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Š 2017 All rights reserved. No Part of this publication may be reproduced without permission. The opinions expressed in this book are those of the author only and not those of York College of Pennsylvania This book is an experimental class project for purely educational design purposes. Design by Matt Cates Printed by Typeface used is Arial





Table of Contents Intro.................................................................................viii Step 1 - Admitting you have a problem.............................3 Step 2 - Thinking of solutions............................................9 Step 3 - Choosing your solution......................................19 Step 4 - Appling your solution.........................................29 Step 5 - Reviewing your results......................................39 Conclusion......................................................................44

- - - - - Preface - - - - From:<> Dear Reader, Hello, my name is Matt Cates and I am a graphic design major at York College of Pennsylvania. One of the most important skills needed as a graphic design major is discipline needed to stay organized and to create projects by a deadline like this book you are reading now. One of the things I have the least amount of discipline with is keeping up with my e-mails. I rarely delete emails which add up over time which causes my most important form of communication for school to be unorganized. This causes me to spend more time trying to find certain emails and also causes me to be a poor communicator. Throughout the making of this book, I plan to improve my email situation by going through a five-step problem-solving process to discipline myself in order to organize my emails hoping that you the reader will also pick up a few things about discipline and organization that you never thought about before. On top of organizing, I will also go over email edict and format to inform you on how to get your message across via email as effectively as possible. So enough putting it off already, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to get to work. Enjoy the book, Matt Cates


Who Invented Email?

or Ray Tomlinson

Shiva Ayyadurai

- - - - - Intro - - - - In order to effectively organize our emails, we

just send an email with no additional cost?

first need to understand how they came to be

According to statistics from the Radicati Group

and why email is so important for modern day

in the year 2015, about 205.6 billion emails

communication. The history of email actually

were sent out a day, 6.2 trillion a month, and

goes over 50 years ago when time-sharing

74 trillion were sent for the whole year from

computers of the early 1960â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s were able to

about 4.3 billion email accounts averaging

send computer based mail and messaging.

two per user. So how are we able to keep all

Over time many United States universities

of those emails organized? A simple five-step

were part of ARPANET (Advanced Research

problem-solving process is what I plan to do

Projects Agency Network) which was a system

to solve my email problem. Step 1 is admitting

of networks that could exchange software. This

that I have a problem. Step 2 is to brainstorm

eventually became known as the Simple Mail

possible solutions for solving the problem.

Transfer Protocol (SMTP) which was one of the

Step 3 is choosing the best solution. Step 4 is

standard email protocols today. Businesses

to commence the chosen solution. And, Step

started using email in the 1990â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like AOL and

5 is to evaluate if the solution was successful.

Yahoo which lead to what email is like today.

Following these five steps shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be too

Who invented email is actually quite the con-

difficult; the real challenge is going to be able

troversial topic, some say it was Ray Tomlinson

to keep up with it every day and not falling be-

who invented the @ symbol in 1972 which is

hind. So at that note, I better get on with step 1

used for email addresses for ARPANET. Others

before I get behind.

say it is Shiva Ayyadurai who coined the term email for computer software he created at the age of 14 in 1978! Who invented the email is a topic that is still debated today. Email is such an important form of communication because it is much faster and reliable then telephones and postage mail as well as more professional then texting and social media. Email is also the communication of business which is why checking emails is actually a major part of most jobs today. To add on to that, email has also been a major step in globalization. Instead of making an expensive international call or international postage delivery why not viii

Step 1 Admitting You Have A Problem


Inbox (3,476) Starred Sent Mail Drafts (3) Boxbe Waiting List (... Notes More 2


- - - - - Step 1 - - - - I have a problem, not a drinking problem, a

Perhaps there is more to organizing my emails

gambling problem, or a relationship problem

then just deleting them from my phone and

but an email problem (Don’t worry it’s not like

computer. I can’t be the only one out of 4 billion

the email problem Hillary Clinton had). So I’m

email accounts that have a hoarding problem?

done step one right? It’s not that simple when

That someone could be you, even if you’re not

you have 3,476 unread emails in your school

as bad of a hoarder as me. Even if you only

inbox and 1,956 emails in your personal email.

have a couple hundred emails in your inbox or

I was not on vacation for a whole year, I’m just

even have a clean inbox but you are starting

that bad at checking my email. I think that truly

to see yourself slip up, then I will still suggest

admitting you have a problem is more difficult

that you give yourself enough time to organize

than just saying that you have a problem in

your email. This is a problem that usually gets

your head. It is the beginning of a commitment

worse as you get older so it is important to

that you aren’t going to put off any longer. It is

keep up with your email now so you don’t get

so easy to just push the problem aside and act

swamped by them later. I know that this is a big

like it is not there, especially in today’s society.

problem because of how many people I hear

With all the distractions we have between school

complaining about checking emails. I especially

or work, our phones always buzzing, and that

noticed people complaining about email since

television show or video game occupies out

I started to create this book. For example, I

time and makes it really difficult to fit time to

had a guest speaker in my printmaking class

solve a big problem. Other forms of commu-

named Charlie Barton who is a silkscreen artist

nication like phone calls, texting, and social

who owns his own independent studio. Charlie

media can also distract greatly from email.

went through his work process and mentioned

These forms of communications usually come

how email actually prevents him from doing

from friends and family which are a lot less

more work. Charlie explained that he would sit

stressful than email which is why most people

down and reply to about 10 emails and then

check them first. But there is a point where we

about twenty more would pop up. Charlie told

should say no and give some time to focus on

my class that he actually is considering hiring

ourselves. If we can give ourselves more time

a secretary to handle his emails so he can

away from our distractions, we will have greater

produce more work.

discipline which can help us become more

organized. That is why I think so many adults

are so relieved after not having to read emails during vacation because it can be so stressful going through emails about work.


