Let’s keep email productive and efficient.
In today’s world, we are more connected than ever. It can be overwhelming and hard to keep up with everything. There are way too many ways for people to get a hold of us, and it is not uncommon that people miss messages and don’t reply.
Take what you need, but here are my best practices on how I manage my email inboxes. This is how I make sure I get back to people in a timely manner, and I utilize my email inbox in an efficient & productive way.
I rarely leave emails unanswered. If I do, it’s probably because I am screening you – just kidding.
Just send me another one, I probably missed it like every other human out there.
CREATE MULTIPLE EMAIL ADDRESSES WITH THEIR OWN PURPOSE.
I have three email address and access to more for different purposes.
- personal gmail: all subscriptions, bills, and communication with friends and family
- personal hotmail: all the junk mail. I use this email if I need to sign up for something and know that I will get spammed.
- business email: all my work related communications.
When I started my business, I knew the only way I could make sure to stay on top of everything was to have a separate email.
I even have them on different apps on my phone. I use the gmail app for my work email and the apple mail app for my personal email addresses. This way I can choose when to check my work emails and when to check my personal. It helps keep my life separate.
If you have kids, I suggest you start a joint email for all their communication and activities. Even better? Start one for each of them that they can use when they’re old enough.
CREATE AND USE FOLDERS.
I have more folders than you can imagine in all my email inboxes.
This makes it easy to find and keep my primary inbox clean and uncluttered. I can’t tell you how to categorize your folders, but for business, I have a folder for each client and even some subfolders if required.
The fewer emails you have sitting in your inbox, the better you will feel. Especially when you don’t have thousands of unread emails.
USE YOUR INBOX AS YOUR TO-DO LIST
Any email that comes in that requires a reply or action or anything from me, I flag it right away. This helps me keep track of what I still need to do. If I get an email and there is nothing for me to do, I move it to the appropriate folder.
EMAIL OR BCC YOURSELF
I am so forgetful, doing a million things at the same time and my mind is almost always full of thoughts swirling around. I email myself reminders all the time. It can be as simple as emailing someone to follow up.
Because I use my email inbox as my to-do list, when I open my email inbox to do work I see the reminder to myself and it reminds me what I need to do.
Once you have dealt with the email, move it to the appropriate folder so it does not stay in your inbox. Every so often, I will go through my inbox just to take a look at what is still outstanding from awhile back.
DELETE, DELETE, UNSUBSCRIBE.
Delete emails you have read and no longer need reference. Delete the emails you know you won’t ever read. Unsubscribe to that email list that provides no value to you.
I definitely need to get better at hitting that “unsubscribe” button on things I never read.
I always think I will read it later and guess what? I never do. I definitely have that FOMO (fear of missing out) feeling with some emails, even though they sit unread in my inbox for far too long. I have a habit of deleting emails I know I won’t ever read, but really I should just unsubscribe if I catch myself deleting them anyways as they come in.
Once in a while, I take some time to just clean out my inbox by deleting, moving, reading, and unsubscribing.
If you are anything like me, it’s a pretty satisfying feeling to just declutter. Try it out.
After sharing these best practices, it’s given me a healthy reminder that I need to keep things as organized as possible and take my own advice. I hope these tips are helpful to keep your inbox life under control.