3 WAYS TO TAME (AND MAINTAIN!) YOUR EMAIL INBOX
How many hours a day do you spend in your inbox? According to studies, the average worker spends anywhere from 11-30 hours per week in their email. It's so easy to get wrapped up in this mundane work task with so much of our communication being online.
I don’t know about you, but I am all about increasing productivity. It’s time to work smarter, not harder. If you’re looking for ways to relieve stress, save time and become more productive in your inbox, look no further. I’m going to share my go-to tricks for taming (and maintaining) your email inbox.
ORGANIZE CURRENT EMAILS
Want to organize your emails without spending hours combing through hundreds or thousands of messages? Start by archiving everything that is 30+ days old. This will make the task less daunting and the emails will still be available, should you need to reference them. Sort through the remaining emails one by one – add a label, archive or delete.
Create email folders that make sense for you. If you’re an avid online shopper, you may want to keep a folder for pending orders or refunds. If you’re a freelancer, you may want to keep a current projects folder for each client. The best part? Folders are flexible and will change and grow over time.
CREATE A PLAN FOR NEW EMAILS
Did you know that your emails can sort themselves?! Utilize email filters to keep your incoming messages organized. Let’s say you have a folder for newsletters you want to read. You can set up a filter that lands incoming newsletters directly into this folder! Not only does it prevent inbox overwhelm, the newsletters will be ready for you when you intentionally take the time to read them.
It is so easy to spend the days consuming content, so I recommend choosing 2-3 of your favourite newsletters and hitting unsubscribe on the rest. This goes for any unwanted emails and promotions too.
Plan to take a few minutes every day to add labels (if applicable), archive messages with no further action required and delete messages that are not relevant.
IMPLEMENT SYSTEMS TO SAVE YOU TIME
How are you currently using your email? Once you define the purpose of your inbox, it will become easier to keep things organized. Remember, email is a means of communication, not a digital filing system for all of your important data. What are you spending the most time on? Figure out your biggest pain points and solve them.
Here are some things to consider:
Are you manually copying information from your email to your project management system? Programs like Trello and Asana have email capabilities to streamline the transfer of important information from your email. Utilize them to save you time!
Is there anything you can do today to set you up for success tomorrow? If you send out weekly team memos, create and save an email list for quick access. If you are manually typing out welcome emails for new clients, draft and save templates. If you're forgetting to follow up with clients, schedule reminders.
Are there any communications that can be automated? Many CRMs have powerful workflow features that help automate the client process. You can send out emails, forms and invites based on actions such as booking a discovery call, purchasing a product or registering for a class.
Are you ready to serve at a higher level? Consider outsourcing your email management or email marketing! This will free up your time so you can spend it on what matters most, like growth and strategy.
There you have it! Those are my go-to tips on how to tame (and maintain) your email inbox, relieving you stress and saving you time. Did I miss anything?! I’d love to hear your favourite email tips below.