On top of organizing email, composing and

replying to emails in a professional manner

is part of the whole email process. How am I

supposed to reply back to people in a timely fashion if I can’t even organize my emails


Jerry Gif


Image for page 2

Jerry Gif


Supplemental pages for your Documentation Books

Jerry Gif


Image for page 7

Jerry Gif


Other News

Jerry Gif



Jerry Gif


Lab photo

Jerry Gif


Faculty Promotions Portraits

Jerry Gif


Order of Pegasus Portraits

Jerry Gif


Page 6 Copy

Hurricane Jerry Attacks My Inbox!!!

properly? This is a habit I have to break espe-

down, and many files would have spelling and

cially if I’m going to pursue graphic design as a

grammar issues.

career. I have to be able to get back to clients in a timely manner or else I might lose their business. Luckily, there is a project in my publication design class which I’m writing this book for where we have to respond back and forth to a made up client named Jerry Gif via email. So I hit two birds with one stone in this case, because by replying to Jerry Gif I’m working on the newsletter project with him and I get good content for my documentation book. So Jerry is supposed to work at the University of Central (UCF) Florida Medical School and is in need of a graphic designer for a newsletter about DNA research called Recombination. At the time I worked on that newsletter Jerry

So that means communication is key in order to be even successful in designing that newsletter. I would have to ask questions to Jerry on what he sent me in order for me to have all the content set up correctly for the newsletter. Email is so crucial that it harms my academics and work life if I don’t keep up with it which is something I have to remind myself when I don’t feel like checking my email. Keeping up with all of Jerry’s emails got more difficult as he would send more emails over time. He would start to only send one or two emails at a time, then up to four at a time, and towards the end of the project he would send about ten emails at a time.

was still recovering from a hurricane and is kind of a mess. Jerry has to go to a different county just to get his Starbucks coffee and UCF has just gained its electricity back and many of the files I need for the newsletter are out of order which is why Jerry ends up sending the content out of order despite his lack of knowledge on the appropriate way to send files for designing for print. So before I can even get started on designing the newsletter I need to research on what Recombination is, the DNA research the school does, and the overall aesthetic of design for medical publication. Jerry will send us parts of documents through email out of order and on top of that, he is clueless in the field of graphic design so he will send us things that are in the incorrect format. Some of these incorrect emails would include the wrong file format mostly being jpeg files which are meant for web not print, files that were upside 6

Step 2 Brainstorming Possible Solutions


Inbox (2,497) Starred Sent Mail Drafts (3) Boxbe Waiting List (... Notes More 8

- - - - - Step 2 - - - - In order to start coming up with solutions, I

difficult to fit in during an all-nighter, but it is

need to figure out what my goal is for this

probably the most reliable time for me. For the

book. This goal should be for me to fully get

sake of this project, I have to at least work on

rid of my hoarding habits by replacing them

this every day until I finish the content of the

with professional ones. I will not be able to

document book.

completely get rid of all the messages in my inbox since a handful of emails I will need until the end of my current semester. Instead, my goal is to have no unread messages in my inbox because that will still require me to get rid of all of those old emails in my inbox as well as keep up with my email daily. As for thinking of solutions I have to figure out how often I’m going to clean up my email, which device or devices am I going to use for organizing my emails, and how many different methods I will use to clean my email such as creating folders.

of writing 200 words every weekday and then doing 500 each day on the weekend would leave me with 2,000 words for the week which would take five weeks to get the 10,000 words I need. Another option might be to do 300 every day which would leave me with 2,100 words a week and I could even do extra during the weekends. Even though this project is about discipline, it might just be impossible to do the same amount of writing every day. Some

Fitting in time to organize my emails is like

days I might not have enough time while other

adding another homework assignment. Even

days I might have some extra time. This is why

though organizing my email may not be as an

I originally planned to do more of the writing

urgent task as homework and studying, I still

on the weekends than on the weekdays. So

have to keep in mind that my email is important

my solution for the writing portion may not be

for my classes and will be a necessary part of

a very clear answer because it might just to be

just about any job I’ll have after college. So the

best to play by ear on how much to write each

question I have to answer for myself is what

day. To add somewhat of a guideline I might

time should I work on organizing my emails?

aim to have 200-word quota a day but try my

Should I wake up and read them, should I do

best to do 300 and maybe I’ll extend that to

them between classes, or should I do them at

400-500 on the weekends.

night? Most likely I’m not going to give myself enough time to work on it when I wake up because I will be still half asleep. During the day between classes, I will probably be too busy preparing for the next class or eating. So, that leaves me with the night which still could be 9

On top of cleaning out my email, I have to plan out the writing of this book. At first I was thinking

So, to narrow down my solution I choose for writing this book, I decided that I’m going to for the most part work on it at night preferably right before I go to bed. I may lose a little sleep but it’s an easy time to remember to work for this is a documentation book after all. As for how

. ww w

many words I plan on doing a day, I choose to

on email. So that being said each one of my

try to write down at least 200 words but aim to

devices serves a different purpose of organizing

do 300 words. So, now that I narrowed down

my email.

a solution what I need now is the willpower to work on this project every night. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m hoping this solution will end up being successful and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m probably going to have to fit time in now and then to work on this during the day. As for cleaning out my email, I plan on not


As I mentioned earlier on the computer I can see which email accounts message me the most which will show me what the biggest causes are in my overstuffed inbox. So to start off with Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll look at all the different contacts from school that email me often. I have 69 emails

only using my computer but also my phone

from Communications, 71 emails from Study

because it is the fastest way to delete emails

Abroad, 101 from the school newsletter, and

out of all of my electronic devices. It is faster

101 from the bookstore. The bookstore is my

because I do not have to wait for a computer

biggest problem out of all my school email

to boot up and it offers me greater mobility. On

contacts because every time they have a sale

the computer, I have to painstakingly click on

they email the entire student body about it in


all the textboxes and then delete the messages.

