Are you having inbox nightmares? Do you wake up with so many emails that your eyes pop out of your head, your shoulders slump and you sit back just wondering WHEN you will be able to actually “work” today? Let me tell you that you are not alone, many work at home professionals and entrepreneurs have the same issues. What I can tell you is you have a friend, ME. I am here to help lend some tips on what works for me, and how I personally keep my inbox tidy so that I have a more productive day.
First, depending upon which email service provider you use these terms may be different. I use Gmail, and “folders” are called labels and so my terminology will reflect a Gmail account, however, I am here to answer your questions so I invite you to have a round table discussion right here about organizing your inbox, we can all learn from each other.
Next let’s start with what type of emails you receive in your inbox daily:
- Personal – family, friends, etc
- Business email – co-workers, employees, clients, etc
- Event confirmations – reservations, trips, etc
- Subscriptions – newsletters, blogs, etc
- Junk email – SPAMMERS
I would love to have a different email account for everything, but the reality is “time is money” and so I can’t spend the majority of my morning checking multiple inboxes. I have all of my email accounts set to send and receive through my Gmail account, this makes things a lot easier. If you do not currently have your email accounts set to send to one inbox, you may check your settings and set up the email accounts according to the email provider instructions so that you have all email heading to one inbox.
Let’s go on by creating a level of priority, should you read all your subscription emails first thing? Maybe, maybe not. I have an addiction to reading blogs, and so my inbox is filled every morning with my favorite bloggers updates. Reading blogs is not my first priority of the day and so I have created a label for “read later”, this easily allows me to access the new updates from my favorite bloggers at a later time in the day without having them take up space in my “inbox” area.
Once the blog subscriptions have been filed into the appropriate label, read later, I move on to delete all spam/junk emails. This is usually invitations to ning groups, reminders, and similar types of emails. I simply delete them all, mainly because I am already a part of too many ning groups and I don’t need to read through all of the new ones. If something catches my eye as possibly being an interest, I place it in my read later folder.
After that you should have mostly important emails, such of those from clients, friends or family. My family rarely emails me and if they do it’s of an important nature so I read them first. Next I move on to my client or prospect emails, if they are something that can be done later I simply file in my To Do folder.
You can also create folders such as the following as it pertains to what level you wish to organize:
As you have your inbox organized into appropriate levels of importance you can then go through each of them to review based on high priority down to low priority. This makes your day more productive! Why you ask? Well because now you will not be wasting any time on subscriptions or low priority emails, you will simply be reading and responding to those emails that require your immediate attention.
I have implemented this inbox organization strategy for months now with much success, I am curious to see what you do differently, what you do the same and what you do that has worked consistently?