When it comes to managing your email inbox, how you keep track of the flow of what’s coming and going says a lot about your personality type. For some folks, keeping the email count neat and tidy is second nature, they’re amazing at making sure everything gets responded to, files get moved to specific locations, and all communication gets wrapped up promptly. Most of us are most definitely not those people.

Then there are those mystical unicorn people who keep the inbox at zero. That’s just madness, but there are personality types who pull it off. They respond, file, and delete emails with an exacting fluency that’s a work of art. But, for the rest of the known universe, managing the inbox can be a little bit of a struggle, and before you know it, the unread messages, spam, and unfinished business can creep up into the hundreds.

Fighting through those email chains that seem to never, ever stop, even though the project is over, is getting a lot easier. A few tools and apps are streamlining the inbox and help navigate all of those emails asking didja get that thing I sentcha?”

But, if you focus, you can do it. You can get your inbox moving faster than ever. Some of these might take a little work, but in the end, you’ll be glad you did it.

   Hit The Unsubscribe Button

One of the most common ways an inbox gets bloated is by all of the emails you don’t want. Sure, you might think about checking out the new shirts from that company you bought a hoodie from once, but really, you’ll delete the email after a day or so.

Thankfully, there’s a button or at least a link at the bottom of every email letting you opt out. Click it. Get out. There’s no need for you to delete the same chain letter from your gym every other day. While it is enticing to know that new members can join up for free, it’s not exactly something you need to read.

There’s even an app called Unroll.me that’ll do most of the dirty work for you. Unroll.me scans your inbox and pulls those annoying subscriptions together so you can decide what’s worth keeping and deleting.

   Turn On The Priority Inbox

If you’re a Gmail user, there’s a button to turn on your priority inbox, so messages marked essential or from a frequent collaborator will come through at the top. It’s an easy way to see the proverbial cream rise against the stuff you wish people would save for the chat room.

   Try UMuse

Well, what do you know? We happen to help inboxes get a lot less cluttered and make communication easier. If you’re a Slack user, UMuse lays on top of your account, pulling all of your Gmail messages into one place, right into the chat window. This way, you can keep all of their email accounts moving in one place, in one window. Just think: one less tab to click.

   Use The Mute Button

Another feature in Gmail that works wonders is the “Mute” button. Much like an annoying group text that’s blowing up your phone, you can mute those email threads that never stop. Check on them whenever you wish, but the notifications and visible emails won’t be front and center.

   Call or Text or Walk By Their Desk

It’s easy to get buried in emails, especially if you’ve got co-workers who need to go over notes from the meeting, AGAIN. Or if someone keeps asking the same question, just in a different form.

If you’re in the office, it might make things easier if you opted for in-person chats vs. exchanging emails if you’re only a room, or even a few feet away. Plus, we all know the importance of face time in any industry.

When you’re not in an office, calling or texting is still a powerful way to communicate quickly.

By jumping on a phone call, you can ask questions, get context, and offer opinions that may not be translated correctly via email. Chances are, a phone call or at least a rapid-fire text session may save you a lot of legwork and won’t clog up your inbox.

Want to learn more about how to tweak your office productivity? Check out the Umuse blog for more office hacks.