Comic Sans type almost every time. Though

That being said, on the computer I can easily

I do get a lot of emails from school my other

tell how many emails I received from a single

accounts from the internet are even worse. I

account and then I can delete them all if they

have 55 emails from Fitbit, 253 from Linked

are junk mail which could be used as a good

In, 389 from Steam, and my worst e-mail contact

start on shrinking my inbox but that is only a

is Amazon at 612 e-mails! So my top 3 worst

temporary solution. The phone, on the other

accounts are Linked In, Steam, and Amazon.

hand, is much more mobile allowing me to or-

I get a lot of emails from Linked-In because

ganize my email just about anywhere with cell

every time the account recognizes a contact

service. So instead of going on social media for

I might know it messages me about it. Steam

15 minutes, I can go clean up my email instead.

which is digital video game distribution soft-

Even though I use the phone to delete emails

ware emails me every time one of the 168

I do not plan on using it for writing emails. Mainly

games on my wishlist goes on sale. And my

because of the poor auto correct on my phone

biggest email problem Amazon emails me

which makes it really difficult to be professional

just about every time I put something on my

wishlist, purchase something, and any mailing

establishing and after that, she suggests to do

notifications from items I purchased. So I can

a massive cleanup of your email. This being

delete all these emails but that still leaves me

the nitty gritty part of organizing your email and

with 2,292 unread emails and a total of 3,366

the reason my inbox got to be so bad because

e-mails in my inbox. Because email hoarding is such a big modern day problem I decided to do some research on the matter. An article I found on email hoarding from Huffington Post called, “Are You An Email Hoarder?” by, Rhonda Scharf gives tips on avoiding email hoarding. Scharf is an author, consultant, speaker, and trainer who helps

I keep avoiding this step. Scharf explains that scheduling mass clean ups is necessary in order to ever reach a normal inbox. The last step Scharf suggests is to purge your clean up or junk folders to actually clean out your inbox. Scharf believes that the best way to delete emails is all at once and after organizing all of the folders you won’t have to think twice about

om organizations with time management. Her main point was to create folders to sort emails such

as a “to-do” folder for your most important con-

tacts for work, school and a “clean-up” folder

deleting your emails. So Scharf gives email

hoarders four steps that are very simple to under-

stand which is what I’m establishing for my own process and goals for my own email problem.

where I would sort junk mail and then delete

Another good article from Outlook Marketing

a large quantity of it at a time. This is a much

Services called, “Dear Email Hoarder – You

different method then the phone one I planned

Don’t Have to Live This Way” by, Victoria

for myself as it requires me to mostly use my

Walden also goes through steps to break your

computer which could be really tedious for me

email hoarding habits. Walden is an Account

and could make me undetermined to solve my

Manager who works for Outlook Marketing

email problem. But should I consider creating a

Services which qualifies her as an expert in

few folders even if I only organize a few emails

business management. Walden opens up

in them? It is a matter of if I think I can delete

stating that, “If you have more than 500 emails

junk and sort out important emails without a

in your inbox, it’s time for you to de-clutter”.

folder. The question I have to answer is if the

And then goes into her advice on cleaning your

time it takes to set up folders going to pay off

inbox. She starts off telling you to deal with

in the long run? After creating folders Scharf

it now because the hoarding problem occurs

suggests to set up rules for yourself which I am

because you keep trying to deal with it later.


Next Walden suggests doing a sweep up of old

about three weeks until a routine feels natural.

emails that you definitely don’t need anymore

If you keep on stalling towards working on a

by searching for a time frame and doing a

new habit you’re basically making it impossible

mass delete. In general, you shouldn’t need

to make that habit a routine. Overall, Walden

to keep any emails that are over six months

used seven steps to explain her process of

old. The next two steps Walden goes over are

managing emails that are similar to Scharf’s

ones that Scharf already went over which is

four steps.

to create folders and then delete all of the emails you don’t need. The step after that is to unsubscribe to any newsletters or updates you don’t check often to prevent future clutter. Then Victoria explains that if you find yourself replying to the something to many people then creating automatic replies could be a faster alternative. This can be done by either copying or pasting a message or if it is that frequent you can use web browser extensions such as AutoHotkey, Lifehacker Texter, Thunderbird, or Quicktext.


