Do you feel overwhelmed by email? Then it’s time to take charge before it becomes “Email Clutter!” Too many emails in your inbox are the beginning of a complicated life. Control your email and leave each day relaxed knowing your email is under YOUR control.
10 Email Tips to Deal with Email Efficiently
1. Read and Respond
Decide what to do the FIRST time you open an email. Do it now, or it will double the time it takes to respond. The key is to pause and decide what action is needed.
2. Clear it Out
Once you’ve read and responded, move it out of your In-Box with “Delete or Archive.” In “Archive” it’s still there to search by keyword. Gmail now has a “Send & Archive” button that does the work in one click.
3. Rely on the “Search” feature to pull up emails
Instead of creating an elaborate File Folder system, learn to search by the person’s name or email.
4. Tame Your “Reading” File
Keep the good blogs & newsletters in this file that pass your way. Read them mid afternoon or at the end of the day. Delete the file contents daily or weekly.
5. Create No more than 6-10 Key Email Folders
“Responded,” Holding,” or “Archive” is great for once you’ve responded. Move out emails before three months ago “Archive before (date).”
Related: The Only Five Email Folders Your Inbox Will Ever Need
6. Don’t “Over File” with too many specific folders
Create no more than 6-10 folders by program, action steps, or project. It’s time-consuming to put them into any more folders than that. Rely on the “Search” feature to pull up emails.
7. Create “Rules” in Outlook or “Filters” in Gmail
This lets email bypass your In-Box and land in a folder you want to keep such as the name of an organization, “Coupons” from Costco, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon, or “Personal” for interesting forwards.
8. Keep a “Follow-up” folder if needed
This is for emails you respond to, but you need to know the other person did their part. Check it at the end of the week to see if everything’s taken care of or forward the email and ask if they got it.
9. Set times to do email and don’t let it become your To Do list!
Twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon are adequate.
10. Begin and end each day by getting your email down to your Target Number
A single digit or number under 20 email in your In-Box puts you in the driver’s seat of your life.
ACTION STEP: Set a Goal to Cut Your Email in Half each Week!
Get there by keeping track on a calendar of how many you leave in your In-Box each day. Intentionally whittle down the count to stay in control and everyone responded to!
Think about it. When did you last clean up your inbox?