Learn 4 simple tips for a clean email environment

Creating a clean email environment may be tedious if your inbox is cluttered and disorganized. Learn how to tidy it up and eliminate distractions.
An average person sends and receives around 40 emails per day, with this number reaching 120 among business users. Not all emails are equally important, so it’s natural to leave some sitting in your inbox.With time, such emails add up and become a distraction. While it’s best to clean email folders regularly to avoid clutter, many users don’t have this habit. If you’re among them, your inbox likely contains numerous unnecessary messages and junk mail.This guide will help you regain control over your inbox and stay on top of incoming messages by sharing a few useful cleanup tactics.
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How to clean up your email—4 steps to follow

If you’re not sure where to start when decluttering your inbox, take the following steps:
  1. Mass-delete old and unnecessary emails
  2. Block and report spam
  3. Unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer follow
  4. Tread lightly with email cleaner apps

Clean out emails you no longer need

If an email has remained unopened for months, you most likely don’t need it. That is why you should start the cleanup process by removing old emails you won’t reference in the future.Major email providers let you easily identify and delete such emails with their advanced search. If you’re using Gmail, you can delete old mail by following these steps:
  1. Click the search bar above the inbox
  2. Type before:[date] to find emails older than the set date—use a forward slash (/) as a separator. Alternatively, you can click the filter icon on the right side of the search bar and enter the date there
  3. Click Search
  4. Click the checkmark above the inbox to select all emails on the page
  5. Click the bin icon above the inbox to delete the selected emails
Source: Gmail screenshotBy default, Gmail lets you delete emails in groups of 50, but you can choose to select all conversations in a given folder.Outlook’s search feature works similarly. When you filter and select the emails you want to remove, click the Empty folder to delete all mail in one go.
Source: Outlook screenshotAdvanced search is useful beyond finding old emails. You can filter your inbox by sender, subject, keywords, attachments, and various other criteria to find and remove all unnecessary mail.

Block and report spam mail

Most email providers have dedicated spam folders and detection mechanisms that automatically send unsolicited emails to them. In theory, all it takes to delete them is to empty the spam folder (also known as the Junk folder in Outlook and some other providers).The problem here is that detection algorithms can’t always match spammers’ sophisticated tactics, so spam might end up in your main inbox as well. While deleting it might declutter your inbox temporarily, you will keep receiving spam emails in the future.The best thing you can do to minimize this problem is to report a spam email and block the sender. The following example of a scam Amazon email sent to an Outlook account shows how to do it:
  1. Open the email you want to report
  2. Click the Report button above the subject line and confirm the action
  3. Click the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner of the inbox
  4. Go to Block > Block [Name]
Source: Outlook screenshotBy reporting spam, you can help improve the accuracy of your provider’s detection algorithms and reduce the number of unsolicited mail you receive.

Unsubscribe from newsletters

There’s a high chance you’re no longer interested in many of the newsletters you’ve subscribed to since opening your email account. Besides deleting emails, take an additional step to unsubscribe and ensure you don’t receive further messages from specific sources.In Gmail, you can open the email from a newsletter and click the Unsubscribe button next to the sender’s address.
Source: Gmail screenshotOutlook doesn’t have a universal placement of the Unsubscribe button, but it offers a more convenient way to manage all your subscriptions in one place. Here’s how:
  1. Click the gear icon on the upper-right corner of the main screen
  2. Open the Subscriptions tab
  3. Click Unsubscribe next to all the newsletters you don’t want to follow anymore
Source: Outlook screenshot

Be careful with email cleanup tools

Some users might find the above steps too laborious and opt for an email cleaning app instead. Such apps offer useful features like the following:
  • Auto-archiving
  • Predefined filters
  • Mass deletion
While these features are useful and might save you some time, they’re not worth exposing your account to a major drawback—lack of privacy.Third-party email cleaners require numerous permissions to access and manage your inbox. This intrusion into your account means the service can access your correspondence and data, which not everyone is comfortable with—and rightfully so. Your email likely contains a lot of sensitive information, so you should have full control over who can see it.Unfortunately, you don’t get much control with providers like Gmail and Outlook even if you don’t use a third-party app, mainly because of their invasive privacy practices paired with weak security. Besides steering away from email cleaning apps, you should opt for a privacy-first email provider that keeps your correspondence confidential.
Prioritize email securityWith end-to-end encryption, Skiff Mail guarantees your sensitive data remains private and protected while keeping your emails organized
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The importance of choosing a secure email service

