Email Management Tips
We all struggle to stay on top of our email inbox. Just as you tick one off, another one comes in. Regularly checking emails is an everyday task that’s almost impossible to avoid, and managing a busy inbox is sometimes easier said than done. Especially if you’re prone to allowing your emails to pile up. The lack of inbox organisation is likely affecting your productivity more than you realise. We have good news, there is a way out of the chaotic inbox vortex. We have put together some email management hacks that can help bring you toward “inbox zero.” Here are some tips on how to better manage your email inbox:
Lets starts with the 5 D’s:
Do, Delegate, Delete, Defer, and Designate
Do: quickly attend to the emails that you know will only require two minutes of action
Delegate: delegate the emails that require action on by someone else
Delete: unsubscribe and delete messages that require no action
Defer: defer notifications that require more than two minutes to complete
Designate: file emails that contain important information in a folder so you can locate them easily for future use.
When you’re using your inbox as a default storage, it can quickly become a digital junk drawer. This can make finding what you need in the future annoying. Instead, we recommend that you manually sort messages into folders. Better yet, set up automatic filters that route messages directly to your preferred folders. For example, notifications from FedEx can go straight to a Courier folder. All messages from the sales team will file straight into your Sales Initiatives file. For emails like newsletters, group them in their own folder, select and delete unwanted ones with a single click.
You may find you’re sending similar related emails repeatedly. To make life easier, set up an email template/s and use these to send emails so you don’t have to keep typing the same message repeatedly. This way, you only need to adjust and personalise slightly with each email response. By saving the default response as one of your email signatures, you can easily auto-fill the body of your emails.
Use filters, rules, and labels
Filters and rules direct incoming emails to specific pre-made folders. They help save you time, and make sure your attention is focused on the most important emails. Labels are a great way to organise and help you keep track by allowing you to sort your messages with different tags instead of using folders.
Do you get an onslaught of emails you never even open? Are you on newsletter lists that you’re no longer interested in? Take an afternoon once every quarter to go through and unsubscribe from these lists to save yourself from unnecessary emails and to free-up your inbox storage capacity. You can always sign up again if you find that you want back in,
Don’t do wasteful emails
Don’t use emails to say “thank you” or “yes I will do this”. It is assumed that all thanks are implicit, and that all emails have been received. Now they just need to be actioned.
Make your subject lines crystal clear. Use the existing email chain on the topic, don’t start a fresh one. Got a new topic? Great, start a new email. Use subject line labels such as To Action, FYI Only and Urgent.
Using @ then the person’s name in the email allows you to draw people’s attention to actions that are relevant to them. This way they can easily scan to what is required from them in the email.
Keep a list
Keep a list of things to discuss. Most people would prefer to have a list of questions instead of 10 separate questions throughout the day. If you get the chance to speak to your exec, having a list ready to tick off as you get the answers will keep the call on track and ensure you have all the answers you need. If you have a weekly 1 to 1 catch up, leave the items that aren’t urgent till you next 1 to 1 so you can go through in detail instead of checking off urgent items.
Move conversations to a chat platform
This is a big one for saving email space in your inbox. If you’re playing the reply all game in your inbox, not only are you creating more emails but you’re wasting time, storage and could be missing emails in sequence. Move these “conversations” to a chat platform like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Signal or Skype.
Use project management tools
Have you ever used a project management tool like Asana, Trello or Clickup? Life changing! It can all be done in these apps. You can track tasks, communicate with team members and external stakeholders, and even add to-do lists all through the app, saving your inbox from excessive emails. You will spend less time communicating, as well as searching for bits of information in your inboxes, messages, and anywhere else you discuss work. You can keep anything task or project-related all in one place.
Organising an event at any scale is a lot of work and 100’s of emails. Our tip, outsource to our friends at The Conference Shop. Carla and the team provide a FREE venue finding service. So if you’re planning a conference, offsite meeting, client event, gala dinner, Christmas party or other business event they can assist you. To learn more, click here and see how much time and emails they can save you!
What’s your best tips? We would love to hear yours.