I’m ashamed to admit my inbox hit the 1000 mark and I decided enough was enough! With so many emails coming in each day, I was finding myself drowning in a sea of knowledge, mixed in with a bit of spam and topped off with far too many Facebook and Twitter notifications.
It was time to make a plan and stick to it. I had to be ruthless, be decisive and make some changes!!
These are 5 tips for organising your emails:
1. Have set times during the day to check and organise your emails.
Don’t keep checking emails throughout the day – otherwise you will end up spending more time on them, and if a distracting one comes along you may not get back to finishing what you were doing. Even when you work from home, checking emails once or twice a day is sufficient. Many people like to check them first thing in the morning as they can action anything that needs immediate attention right at the start of the day, and, then get on with what you had planned for the rest of the day.
2. Action emails as soon as you read them.
Some emails can be deleted immediately, some emails are reference emails (these can be filed for later reading) and some emails need to have an action performed (put into your calendar, put on your “to do” list etc). Unsubscribe to emails you don’t want anymore – they will have instructions at the bottom for how to do this.
3. Create Folders and sub-folders.
Think carefully about the way you want to structure your folders because this will make it easier to access your information quickly and efficiently. Don’t forget to go through your folders too to delete any unwanted emails.
4. Organise your sent items too.
If you’re a big sender, don’t neglect that huge folder full of sent items. It might make more sense to create individual Sent Items folders for each contact, and file the appropriate messages where they’re easy to find.
5. Keep your address book up to date.
When you get an email from a new client or associate, file their email address straight away, that way it will be easy to find when you need it.
When all else fails, trash it – stop saving all that email! Think realistically, will you really have time to ever read them all?
Why are you saving all that stuff, anyhow? Any message that you can bring yourself to delete is one less message to file, one less message to slow down your
searches, one less message to fret about in the future. Go ahead, hit that delete button!