An email platform’s organization and cleanup features can’t compensate for a lack of security. Big Tech email services have infamously exposed user data to various risks, so it doesn’t surprise that many users are switching to privacy-first solutions.Such services use advanced security measures that ensure minimal to no user data storage on servers. More importantly, any data that does get stored is protected by the gold standard of email security—end-to-end encryption (E2EE).E2EE turns your emails into strings of unintelligible characters using an encryption key created and stored on your device. Messages reach the provider’s servers in encrypted form and can only be deciphered on the recipient’s device using their decryption key.As the email provider doesn’t have access to encryption keys or plaintext copies of your messages, you can rest assured knowing your data remains completely private.You don’t get E2EE by default with a typical Big Tech platform. Luckily, services like Skiff Mail provide it to every user to help them protect their private correspondence.

Skiff Mail—A robust solution for privacy-conscious users

Skiff Mail is a secure email platform that uses strong end-to-end encryption to keep your correspondence safe and private. The encryption mechanism involves two separate keys, explained in the following table:
Key typePurposeSharing
Public keyEmail encryptionShared with the recipient
Private keyEmail decryptionStored on the user’s device and not shared with anyone
Both keys are created on your device when you sign up, and you don’t need to go through any complex setups—Skiff Mail is end-to-end encrypted by default. You also get additional security measures that safeguard your account and data, most notably:
  • Zero-knowledge login—Lets you create a Skiff account without leaving any identifiers (e.g., your name or phone number)
  • Secure Remote Password—Encrypts other encryption keys and critical account data, such as your login credentials
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA)—Creates a security layer beyond login details using the Authenticator app
  • Tracker blocking—Blocks email trackers that feed your email behavior to the sender
More information about Skiff Mail’s security is available in this whitepaper. As the platform is open source, you can also find its codebase on GitHub.

Comprehensive features at no cost

All of Skiff Mail’s security measures are available with the free account, as are various features that keep your inbox clean and let you enjoy a distraction-free email experience. You can use folders, labels, and filters to organize your emails effortlessly and create up to four aliases you can manage from one inbox.The platform also features fast email and text search, which is scarce among privacy-first solutions because no unencrypted data is stored on the server. Another area where Skiff goes beyond the standard is storage, as you get 10 GB compared to an average of 1 GB with most other E2EE solutions.Other features available with the free plan include the following:
  • Crypto wallet integrations
  • A custom domain
  • Schedule and undo-send
  • Custom signatures
Thanks to Skiff Mail’s minimalistic, user-friendly interface, you can leverage the above features regardless of your tech skills.
Source: Skiff

4 E2EE platforms with one account

When you create your free account, you’ll get access to three additional end-to-end encrypted platforms:
  1. Skiff Pages—A document editing tool that features a rich text editor and encrypts your files’ contents and metadata
  2. Skiff Drive—An end-to-end encrypted cloud storage platform that supports files of all types and offers optional integration with the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)
  3. Skiff Calendar—A calendar app that syncs with Skiff Mail and has a built-in video conferencing tool
Skiff’s product suite features excellent cross-platform support—it’s available on iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, and browsers.
Source: Skiff

Keep your email safe and organized with Skiff Mail

You can create a Skiff account in minutes by following these steps:
  1. Go to the signup page
  2. Choose your username and password
  3. Explore Skiff Mail and other E2EE products
The free plan is robust enough for an average user, but if you want to expand Skiff’s functionality, you can sign up for one of three affordable paid plans:
EssentialFrom $3 per month
ProFrom $8 per month
BusinessFrom $12/user per month
If you don’t want to start fresh with a new platform, you can move all remaining emails after the cleanup process to Skiff Mail in a single click. Your correspondence will be transferred quickly, and Skiff won’t store unencrypted copies.

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