What Walden said about software that can help create automatic replies for your email really struck me because I didn’t know that there is software out there that is designed to help organize email before. I looked more into it and found out that there are more programs that support email that goes beyond sending automatic replies. A program called Mailstrom actually is designed to help clean out your inbox. Mailstorm can be connected to email programs such as Gmail, Outlook, AOL, and iClould that supposedly let you either move,

For the sake of my goals, I didn’t think I will

archive, or delete hundreds or even thousands

have to worry about automatic replies because

of emails in an instant. Mailstorm also has

just about any similar message I would have

extra features such as an unsubscribe option

to send to multiple people would already be

towards mass email listings and newsletters,

part of a specific group. Most of the people I

a block sender/subject, daily or even weekly

send the same message to would be any of the

email reports, and can even set automatic

clubs and organizations I’m part of on-campus

rules to follow to consistently keep your email

which I already have groups for in my contacts.

clean. Mailstorm is able to do this by being

I do think this kind of thing would be useful for

connected to your email and will download cer-

getting back to people on vacation but as a

tain information from your messages such as

college student, I don’t really have a need for

the sender, date, and subject. With Mailstorms

automatic replies. The last part Walden writes

advance AI it is able to keep track of patterns

about is to create a new habit or rules for

of what mail is important and what mail should

establishing a healthy email routine. According

be trashed. Even if you delete something by

to Walden’s research and experience, “it takes

accident you can recover it within the next

around 21 days to form a new habit,” which is

couple of days before it is permanently deleted.

why her first step which is dealing with it now

Though using a program like this may sound

is so important because it could take up to

like a dream come true, I feel that using software

3,000 emails in my inbox, 3,000 emails are here,

take one down, pass it around, 2,999 emails in my inbox


like this is defeating the purpose of me finding

my email fast enough to solve the problem.

the discipline to organize email myself. This

So keeping up with this three-second rule is

is the kind of thing I would consider using as

sort of like playing a game of hot potato. This

a last resort if I basically find it impossible

rule with take time to follow it correctly but in

to keep up with my email otherwise. But for

the long run, it makes sense to be able to sort

this book I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be using any programs like

emails out quickly in order to keep up with

Mailstorm because I would be cheating myself

them every day.

out of being disciplined and the fact that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a monthly billed service. Other articles on physical hoarding actually relate to email hoarding just without the cleaning up the house part. Some people with a severe hoarding problem might be diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). According to the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF), generally, one in four people that are diagnosed with OCD have compulsive hoarding. This makes sense because the words obsessive and compulsive in OCD are also characteristics of hoarding. I am not trying to say that I have OCD or that you might have OCD if you have a hoarding problem, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m just trying to explain how serious this issue can be. Common physical things people hoard are objects such as paper, boxes, and clothing. Hoarding may end up causing an unsafe environment for your house and even cause conflict with your family. Some of the advice I found for solving physical hoarding I can consider using for my emails. A big one would be the three-second rule for deciding what I should do with my emails. This is not like the three-second rule for dropping food, in fact, it quite the opposite. I should be able to decide either which folder to place an email or to delete it in three seconds so I can clean out 15

mailstorm because you are too lazy to organize email yourself

Step 3 Choosing a Solution


Inbox (1,246) Starred Sent Mail Drafts (3) Boxbe Waiting List (... Notes More 18

- - - - - Step 3 - - - - After doing so research and beginning my

my email as often. So as a regular check-up of my

organization process I have come up with the

email would be to go down my inbox and delete

solution to try to spend a few minutes each

unneeded emails and then quickly reply to emails

night cleaning my email and any other time I

that are important when necessary. Most replies

spend checking my email. As for devices I plan

such only have to be a sentence long unless I have

on using my phone as well as my computer

to answer a few questions in the email. To give

even though I was thinking towards not using a

an example of this, if my client Jerry asked me

computer for organizing email at first I did end

to clarify if he sent me a specific file or not I can

up finding it useful after figuring out how to use

answer him with either yes you sent this already

loading folders and filters. Yes I was skeptical about

using folders at first but I found that taking the

But other times Jerry would ask me questions that

time to set up folders in fact saves me more

require more explaining then yes or no like what

time which is why I’m also using my computer

are PMS colors and which PMS colors are you

to check emails. The folders allow me to cat-

using. Replies like these in most cases can’t be

egorize some of a majority of emails I get and

done in a single functioning sentence so I had to

are a lot easier to manage on a computer than

explain what PMS is being a numbering system

a phone. So I will clean up emails in my folders

called Pantone Matching System which a num-

first and then I can go through my old emails

bered color system. The next sentence I gave

on my phone. Overall my solution for putting

an example of a Pantone's color and number. Then I

an end to my email hoarding is a very open

needed a third sentence to tell Jerry the Pantone

one. I mostly going to work on it at night but

colors I am using.

can work on it during the day when possible, going to work on multiple devices including my computer as well as my phone, and I am open to using folders, filters, and any other tools I come across that can benefit my organization process.


or no you haven’t, being a simple short sentence.

Replies that are only a few sentences long that I know the answer to won’t take too much time out of my daily email routine, but if I don’t know the answer to the question I might be better to figure out the answer sometime after you check your email and then get back with an answer the

