Email can be exciting. It can connect us to people and sometimes it can even bring us great opportunities. However, it can be a drain on our time and easily get out of control. So here are some ways that you can sprinkle magic on your email inbox.
Keep your inbox empty
Having an inbox full of emails can be really stressful, as they just play on our mind. So try to keep your inbox empty. Then emails that arrive can be found easily and dealt with, rather than having to search through a big list to find things.
How out of control is your inbox? Do you think it has gone past the point of salvage? Will it take hours to get it in some sort of order? If the answers to these questions are very, yes and yes, then just delete the lot! It will make you feel better and you can then start being more organised. You will save lots of time and stress; if anyone really wants an answer they will email you back again.
Look at it and deal with it
It is tempting to look at an email, then get distracted and get caught up doing something else, leaving the email to sit there, until the next time you look at it and may be the next time… So try this instead, open an email, review it and then action it straight away. It might take some effort to start working like this, but it will save you time and energy.
Have a separate sign up email address
If you wish to subscribe to a newsletter or another service that is non urgent, use another email. This will keep these emails out of your main inbox, allowing you to focus on them when you have time.
Assess and prioritise/categorise
When an email comes in you can;
- Respond. If you can respond to the email immediately and quickly, then do it right away.
- Action/Task. Will it take a bit longer? Do you need to do an associated task? If so add it to your to do list.
- Delete. If you don’t need it in your life, delete it.
Unsubscribe where possible
Every time a subscription type email comes in, ask yourself if you really need to read it? If not, click the unsubscribe and remove your details. If there’s not an unsubscribe option mark it as spam.
If you get notifications from websites such as paypal, set up a rule that makes all the @paypal.com emails go straight into a separate folder that you can look through at your leisure.
Schedule time to attend to your inbox
Make sure you schedule in regular time to keep on top of your emails, to prevent them getting out of hand.
Keep an external to-do list
Often an email will sit in our inbox as it needs us to do another task, if this is the case, create an external to do list and then archive the email.
Decide what time to check your email
Some people swear by checking their inbox first thing in the morning; while others focus on other tasks, leaving emails until later in the day. There is no right or wrong way, but through trial and error you will find out what works better for you.
There is going to be some emails you want to respond to, but remember to be concise. They don’t need war and peace, just a few short, concise sentences.
Use Gmail labels
If you are a Gmail user, then you need to use Labels, one email can have multiple labels, but it can only be put into one folder. So labels give you more options. You can apply Labels manually to specific messages or you can use Filters to automatically apply them. Labels combined with filters allows you to pre-sort your emails and organize your inbox automatically.
Canned responses or Auto text
Do you say the same thing again and again? You can stop having to type the text out each time by using the “Canned Responses” option in gmail. Pre-type your responses, insert your response of choice into the email, edit if necessary and send. If you not on gmail, just google Autotext and install one, this will do the same thing for you.
Do you have any tips for taming your email inbox?