Emails can easily become a waste of your valuable time if they are not managed correctly. So it is up to us to find a way to keep track of all our emails. It can be a dreadful feeling when you turn on your smartphone or laptop, and you see the seemingly inevitable; a disorganized email inbox. The emails may be made up of colleagues who may need answers to some questions, supervisors who need replies, spam mails, different types of advertisements, or even from casual friends who you meet frequently or haven’t seen in a long time. So how do you handle such an onslaught of incoming emails before it becomes overwhelming? Personally, my email inbox wasn’t always as tidy and organized as it is now. I had to learn a few tips on how to organize my emails and keep my inbox under control.
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There are a lot of suggestions online about how one can manage an inbox and communicate effectively with emails. The only problem is some of them are not as effective and practical as they ought to be. However, in this blog, I will be discussing some practical ways we can make things work, ways that can help our inbox management skills and make us more effective and productive.
11 Ways to Manage Your Emails
Always make sure the files are tidy and clean
To keep your files tidy and neat, you might want to have a monthly or weekly review of the files you are keeping. There is a need to eliminate those files that are no longer useful. Be sure to move that paperwork to their relevant files and consolidate them.
Use a specific pattern to keep your files
Whenever you read a message, you can decide immediately what you want to do with it. You can either choose to file it, assign it to the relevant parties, scan or store it for any future reference, or trash it. That way, you will be able to keep those files that you need to keep and remove the ones that need to be removed.
Make organization your daily task
Make organizing a part of your daily routine. Organizing your emails and messages may seem like a very difficult task in the beginning; wait until you have a full inbox that has been sent from different individuals or companies, each having a specific purpose, and you will see how difficult the task is can be. Make sure you have a great schedule, not always having to squeeze things in at the last minute.
Try not to check your inbox every minute
It may not be so productive for an individual if they continue to check their inbox every minute. You can set a timer on your email or simply be sure to check it at a set time. The more real-time could be at thirty-minute intervals. It will help you keep all incoming mails in order and also let you focus on other tasks you may want to complete.
Commit to a flexible filing system
There is an easy way to take care of your inbox and messages. It starts with creating a flexible filing system that consists of folders that can be created within your email system. See your email system as a hard-copying filing system that consists of files serving different purposes and put in different sections of a cabinet. However, you should bear in mind that whatever filing system you choose should be one that is capable of growing with your needs.
Separate your work email address from the address you use for social purposes
No matter how close you and your friends are, it would be more professional to always separate your work email address from your social emails. You would not want to wake up to messages about social events, traveling, picnics, shopping, and other things when you are actually expecting an email from a business client or work. It always aims to keep the emails smaller and more specific when there are different email addresses for different occasions. These three email accounts would suffice; having a separate account for work, another for friends and family, and the last one for socials/bulk. Nothing stops you from having more, but these three would encompass every area.
Try to always maintain focus, checking one account at a time
We have talked about having different email accounts for different purposes. But would it make any sense if you try to check all your email accounts at the same time? The best way to do it is to check work emails while at work and check social emails while you have your leisure time. Your focus should be your greatest asset.
Do not give out your work emails to irrelevant parties
We have talked about having a work email for just work. It would not sound great if your work email is given out to just about anybody. If you are creating a professional profile, you should also be careful how you handle your emails. Even though you need other business and professional contacts to see you, you should be careful not to let the email be exposed to those people who may want to use your emails for something else.
Try setting up a spam filter
If you are someone that receives paperwork by email, you can always endeavor to set up a junk or spam filter to remove the mass or unsolicited emails from marketers, advertisers, and other people that may waste your time. In the long run, you will realize that it may just be the best thing to do after all.
Unsubscribe to whatever you do not need
As long as you are on the internet, there will be irrelevant communications and newsletters that you may have subscribed to, intentionally or unintentionally. You should not be scared to miss out on any information by clicking the “Unsubscribe” button as long as you know it is not relevant to you anymore. Those ones that seem relevant should be kept and the ones that are not? Well, unsubscribe.
Try to archive your important emails
While some may recommend deleting or keeping mails. Well, this is not really a bad idea, but what if something happens and you need to provide a record of a particular transaction or conversation? What happens then? Emails are supposed to hold important records of decisions and transactions. The solution might just be to use cloud-based email archiving solutions. That way, you may not have to clog up your inbox while still recording your relevant emails.
And for the bonus point;
Make email checks the first and last thing you do every day
The first order of business as a person should be to check and empty your inbox, and that should be the last thing you do every day. This is essential because it clears out what you need to do for the day when you check it in the morning, and it helps you provide a to-do list for those things you want to do the next day. Checking it before you sleep will give you a sense of accomplishment for the day, and it will also help you set the ball rolling for the next day.
In conclusion, email is a necessary part of our business and social lives, but it does not need to be a pain in the neck. With the few tricks listed above, it is easier to prevent emails from taking all our time and focus, leaving us time to focus on other things. Make it a duty to get through all your emails daily. If you see something urgent, attend to it as soon as possible. Once you have been able to work through your emails, take a minute to congratulate yourself. Choose priorities, avoid distractions, and you are good to go.
Please do not forget to like and share this blog if you learned something new. Do you think there are better ways to arrange your inbox? Do you believe these ways are effective enough and what were your results when you tried? Let me know your views and thoughts in the comment box below.
Recommended for further reading:
- Happy: Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect
- Business Secrets from the Bible – Daniel Lapin
- MONEY Master the Game – Tony Robbins
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life