Along with sorting email I have to try to make the

next time you check your email. I did this with

emails I send out are brief and to the point as

Jerry when he was expecting me to give him an

possible so I don’t get held up writing emails

estimate on how much a vector image I worked

instead of sorting them. Both writing and sort-

on should cost him. I didn’t have an immediate

ing emails go hand in hand when I’m writing

answer so I replied that I would have to get back

emails it would make sense to also delete emails

to him on an estimate. Afterwards, I research

during the same sitting so I won’t have to check

generally what designers should charge based


on their position and came to the conclusion

also to address the group properly and if the

that I should charge Jerry $100 for the vector

group doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have an official name make sure


to address them in a way they would like to

Emails that I have to send out to people can be problematic because of how time-consuming they can be. To give an example I am the president of YCP A.G.E.N.T.S. and at times I have to send mass emails to the club with a lot of information. This can be quite time-consuming and there is no real way to avoid it. So the few emails like those I should either write last or do at a different time from my normal organizing time altogether. Long emails I have to send to a mass group also require me to proofread, which is helpful to install Grammarly to your web browser to make the proofing process easier. For mass emails, you should also consider editing the structure of your email especially if you expect the reader or readers to read the whole thing. Make sure your message has the basic parts of a formal email which includes a greeting, opening statement, your purpose, closing remarks, thanking the readers, and a closing which is very similar to the structure of a written essay. To give a proper greeting make sure to formally pronounce the person or people you are addressing the message to. If you are sending a message to a professor or a co-worker make sure to address them correctly if by either Mr., Mrs., Prof., Dr., etc. This may sound like an obvious thing to include but many people do forget to properly address who they're sending their message to. Most people would agree that failure to properly address someone would be disrespectful so the same thing applies to email. If you are sending a message to a group make sure to 21

be addressed and be more inclined to read the email. If there are groups that you have to email often it would be a good idea to add those groups to your contacts so you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to think of how to address the group every time you compose an email to them. Now for your opening statement make sure to set up the purpose or main point of the message in no more than one or two sentences. You might even want to consider making your main point of your opening bold and a different color to grab the readerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attention. The main of the point of an opening can be a meeting time you just a fraise you want the readers to remember. In most cases, the opening should be its own paragraph unless the email is fairly short. For the purpose or body of the email, it is important to use multiple paragraphs unless the body is only a few sentences long. Breaking up the email in smaller paragraphs not only makes it easier to read quickly but also can help the reader remember the key points easier. Receiving a long email that is one single body of text can be frustrating when you are trying to read and respond to 20 plus other emails in one sitting. Like in the opening you may want to consider adjusting the key points to bold and a different color. Depending on how formal the email is you may want to adjust the rags of your message which are the uneven alignment of type on the right side of a message. If a line of type is much shorter than the rest of the message you might want to hyphenate the word to even it out. If it still looks off check if

Greeting { To The Reader,




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Closing Remarks

{ From, Matt Cates -Matthew Cates Graphic Design Major President of YCP A.G.E.N.T.S. (fmr. Comics Club) Treasurer of YCP Newman Club




you double spaced any words in your message.

message. For your closing be sure to write

Another thing to look out for is orphans, which

in an appropriate ending fraise such as thank

in type terminology means is a single word

you or sincerely. Try to avoid using a fraise like

on the last line of a paragraph. You should

from, later, or even worse just signing your

try to avoid having orphans in your message

name. This really just comes off as being

as much as possible by adjusting spacing,

lazy and besides if you start off strong you

hyphens, or just by changing the last sentence

should finish off strong too. Depending on

in a paragraph altogether. Remember that the

how formal the group is you also may want to

message is going to be squished on a tablet or

add a picture at the end of the message to

phone so be sure to adjust hyphens, spacing,

add further interest. Along with the signature,

and orphans on a desktop because if the mes-

you write in each message it would be in your

sage is formal enough to want to adjust such

best interest, if you have not already, to add

things your reader will most likely be viewing

an automatic signature at the end of every email

your message on a desktop.

you send out. You can create an automatic

The closing remarks like the opening should only be a sentence or two. In most cases, there shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be a need to add boldly or change colors since you are just wrapping up your

signature in your email accounts settings which sure include your name at the top in bold and below it any jobs or positions you hold at the moment. An automatic signature makes you

No signature Garamond





1 2 3

Matthew Cates Graphic Design Major President of YCP A.G.E.N.T.S. (fmr. Comics Club) Treasurer of YCP Newman Club

This what your singnature settings box looks like in G-mail.




look not only more professional but smarter to

845:1562. Overall the results are impressive

make your email message end off with a bang.

with four out of six people that responded have

Besides looking for research online I can also

zero unread messages, though it is technically

conduct some research of my own to further

five because one person had only one unread

understand my hoarding problem. For my own

message which means they still keep up with

research, I plan on creating an email surveyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

their email the same way as the other four.

to my classmates that are also creating their own documentation books. I created the survey through Survey Monkey and asked my classmates two sample questions being, how many unread emails are in your inbox right now? And the other being, how emails are in your inbox total? Out of the nine people I sent the survey to six responded back within only a few hours which is especially impressive since I sent the survey around 8 at night. From the ratio of unread emails to total emails the answers were 0:534, 0:1256, 1:50, 0:52, 0:175, and

So that leaves me with the question that is what are my peers doing that I am not in their daily email cleanup. Is it second nature for them to clean up their emails? What do the five people that keep up with their email regularly do differently than the one person that has 845 unread messages? How many emails do the people who didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even answer my survey have? Most likely I wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find all the answers of those questions even if I ask each of my classmates so what can I get out of this. So by having zero emails in my inbox is my goal by

How many unread emails are in your inbox right now?

How many emails are in your inbox total?












