How do you manage your email inbox?
My inbox has gradually been getting overwhelming and I am finding that dealing with email is taking up a larger and larger portion of my day though I don't think it is the most efficient use of my time. Any tips on how to manage my inbox?
Hi Ms. Ostrosky,
With customers, use the cloud. With others, request them to go to the cloud if is a professional engagement. My customer emails have gone down by 90 $ with the cloud management strategy and so has the memory needs for the files.
You can control it if you are an independent freelancer. If it is a corporate employee situation, there are tools to filter and screen emails based on priority that one can set up on most email products available.
Good luck and happy email management!
I suggest you look for in internet everything about the method GTD (get the things done).. there are many steps and tools to improve your productivity..
Hi, Jen. I would suggest setting up folders, and having a separate account for things like signups, newsletters, etc., so that your important business emails come to your main account, and don't get lost among the other emails that you can read later, like newsletters.
You can also set up rules in your email client, so emails coming in are automatically routed to certain folders based on the sender, subject, etc., which will also save you time by having less sorting to do. I would also set aside a block of time or two each day, just to go through your email, and don't go beyond that time. A block of time at the beginning of the day, and/or one near the end of the day, should let you keep up with anything important, without having to worry about missing it. I hope this helps!
I had this problem before and I solved it using automation provided by Microsoft Outlook.
1- create folders for each company/person you're receiving emails from
2- create rules (from Actions menu), you can configure the rule to move messages coming from certain domains "@domianname.com" to one of the folders you've created.
3- set up the rule to run automatically whenever a message arrives at your inbox
4- run the rule immediately after creation, this will perform the configured process on current items in the inbox.
It worked for me :)
I suggest trying to keep your Inbox empty by not allowing the emails to linger. Once you check an email, act on it by either replying, deleting, referring, or filing. Also, sending out less emails will help, especially those conversational emails that would be better communicated via phone or online chat. Finally, unsubscribe to newsletters and such that you rarely read. Most info received by email from such sources can be acquired by other means (RSS feeds, internet search, etc.).
I see email as one of the way we receive information, which needs to be converted to ToDo.
Managing inbox works best for me to take actionable item out of the email into a system(custom system based on GTD), which I follow to track all items to followup/act on.
In addition, I tag email based on context (again based custom version of GTD by David Allen), for quickly being able to chunk up next actions at any given time.
I have multiple emails. one for general important business (and NEVER use it to sign up for anything online)/ one for all social media sites and learning via groups etc. / one for other stuff / junk.
I only deal with my main email during the day... the rest is icing on the cake and I get to it when I can... but they are easier to sift through as a group (i.e. will delete ALL linkedin / FB mail if I just didn't have time that month).
My method to review emails frequently. I use emails far more than phone calls. This allows the formation of threads to which I can refer over time. Threads are useful to remind people about their commitment to deliverables. This includes me. I have about 60 folders to which I assign all emails which have been read. The greatest of these is trash.
Finally, I have gmail and have the spam filters set quite tight. I try to keep the current emails upon which I have not acted, to a single page as my action list.
I think all of the suggestions here are good - but they all suggest ways to manage an already large inbox. What I have been trying to do is reduce the amount of messages coming into my box, and better process the messages I do get.
My basic / new principle is this: e-mail is a graveyard for important information. It's good for an initial communication, but nothing beyond that. Most of the information that fills up an inbox dies there because you cannot deal with it at time of entry.
So instead, when a message comes in, delegate it to the program you use for that task. For example, if you get a communication from a new business prospect, that should get added to your CRM and/or sales pipeline database, and then delete it from your inbox. If it's a client request, it should be added to your support ticketing system, and then deleted from the inbox. An appointment goes in your calendar, and so on.
Those purpose-built tools will help you properly track and process your e-mails quickly. Instead of leaving it in the inbox or moving to another folder, where it will be forgotten. You will never be able to clear every issue that comes into your inbox immediately, so instead delegate it quickly and delete it.
The other thing you could try to do is subscribe to RSS feeds rather than e-mail subscriptions. You will get all the same information, but it won't clog your inbox. Let's face it - how often do you have time to go back into your inbox and read subscriptions from months ago? And why would you, when it is then out of date?
Hope that helps a little!