Email is the lifeblood for many businesses. From quick little notes to co-workers to contracts sent to clients, email has a pile of different uses for you and your business. But if you’re like most folks, your inbox can get totally out of control, causing you to lose focus on the important messages. It’s time to tame your inbox with these six tips.
- Dedicate Time To Your Email: Yes, we know you’re busy, but there is no way to keep your inbox clean unless you dedicate time to it. Whether it’s a specific time of the day that you block out for it or however you decide to do it, you need have time to specifically focus on your email so you can read the messages, find out what’s important or not, respond to messages, delete and archive messages that don’t need to be dealt with, etc… . If you don’t have time at that particular moment, don’t look at your email. Make the time productive by dedicating time for it. Turn it off during certain times of the day to allow you to focus on your other work and avoid the potential distraction of email notifications.
- Organize Into Folders. Or Not. While a recent study says that organizing into folders may not make it any easier to find message than using built-in search features, there is something to be said of trying to achieve and Inbox-Zero-esque inbox as it allows you to just focus on what you need to focus on.
- Unsubscribe to Marketing Emails You Never Read. While we hope you are a subscriber of our newsletter and you enjoy reading it, we do make it easy to unsubscribe. If you get a marketing email from a company and you never read anything they send you and just delete it, consider unsubscribing to save you some time processing your email. Look at the bottom of those emails, and they should have an easy-to-find unsubscribe link (as required by the CAN-SPAM act). Taking a few extra seconds now will save you many more seconds down the road.
- Implement a Spam Blocking Solution. WestonBlock will cut down on your spam quite a bit and will also help protect your computer from viruses, malware, phishing attempts, bad attachments and other nefarious messages you shouldn’t be opening.
- Filters, Filters, and More Filters: Outlook has a great rules and automatic filters system. It’s pretty involved and we could spend a whole article on just that topic. Microsoft has a good article on creating rules here. But the best thing they are for? Moving messages out of your inbox that you want to keep but don’t need to reply or any other attention spent on them. Setup a rule to move it to another folder and then move onto the next message in your inbox.
- Forward The Message: There’s always those emails that you’re not the best person to deal with it. Forward the message to the person who is best at handling it, with a brief note as to what’s needed to done, and then delete/archive the original message.
How do you tame your email? What’s your workflow to make sure email doesn’t waste your time? Comment below.