The Easy Way to Filter Out Unimportant Emails While You're on Vacation

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An inbox full of spam is the scourge of productivity—and going on vacation only makes digital clutter worse. Want to stay in the loop at work while keeping your notifications to a manageable level? Instead of spending getaways chained to your iPhone, take advantage of its handy, easy-to-miss filter menu to keep unimportant messages at bay.

Spotted by Travel + Leisure, this filter menu helps users keep tabs on messages from co-workers or bosses but ignore messages about fire drills, printer paper shortages, and broken coffee machines.

To access the filters, open the Mail app and click on your desired inbox. At the bottom left corner, you’ll see a circle with three lines in it. If you tap it, you’ll automatically filter for unread email, and all of your already-opened messages will disappear. And if you click on the word "Unread" that now appears at the bottom of the screen, you'll be taken to a screen with more filtering options. You can choose to see only your unread messages, your flagged messages, or messages sent directly to you (rather than ones you were cc'ed on). But most usefully, you can choose to see only emails from "VIP" contacts. You'll just have to do a bit of leg work designating important co-workers and clients as VIP before you jet off. (You just find the person in your contact list and hit "Add to VIP.")

The best part? All of these filters can be mixed and matched, allowing you to spend less time checking email and more time sunbathing. And if you’re looking to customize your inbox even further, tech website MakeUseOf has a few good suggestions for organizing your inbox in Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook. That way, you can sort categories like newsletter subscriptions, messages from family members, social media notifications, and business emails, while deleting or marking spam emails.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]