Has managing your email become the bane of your existence, leading to anxiety, lost messages, missed deadlines? Well, Fast Company contributor Zach Hanlon says you really need only 5 email folders.

He recommends organizing your folders by deadlines, instead of subjects or projects. He also says stop using your inbox as a to-do list. Emails should stay in your Inbox only as long as it takes you to move them to one of five folders – unless it requires an immediate response, of course. Here are the 5 folders Hanlon says you need in order to stay in control.

  • A “Today” folder for everything that requires a response today.
  • A “this week” folder for anything that needs a response by the end of the week.
  • Depending on your job, you may have a “this month” or a “this quarter” folder.
  • And, finally, an “FYI” folder for items you may need to refer to again.

For more of Hanlon’s email management tips, click here.

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