Learning to manage your email inbox effectively

Learning to manage your email inbox effectively

Sounds simple doesn’t it?

It's easy to manage email right – we open up our email application, check our email and reply – simples!

Except the reality is email can control your life. Far too often, we drop everything for every email that comes in. We have lists of things to do but email keeps us from them! We use it as an excuse to get nothing done day in and day out. We have allowed email to take priority as the most ‘urgent’ form of communication often over and above a phone call or meeting!

 

Here are some tips on how I gained control (most of the time!) of my email:

  1. I switched off notifications on my laptop and mobile! Otherwise my entire life is dictated by email morning noon and night!
  2. Have a regular timeframe to check email during the week - this is normally once an hour and at the end of the day I try and catch up on any outstanding emails for the day
  3. Have a filing system - I have folders for every email which makes it easier to manage communications and stops the ever growing inbox!
  4. I have linked emails to my to do list so that if an email requires an action but I’m in the middle of something else, I will add it to my to do list and then file the email. That way, your inbox is clear but the task is scheduled!
  5. I schedule sends! This is the latest trick to managing my inbox. Like many business owners, I work out of hours – I am after all writing this blog on a Friday evening at 8 p.m. However just because I’m working on my emails, doesn’t mean I have to send them or reply out of hours. So I can schedule my sends for the next working morning (often at 8 a.m.) rather than emailing at 8 p.m. and then putting pressure on the customer to reply.
  6. I try and use email to confirm conversations I've had with a client whereas I use phone/Zoom meetings to build relationships!
  7. If urgent, I pick up the phone! Never rely on email fully – emails can go missing, fall into spam and sometimes just be overlooked so if it's urgent then I will call.
  8. Unsubscribe to unwanted lists and press spam on unwanted or unsolicited email. Stop the clutter in your inbox!