Having problems finding emails in your inbox? Is your inbox inundated with mail you don’t need. Here are ten ways to better organize your email inbox and make your day more productive:
1. Turn of Alerts
Turn off any mobile and desktop notifications that alert you when an email has arrived in your inbox. The alert system is a productivity killer, disrupts your focus and makes it harder for you to get back on task. Once interrupted, it could take up to 20 minutes to get back to what you were initially doing. You may also spend the majority of your day reacting to what others need from you.
2. Unsubscribe to Unnecessary Email Blasts
We often get “junk” sent into our email inboxes with various offers and deals. Take the necessary time, at least once a month, to unsubscribe from the ones you no longer use or want. This will not only eliminate some of the email clutter, but will help you see better which ones are keepers and which ones are not.
3. Receive Less, Send Less
It may seem oxymoronic, but it works like a charm. The golden rule of email management is to send less of it. At work, I did an experiment for a few days. I wouldn’t write any emails unless it was absolutely necessary. The end result was simple: there were fewer emails in my inbox and my inbox was much easier to navigate.
4. Delete First
When I first open my email inbox each morning, the very first thing I do is delete needless messages, without even opening or glancing at them. I do this step even before opening and reading the important and pressing emails.
5. Mark Important Emails as Unread
Having the ability to mark an email unread allows me to swiftly glance through my inbox, answer to things that are most urgent, delete the things that are unrelated, and mark unread those items I’d like to return to once the time comes for it.
6. Keep It Short
When crafting an email message, say what you mean, be to the point, and use as least number of characters as possible. There are some situations that call for sentences and formal paragraphs, but most of the time fragments are extremely useful and productive in emails.
7. Use an App
I like Mailstrom. Mailstrom helps make it easy to delete messages in bulk. The service permits me to sort by sender, date, and size and then delete unwanted emails in those buckets. Whether it’s dozens or hundreds – it is one productivity tool I love to use and highly recommend.
8. Go on an inbox diet
Checking emails every 5 to 10 minutes can seriously hinder your ability to become productive. Why not try to adopt a strategy of checking emails twice a day: once in the morning and once toward the end of the day. 3 times max!
9. Make Quick Decisions
Every email requires action. A good rule of thumb: if the action can be completed within five minutes, do it then and there.
10. Setup Folders
This may seem like an obvious task: setting up email folders, much the same as you would do for physical filing, but unfortunately not many people use them. Each client and/or project should have their own folder. End of story!
About Alex Noudelman
Alex Noudelman is a digital marketing expert at iRISEmedia. He received his Honors B.A. from York University and a Masters in Adolescent Education from D’Youville College.