails and making space becomes fairly simple. All you have to do is select a category, and only the emails belonging to that category will appear. 

Use this Gmail hack, and you will no longer need to scan for promotional emails in your inbox to delete them. The best part is that this also eliminates the chances of mistakenly deleting an important email while deleting promotional emails. 

Different Gmail categories 

Step 3: Remove yourself from unnecessary mailing lists    

Some years ago, you might have eagerly subscribed to newsletters on topics of interest or industry trends. However, over time, they’ve become irrelevant and clutter your inbox without glancing at you. 

It’s time to unsubscribe and reclaim your inbox space. While unsubscribing may seem daunting, Gmail’s automatic unsubscribe option makes it easy by providing an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. 

By unsubscribing, you save time and declutter your inbox effortlessly.

Search for ‘unsubscribe’ in the filter’s ‘Has the words’ column to get a list of all such emails. If you click unsubscribe on these links, Gmail automatically transfers such emails to your spam folder. 

Further, if you are looking for a particular newsletter or subscription name, enter that in the ‘From’ section, and you will again get a filtered list.

Search for the word ‘unsubscribe’ to quickly filter promotional messages. You can easily delete unwanted subscriptions

Step 4: Block unwanted senders and spammers

Troubled by salespeople sending you emails one after the other on a loop regarding products and services you have no interest in? They don’t only take your energy but also space in your inbox. 

Gmail lets you block these senders directly. Here’s how you can block the unwanted senders and spammers: 

  • Step 1: Open an email from the concerned sender
  • Step 2: Click the three dots on the right and click Block (sender)
You can block certain senders completely on Gmail
  • Step 3: You will get a confirmation pop-up to block the sender. Click on Block, and you are done
Hit Block to confirm

NOTE: If you are wondering, you can still unblock these senders in the future. 

This way, you can eliminate unwanted emails that crowd your inbox for no reason. 

Step 5: Delete emails by sender or date   

Do you still require emails from one year ago? Even if you do, you will only need selected emails from that time. 

Delete emails based on a date using the filter section’s ‘Date within’ column. 

You can filter and delete older emails

Only outdated emails aren’t all. There might be a client you worked with years ago. All those email threads in your Gmail account might have fallen irrelevant for you. It’s time you delete them and free up your inbox for current emails. 

To do this, enter the sender’s name in the ‘From section’ to get a filtered list of all the emails you received from them. 

You can also delete emails from certain senders

You can add more specifications to these searches to simplify searching, such as ‘Has attachment,’ subject, etc. 

Step 6: Erase by content or topic

Sometimes, emails with particular subject lines or topics are irrelevant and unnecessarily occupy your inbox. You can filter these out by entering a particular subject you are looking for or even some specific words or phrases in the body of the email. 

However, remember to put these phrases or words in quotation marks in the filter option in Gmail inbox. For example, ‘marketing campaign’ or ‘free software trial.’ This technique will help you quickly scan and sort all the emails in your Gmail account containing these words. 

Using the filter to search for words like ‘offer’ could be a great way to clean up your inbox

Step 7: Implementing labels and filters for organization

While all these steps can help you clean up your inbox, spending time on the clean-up from time to time is inconvenient. Here’s a solution—employ Gmail to self-clean and organize your emails by categorizing them with Gmail labels in your inbox. It’s simple; you only have to create labels and filters. 

Gmail lets you create labels based on your requirements and assign them to emails. The best part is that you can add multiple labels to an email. 

To create labels:

  • Step 1: In the left navigation panel, click the plus sign next to ‘Labels’
Learn to create labels in Gmail
  • Step 2: Enter the name of your label in the dialogue box that appears, and optionally nest it under another label
Insert a label name

Similarly, Gmail filters help you locate incoming emails the way you want. Whether you want to immediately archive a certain type of mail or categorize a type of repetitive mail, the Gmail filter is the right choice. 

To create a filter: 

  • Step 1: Use the search bar filter and customize categories as desired
  • Step 2: Create multiple customizations if needed
  • Step 3: After entering all categories, click ‘Create Filter’
  • Step 4: Choose your requirements from the search criteria
  • Step 5: Click ‘Create filter’ to finalize
Set up what to do with an email that matches your current filter
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Tools to Help Clean Up Gmail

Delegate your inbox cleaning tasks to tools while you continue working seamlessly in the Gmail inbox. Gmail has several functionalities, but the additional inbox management tools make the clean-up process even more efficient and time-saving. 

Here are a few tools to try: 

1. Clean Email

The Clean Email tools offer functionalities such as the Screener tool, which enhances spam messages filter and marks every message you have received from a new sender. Its Unsubscriber tool helps you unsubscribe from emails you no longer want. 

Additionally, its smart folders let you organize your emails into different categories automatically. Lastly, you can activate the auto clean-up, and the tool will automatically provide cleaning suggestions. 

Clean Email pricing 

  • 1 Account: $29.99/year 
  • 5 Accounts: $49.99/year
  • 10 Accounts: $99.99/year (taken from an external source)

2. Mailstrom 

Via: Mailstorm 

If you are looking for a tool to assist you with bulk actions, Mailstorm is the one to help. You can select many messages to perform your email clean-up tasks simultaneously, saving time and increasing efficiency. 

It automatically bundles emails based on commonalities so you can take bulk action. As a result, you no longer have to manually apply filters or look for a certain category of emails.

