Email—it’s a business tool that we all use and rely on, but (if we’re being honest) it can be a pain to manage properly. Unfortunately, this can also depreciate the value of the solution to its users. To help prevent these problems, we wanted to share a few tips to assist you with your email management.
First things first—unnecessary clutter in your inbox will have a variety of negative impacts on your productivity. One, it encourages you to take more time going through it that could be spent accomplishing something else. Two, it makes it more difficult to find the important things that you’ve received through your email.
Considering this, it makes sense to reduce the excess of messages in your email inbox. Take a few moments and go over all the messages you receive and consider how important they are for you to receive. If they aren’t important, unsubscribe. All promotional messages are required to give their recipients the option to opt out of these kinds of emails.
You can set up your emails to be sorted automatically into different categories. Depending on your email solution of choice, these categories will be referred to as different things. In Gmail, they’ll be called labels, whereas Outlook refers to them as folders. Once you have your categories situated, you can set up filters to sort your emails into them as they come in based on criteria that you’ve specified.
As a result, your email can effectively sort itself, as you can dictate that different emails are filed in different categories. Need to look at something later? Have it added to a folder dedicated to materials that can be saved for a later time. The same can be done for materials coming from specific clients, or pertaining to specific topics, or whatever best suits your needs.
While there are undoubtedly emails that you need to craft in the moment, a lot of business emails are generic and repetitive. A great way to save time is to create premade templates that can be applied and customized as needed each time you need to send a version of that message—significantly cutting down on the time it takes to compose messages.
One of the biggest ways that we all waste time in our emails is simply by spending so much time checking them, over and over and over each day. Holding back on the temptation to repeatedly click the “check mail” button can help your team stay on task and be more productive.
Of course, this is dependent on your job responsibilities and how commonly your email plays into that.
Speaking of which…
Not every email you receive will be one that requires a reply. Many of them are likely just updates, so adding a response is just taking time out of your schedule, as well as out of your colleagues’ available time. If the message doesn’t merit a response, don’t send one.
In fact, there are many messages you might receive throughout the day that just aren’t pertinent to your tasks. Don’t feel that you need to read these emails as they come in. Obviously skim them first, but don’t let them stop you from being productive.
What are your favorite email management tips? Share them in the comments, and make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss any of our content!