Organizing your inboxHow do you feel when you look at your email inbox?

Are you overwhelmed by the number of emails you receive every day?

Do you wish you could tame your inbox?

Become a pro at organizing your inbox?

Would you like to be more productive?

I use to pride myself on getting my inbox to zero by the end of each day. As time went on and life got busier, I began to feel comfortable with having 20 unread emails still in my inbox. Then it went up to 40. After writing this article I am committed to getting it back down to zero.

Every day I get calls or requests for organizing emails. I think many of you, like me, have a love/hate relationship with our inbox. What was life like before email? It is so hard to remember. Email can be a real time buster however, it can also be a real time saver if used properly.

I think of how I used to “snail” mail my newsletters and now with a click of a button I can send out thousands. Since the computer is here to stay why not try these-

Simple tips on organizing your inbox

Please let me know how you do with these tips on organizing your inbox. Write your comments in the box below.

Tip#1 Exercise control. This is a tough one for me. I am so use to checking emails first thing in the morning.  The more I learn about productivity the more I can see how this is a BIG time buster. Do you catch yourself checking emails and then wondering off to social media or the internet? Before you know it an hour or 2 has gone by. To be the most productive, check emails 2-3 times per day at most unless your job requires otherwise. I am committed to doing this. Please join me. Most importantly turn off email notifications!

Tip#2 Unsubscribe. Take a close look at all the newsletters you subscribe to. Are they of importance in your life right now? For example, you might have subscribed to “child care” newsletters when your children were first born. Now that they are older, is that information relevant? When your organizing your inbox set up a “to read” folder for all other newsletters you enjoy and find helpful. Immediately move them from your inbox to your folder. Or you can set up a RRS feed in Google Reader. Put a filter to go straight “to read”. Once a week or on your lunch break go through the folder. If you find your “to read” folder gets overloaded then it is time to reassess.

Tip#3 Action Folder. Create an action folder. Store all emails that you need to take action on. These are not important or urgent emails. Take 15 minutes a day and deal with each email one by one. Can you delegate any of the “actions” or can you delete them?

Tip#4 Important Folder. Pick the top 10-15 most important emails and move them to this folder. Deal with these right away. Because they are in this folder you will not get side tracked. Once you have dealt with those 10- 15 then move another 10-15 over and deal with those.

Tip#5 New Policy. Every new email that comes in will follow this new policy of being filed. Say goodbye to inbox overflow and hello to 15 minutes of freedom. Let people know you will only be checking emails 2 – 3 times per day and that you will get back to them in a timely manner unless your job/personal life requires different. Ask friends and family to take you off their “joke” list. Yes it is fun to get them and funny to read however it is not productive and again it is so easy to get sidetracked. If you absolutely love getting jokes then set up a folder for them. Read them at the end of the day or on weekends.

80% of what we file never gets looked at again!!

Try to keep your outgoing emails short and to the point. One subject per email. Be mindful to change the subject line if you have changed subjects in a reply. I like to give as much information in the subject line as I can. For example: “Birthday Party for Sue on Friday night 7 pm-please confirm.” This is so helpful for filing purposes and quick references. When necessary pick up the phone. Things can get lost in email translation.

Are you still feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of emails? Pick up the phone and get your FREE consultation.

I will support you in moving forward with organizing your inbox

We will discuss strategies that will be best for you and your inbox situation. You will be so much more productive and stress free.