534 24

the time Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m finished writing this book which

accounts is none of their business and that

means I can take something from this survey

I should just be focused on my own goals. But

as I move ahead. This goal doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just apply

my classmates like any other graph designer

to have zero emails in my inbox just because

are my competition and something as little as a

it would look good at the end of my book but to

spelling error is the difference from being hired

continue to keep my inbox clean consistently

or not so dose organization. So I will consider

like most of my classmates. That means once

this as a warning that I might be behind the

I do get down to zero emails in my inbox I will

competition in some ways and it is my job to

still have to read and delete as many on incom-

catch up.

ing emails as possible can. In a sense it may seem like how other people manage their email

Do you look at your email trash bin half-empty or half-full? 25


Step 4 Using Your Solution


Inbox (645) Starred Sent Mail Drafts (3) Boxbe Waiting List (... Notes More 28

- - - - - Step 4 - - - - Now that I’m clear on my solution and have

easier to understand how your email program

completed research from both experts of email

works when you do go on your own to figure

management as well as my peers I am in the

it out.

guts of my step by step process of cleaning up my email. The only thing that can get in my way of achieving my goal is the temptation to put it off. Having a plan dose defiantly help but without the will power to pull through with it basically makes any plans that you have pointless. Finding and maintaining the willpower to follow through with cleaning up a hoarding problem is the hardest part because the only real advice you can get on the matter is to do it. This is something you have to figure out completely on your own which can sound scary. But the good thing is that you are heading on the right direction to find your own determination because the fact you picked up this book and read though it this far already means that you are admitting that you have a problem and that you serious about fixing it. So let’s stay focused on the issue at hand so our inboxes can feel brand new once again. Now I will explain the actual process I am going to use to clean up my emails. My main email account that I use for school is Gmail so I will be explaining how my process works for that program. Most of the major email programs should have a similar process but if they happen to not you may have to do some of your own research. But even if you do use another email program that has such settings that seem too different from Gmail I suggest that you still pay attention to my process because it will make it 29

First I’ll go over the basic way to delete emails in Gmail even though it may seem like such an obvious thing to do it is necessary in order to understand the other settings in Gmail. To delete emails go to your inbox and click the checkbox to the far left of the email you want to delete. You can delete as many emails that show up on the current page you are on at a time. Once you click all of the checkboxes in the current page you are in click the button with the trash can icon to delete your messages. To delete older emails from another page click on the right-arrow button on the top right of the page you are on and repeat the process I just explained. Now for deleting emails on the phone, I will be using an iPhone so I will be explaining how to delete emails on iOS. Under the mail app press “edit” on the top-right corner, then a circle will appear on the left side so tap all of the circles of emails you want to delete. After that tap “move” on the button-center of the screen and a new screen will pop up so tap the “trash” box that’s towards the center of the screen. Lastly, this will bring you to one more screen which you will press edit like before and tap “delete all” at the bottom-right corner. So there you have it the basic way to delete emails in Gmail which is fairly easy to understand but can take a very long time to get rid of a hoarding problem. This is why I ended up resulting in


check boxes of emails> trashcan> right arrow> repeat


edit> circles of emails> move> trash> edit> delete all

labels settings> labels> create new label> please enter new label name> create>

tap edit> tap the circles of emails> tap move> tap trash> tap edit> tap delete all

filters 31

using other methods such as folders and filters

of your label if it is messages from a single

to help myself make a good dent in my inbox be-

person you can call the label their name. If

fore having to go delete each email one by one. It also occurred to me that making folders would be a good idea because I use folders to divide notes and handouts from different classes so it makes sense to do the same for my email. So with the help of some tutorials on online, I figured out how to set up a folder in my email. I will be explaining how to do this in Gmail since that is my main email account I use for school. If you use another email program such as Yahoo and AOL you should have a similar organizing system but if it dose happen to be drastically different than Gmail you may have to consider looking through some tutorials like

the label is a group of email addresses such as the different departments of your school or company you work for you might want to call the message school news or business messages. After you name your label there is another option called, “Nest label under” which lets you decide where you want to place this label on the list of all your labels but if you are following this tutorial you have most likely never created a label before so you won’t have to worry about it for now so just click create at the bottom. There you have it you have created a label but we are not done yet because the label has no messages in it.

I did. So in Gmail folders are actually called

In order to connect any email addresses you

labels because it places a colored label on a

receive towards a label, you have to add a

specific category of the message such as an

filter to the label. To do this you have to click

email address.

on, “Filters and Blocked Addresses” at the top

You can create labels in Gmail under the settings button on the top right. Under the settings, you will see many different options that seem overwhelming and if you are anything like me you probably haven’t touched any of them. Don’t panic! The settings are not as bad as they seem and if you follow my simple instructions you will be on your way to having a cleaner and a better understanding of how to fully utilize your email account. So under the settings click on labels this is in blue lettering, at the top of the page. Towards the bottom of the page click on the button that says, “Create new label”. This will open up a separate box which you have to fill out. At the top, it says “Please enter a new label name” and fill in the name of your label on the given type box below. As for the name

of the settings page in blue lettering. Under the filters page click on “Create a new filter” which is in blue lettering in the center of the page. This will open up a new box and at the top where it says “From” type the email address or addresses you want to be connected to the label you’re creating. There are many other options below but you do not have to worry about them unless you only want specific emails from the email address or addresses your connecting to your label. After that click on “Create filter with this search” which is on the bottom right of the filters box will bring you to another page of options. Like the page before, there is only one option, you have to worry about unless you wish to categorize your label beyond email addresses. Click on the checkbox next to 32

“Apply the label” and then click the box to the right of it and select the label you want to apply

then select the color you want that label to be.

the filter to. Once you click the blue button

By changing you label colors you can now find

that says “Create filter” at the bottom you have

your most important emails without having to

created your filter.

read through all the messages in your inbox.

