Email folders are one of the most important tools for keeping your inbox tidy. Without them, your mailbox soon becomes a jumbled mess of tasks, reference items, junk, and more.
Sifting these messages into folders lets you better keep track of them and keeps your inbox tidy. We’ve talked before about the only folders you need for inbox zero, but even if you aren’t an inbox zero person, here are three important email folders you should have anyway.
1. The “Follow Up” Email Folder
It’s really easy to forget a task that an emails requires as soon as you click away from it. Once it’s buried in your inbox, you’ll lose that fleeting thought (unless you add a task in your to-do app).
That’s why you need a folder called Follow Up. Put emails here that require some action on your part. As soon as they’re done, move them out. This way, you can open this folder anytime and complete outstanding work.
2. The “Reference” Email Folder
Your email probably contains lots of receipts, reminders, instructions, and other important documents you don’t want to lose. Searching is always an option for finding these, but that isn’t too efficient.
The Reference folder is the place for anything you’ll need in the future. Use it for important documents you’ll need later, and you’ll never lose track of important items again.
3. Due Date Folders for Tasks
For some people, folders based on categories don’t work well. If you’re someone like this, try creating folders based on due dates instead.
You could have a Today folder for urgent tasks, This Week folder for emails that you want to get to soon, and This Month for low-priority tasks. This lets you check in and complete tasks based on how important they are.
These three important folders are just suggestions—feel free to adapt them to what works for you! If you don’t want to categorize your emails manually, check out our guide to creating email filters that can do it for you.