Mailstrom pricing 

  • Basic: $59.95/year
  • Plus – Best Value: $99.95/year
  • Pro: $199.95/year

3. Mailman 

Via: Mailman 

This tool provides a VIP List, which highlights important emails with a particular keyword you specify. Additionally, it offers the scheduling of email messages and their notifications. 

Set up a Do-not-disturb mode when you do not want to receive emails and even delivery slots for how many times a day you want to receive notifications. 

Mailman pricing 

Standard: $10 paid monthly

4. ClickUp 

ClickUp is an exceptional project management platform that brings teams closer with its connected workflows and real-time dashboards. It assists teams in working smarter and accomplishing more in less time. 

ClickUp’s integrated features help declutter your Gmail inbox, automate your email management, and organize all emails in one place

ClickUp’s Email Project Management feature is a holistic solution that benefits you with more than just email cleanup. Its integrated features and powerful email automation processes are all you need to kickstart email cleanup and organization. 

  • Centralized email management: ClickUp’s integration with Gmail allows you to send, receive, and respond to emails directly from ClickUp. This eliminates the need to constantly switch between platforms, enhancing your email management and organization 
Gmail and ClickUp integration can become your productivity powerhouse
  • Search features: ClickUp is equipped with a universal search feature that lets you scan through emails, tasks, and all integrated apps to provide more detailed results compared with Gmail’s native search functionalities 
  • Workflow management and automation: Add labels and tasks, send follow-up messages, and update statuses with ClickUp Automation. Also, set up workflows for repetitive tasks to make them more effective and time-saving 
Use ClickUp to automate repetitive tasks
  • Email templates and AI: Transcribe audio attachments and summarize long emails automatically with ClickUp Brain. Also, use AI and email templates in Gmail to speed up your tasks and draft messages
ClickUp Brain
ClickUp Brain helps summarize or draft emails to help you speed up your work
  • Notifications and reminders: With ClickUp Inbox, set up notifications and reminders for important email-related tasks so you never miss them 
  • Cross-platform functionality: Access ClickUp from a range of devices, such as desktop and mobile devices, and integrate with popular browsers for seamless email management 
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Enhance Gmail Management with ClickUp

The ClickUp platform is the perfect way to manage tasks based on the Getting Things Done approach. This productivity system recognizes that more time is spent thinking about tasks than actually performing them. 

ClickUp’s systematized approach to task management assists in all five stages of capture, clarification, organization, engagement, and review. 

  • Capture: ClickUp helps you capture all your tasks in one place instead of storing information in the brain 
  • Clarify: Laying down in one place, ClickUp lets you clarify the workflows, assign team members, and create tasks 
  • Organize: You can add necessary resources and due dates, assign team members, and create workflows for all action items 
  • Engage: With tasks neatly organized based on dates, it becomes simpler to engage with them and have a clear idea of the to-do list for each day/week
  • Review: It is crucial to oversee and review the tasks occasionally to ensure everything is on track. ClickUp Views provide a glimpse of the tasks in a consolidated manner to help you review the tasks better

Thus, ClickUp assists its users in getting things done by transferring them from a list of emails in the inbox to actionable items with deadlines and assignees. 

ClickUp Email Automation template 

ClickUp’s Email Automation with ClickUp Template is designed to help you automate and optimize your email marketing campaigns.

Save time and hassle by automating the emails through the ClickUp Email Automation Template 

ClickUp’s Email Automation Template helps you send automated emails based on certain parameters. This template provides an email management strategy for executing tasks from start to finish without unnecessary manual processes. 

This template helps you to: 

  • Increase efficiency and productivity with automated email-related tasks 
  • Improve response time to emails with automated emails 
  • Create tasks for every email that needs to be sent 
  • Set up rules and different criteria for email automation
  • Set up notifications to stay up to date on the progress 
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The Benefits of a Clean Gmail Inbox

A clean and well-organized Gmail inbox eliminates full storage notifications, increases productivity, and simplifies email task management

Organized emails help you navigate more effortlessly and execute tasks faster without getting lost in a sea of unimportant and promotional emails in your inbox. 

With labels, categorization, and tags, you can find important emails at the top of your inbox, so you never miss an important conversation and take action faster. 

There is also a direct improvement in the response time. With fewer distractions in your inbox, you can stay focused and respond to important emails faster. This highlights promptness in your communication and enhances professional relationships. 

When time is of the essence in communications, a well-organized inbox can take you miles. 

Lastly, it reduces the cognitive load. You no longer have to feel overwhelmed by several unread messages in your inbox and sort through them. Thus, a clear Gmail account inbox can reduce mental stress and improve your work. 

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Effectively Clean Up Your Gmail Inbox with ClickUp 

A clean and well-organized inbox is essential for enhanced productivity and uninterrupted operations. 

It lets you organize all your to-dos, gain a better perspective on what’s important, and deal with promotional messages only when necessary. 

To achieve an ideal scenario, you must set up an organization process with labels, workflows, and filters for Gmail to automatically organize everything for you. 

You can use email productivity tools to enhance the customizations further and tailor your inbox exactly as you please. ClickUp is one tool with Gmail integration to provide a centralized and well-organized inbox. 

It also provides loads of automation and task management features to keep you on top of your tasks. So, what are you waiting for?

Sign up for ClickUp today and proceed towards a clean and well-organized inbox. 

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