You now have your filter but you notice that none of the email message you connected the filter to be in your label this is because the filter is only set to automatically connect mail that immediately reaches your inbox. But do not threat, there is an easy fix to get those old messages connected to your label. First go back to your inbox and type in one of the email addresses in your inbox’s search bar at the top you wanted to be connected to the label you recently made. Here only the emails you received from that email address will show up. At the top of the page click the checkbox to select all of the messages on the page. Then a bunch of buttons will appear at the top of the page click on the button that has a tag on it and then selects the label you want to connect these messages to. Now those messages are connected to your label but if the messages from the email address you selected extend

It is also a good idea to create labels of frequent messages you receive from other accounts you have online so you can delete them easier and even decide if you should just unsubscribe to some of them that just aren’t important for you to keep. To find out which of your online accounts send you the most emails you can do what I mentioned earlier by typing them in the search bar of your inbox and writing down the number of emails that comes out from the results. So if some of your labels are all full of junk mail you can get rid of all of them at once by clicking on your label, then clicking the checkbox at the top of the page, and then the trash can button will appear at the top which you can click to get rid of all those emails at once. Like I mentioned earlier if the label exceeds one page you have to click on the right arrow at the top and then repeat the deleting process until the label is empty.

beyond one page you will have to click on the

So now that you know how to properly use the

right arrow button on the top right of the page

folders/labels and filters you are on your way

and repeat the step mentioned in this paragraph. The more folders or labels you have the easier it will be to reply to emails as well as delete them. It is crucial to have folders or labels of all the addresses you regularly have to check and respond to. You can differentiate labels in Gmail even further by color coding each of your labels. You can do this in your inbox by clicking on the arrow next to the label you want to change so then look through the first 33

option that comes up which is label color and

to becoming a more organized email user. The more folders or labels you have the less time you have to spend deleting emails individually. So if you have 10 to 20 or even more folders/ labels in your inbox then the number of emails you can instantly delete could easily exceed over 1,000! Like I mentioned earlier I was able to do this with some of the email accounts that message me the most often and I can confidently say that not only it was a huge

We hope you found this message to be useful. However, if you rather not receive future e-mails of this sort from, please unsubscribe here

Unsubscribe at the buttom of your trouble-some emails!!!








delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed





delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed



delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed









delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed



delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 delete 30 emails emails before bed before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 emails before bed

delete 30 delete 30 emails emails before bed before bed




Even if it is the same task everyday write out and check off your plan



relief but also motivated me to keep working

and make sure I work on cleaning my email as

on cleaning out my inbox. It is crucial to do

well as send or respond to any messages that

what is necessary to keep yourself motivated

need an urgent answer.

to clean up your email and the more you check up on your email the faster you will be able to reply back to people. Even though fully utilizing your email can seem to be an overwhelming amount of work often one good habit can make it easier to start another good habit like what I mentioned a few times already which is how deleting messages and replying to messages go hand-to-hand.

I leave the number of emails that I delete every day fairly open as long as I delete more messages per day then messages I receive per day. During the weekdays I receive an average of 15 emails a day and five a day on the weekends. This won’t ever be a problem as long as I spend a few minutes deleting emails each day. Since deleting emails won’t be a problem I can still use the average emails I get a day and

Now that I told you how I organize my email

subtract them by the average of emails I delete

next I’m will go through the steps of my daily

a day then divide that by the total messages in

process of organizing my email. I am not trying

my inbox to get an estimate of how many days

to say that my daily process it’s the best way

it would take me to reach zero messages in

to organize your email but it works for me and

my inbox. As an equation, this process would

if you can’t find a stable process to efficiently

be “total emails divided by (emails deleted sub-

check your email every day then it wouldn’t be

tracted from emails received)”. This process is

a bad idea to try to follow my process to see if

similar to a business selling a product and how

it works for you. So even though I mentioned

they subtract the sales by the manufacturing

earlier that I clean my emails mainly during

cost to find out the profit. To give an example,

nighttime I still have to check my email every

if I have 2,000 messages in my inbox and I

morning for important messages I may need

receive an average of 15 messages a day as

for that day such as any urgent reminders or

well as delete 30 a day it would take me about

cancellations. At this time I may need to reply

133 days to reach zero messages. So if I want

to an important message or two but for the

to reach my goal of zero messages in less than

most part, I should be able to save my replies

133 days I will have to delete more messages

for later in the day when I might need to write

per day. If I then increase the number of emails

my own message to an individual or group.

I delete a day to be an average of 65 I would

If time prevails in the morning I then will start

have 50 fewer emails in my inbox a day and

to look through my labels for any mail I can

it will only take me 40 days to reach my goal.

delete and then delete any unnecessary emails

If you do want to reach your email hoarding

in my inbox. Throughout the afternoon if I have

goals by a certain date then that is an affiant

a few minutes to spare then I may go through

way of going about it. It may also help to write

deleting old messages on my phone. Then that

the number of emails you want to delete each

leaves night time when I put the pedal down

day in a planner as a reminder. 36

Step 5 Reviewing Your Solution


Inbox (0) Starred Sent Mail Drafts (3) Boxbe Waiting List (... Notes More 38

- - - - - Step 5 - - - - So know that we are at final step hopefully you are have reached your goals or are on your

that you are using to reach your inbox goals is

way to reaching them. If you have not been

going to work in the long run? Changes in your

so successful in reaching your goals what is

schedule such as starting a new semester or

preventing you from doing so? Were you unable

finding a new job can very well require you to

to plan a time to clean up your email that works

change the time you organize your email and

for you? Did you write out a plan and forget

may also require you to delete more emails in

to check it or even worse forget to write out a

one sitting. Many job positions today require

plan in the first place which is something that

an email address that is to be used within the

I would often do. You may want to go back to

company. Juggling another email account will

the previous steps in this book to create a new

defiantly make you slip into bad habits again if

plan that hopefully, you can follow through.

