Do you dread turning on your computer and facing your overflowing email inbox? You've got to get that thing under control!
Email is an essential tool for business today, but if you're not careful it ends up being a massive stress inducer and time waster. Follow these tips to keep your inbox running smoothly.
Schedule Email Time
Go through your inbox at the appointed time each day. Turn off notifications so you don't jump to check it every time you hear a ding.
How many of those newsletters do you actually read, anyway? Unsubscribe to anything that doesn't deliver assistance or joy.
Answer emails as you read them, rather than letting them sit until later. If you don't forget about it altogether, you'll have to take extra time later to access your inbox, pull up that email, and write back. Just do it now and consider it done.
Make a habit of deleting emails you don't need. If it's a friendly note from your mother, write a friendly note back. Then delete. Answer your partner's question. Then delete. Respond. If there's no info you'll need later, delete.
For those emails you do need to keep, take some time to make folders in your inbox. Categorize everything so you can easily find it later if you need to: receipts, travel information, anything related to a certain project or promotion, and so on.
Keep Separate Inboxes
Most of us have more than one email address, which can be a bit overwhelming in one regard, but enormously helpful in another. Have one address that is exclusively for work-related correspondence and another that is for friendly, less-urgent email. You can get away with checking that one less frequently.
Is your email inbox overwhelming? What tips do you have for managing it?