you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make room for some adjustments in

Like I mentioned before you might need to do

your plan for organizing your email. When you

some research on your own especially if you

are planning a new schedule for a new semester

do not use Gmail to make sure you are fully

or job keep in mind when would be a good

utilizing your email account. I suggest that you

time for you to check and organize your email.

do evaluate your plan if necessary and after

There isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t much more advice I can give you on

you have a better grasp and then go back to

changing your email schedule without knowing

this part of the book since I will be going over

your school or work schedule but it is a similar

how to maintain a clean and organized email

change to cleaning out your email in the first

after this point.

place. A big change in your schedule can take

So now that your email is starting to finally clean up nicely how are you going to keep it that way? It would be such a waste if you were able to accomplish your email goals with the help of this book and then afterward you slowly slip into the same hoarding habits you had


about maintaining your email is if the strategy

some time to get used to which can lead to a struggle towards organizing your email. Just remember you only fail to organize your email if you completely give up on trying working on it, so push through it and you should eventually adjust to the changes.

before picking up this book. So you are going

So if you do end up having to manage multiple

to have to think ahead of what it is going to be

email accounts at once how are you going

required of you to maintain your email account

manage them around your other work and

organized. This may require similar research

obligations that you have? Luckily there is a

that you might have done for the prior steps

way to manage multiple emails in the same

of your email cleansing process. The main

place through Gmail. If you do not have a Gmail

thing that you have to consider when going

and use an email program that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have

settings> fowarding and pop/imap> configuration instructions> follow instructions on the other site


email accounts


profile> change> select photo

the option to include mail from your other email

Gmail and probably most other email servers

accounts than you should consider using an

the profile is just a small circle that pops up

email client such as Outlook or Thunderbird to

next to your email address when someone

manage your accounts. So to link your other

searches for your email address. Make sure

email accounts to Gmail you first have to go

that you don’t use a full body shot of yourself

to your own inbox and then click the settings

because no one will be able to recognize that

tab at the top right. At the top of the page click

it is you. So your email profile shouldn’t go on

on the tab in blue lettering that says “Forward-

your shoulders and preferably with just your

ing and POP/IMAP”. Click on the circle that

face. Make sure that the picture does look

says “Enable POP for all mail” and then click

professional especially if it is a profile picture

configuration instructions. Then you will be

for your work email address and if your job

taken to another screen where Gmail will give

requires you to dress business formal.

you instructions to add your Gmail account to the other email account you are connecting to bring things full circle. After following these instructions you should have full access to all your accounts through Gmail.

To add a profile picture on Gmail go to your inbox and click on the circle to the top far right that most likely has the initial of your first name. After that, a tab will pop up so click on “Change” at the bottom of the circle that pops

Also, make sure that you are completely repre-

up. Then a new box will pop up giving you

senting yourself in your email account. By com-

three choices to put up a profile picture which

pletely representing yourself I am not saying to

are upload photos, your photos, and photos

put your home address or any other personal

of you. Upload photos let you drag a photo

information up there for all the world to see but

into the profile photo box or choose a photo

to fully utilize all the settings to represent your-

from your computer, your photos let you a select

self more clearly and professionally on email.

photo that you sent or uploaded to your Goo-

If you do get a new job or a new position of some

gle account, and photos of you are photos

sort make sure to update your signature to

that are on your google account that Google

avoid confusion from the other email accounts

recognizes. Choose the option that works best

you interact with. Another important thing that I

for you and then select your profile picture.

haven’t mentioned yet is making sure that you

A good profile picture doesn’t just make you

have a profile image on your email account.

look better on email but also helps people find

For the longest time, I put off putting a profile

your email address faster without having to

picture on my email because I never considered

type or read out your full email address. Since

email to be anything like social media. But then

you are trying to go through your emails as fast

after seeing my picture-less profile in so many

and efficient as possible it is only fair to do the

email groups that all had pictured profiles, I

same to everyone else by making it easy to

felt that I stood out in a bad way like that one

navigate your email account.

student who didn’t do their homework. So on 42

- - - - - Conclusion - - - - From:<> Dear Reader, I would like to thank everyone for reading this book and I hope you got some good advice out of it too. As for moving on with organizing your email, there are other tips and tricks outside this book that can benefit your inbox even though I covered a so much. The five-step process I explained in this book can be used to solve other problems you may have. It is a universal process that has really worked for me and hopefully will for you too. Remember to forward this book to anyone else you know that wants to improve their email organization skills. Thanks for reading, Matt Cates


- - - - - Sources - - - - 1. 2. 3. Scharf, Rhonda. “Are You An Email Hoarder?” Linkedin, 26 Sept. 2016, 4. Walden, Victoria. “Dear Email Hoarder-You Don’t Have to Live This Way.” Outlook Marketing Services, 2 Aug. 2017,



Conquer E-Mail Hoarding: With Tips and Tricks From an Actual E-mail Hoarder  

Documentation book from publication design course.

Conquer E-Mail Hoarding: With Tips and Tricks From an Actual E-mail Hoarder  

Documentation book from publication design course.