Monday mornings at work. A mailbox full of new messages, invitations and spams. No matter how well organized you are and what Strategies you have implemented to be a Mailbox Champion, you should at least once experienced incidents of forgetting to act upon emails that had to tell you important or/and urgent info. If it sounds like a nightmare to have hundreds of emails unread and to have lost your mailbox control, here are some of the best pieces of advice that will help you set a successful strategy in email management.
Take a breath and start the race to reach inbox 0.
First, start by sorting your emails as Maura Thomas, TedX Speaker, author (HBR, Entrepreneur, Huff. Post etc.) and founder of regainyourtime.com, suggests. This will make you skim through your mailing list easily and effectively. Most commonly, there will be an entire conversation of the same topic. All you need to do is sort emails by Subject, open only the very last one and read the whole story from bottom to the top. Then, what you can do is sorting emails by sender, too. That move will lead to a speedy massive deletion of advertisements, spams, coupons and any other “junk” email.
While you skim through your mailbox, probably you will quickly grasp what you should do with each “unread” email. The ideal would be to deal with it, as soon as it arrives in your inbox, but -unless your job requires to respond immediately to mail sender- this happens rarely. Christiano Ferraro, management consultant and owner of christianoferraro.com, indicates that you should manage the email source, not the email itself. A quick respond at the time someone sends you an email leads to higher engagement and helps you be to the point of the email subject. It’s better not to open the email if you are not about to take action upon it, as it would cost you more time to mark it as unread.
Most of the emails we receive are orders or information about events and processes. What someone should do is work on it and take time to link or transform these emails into tasks and events or detach files and move them to file management system. Schedule your time, as Geraldine Markel, creator of managingyourmind.com and Frank Buck, author, blogger and owner of frankbuck.org, suggest, by moving emails to to-do-list or forward them to colleagues’ mailbox or task list immediately.
4. Making your life easier
There are also some tactics that will make your mailbox look organized like applying Tags, Filters and Archive emails. When an interesting article, blogpost or newsletter arrives in your Mailbox but you don’t have the time at that moment to check it, you can archive it and read it later. On top of that, Ian Lam, co-founder of cohesion.sg, and his team, have set their email client to automatically apply tags and categorize their inbox.
5. Falling in love with delete option
And now the best part of all, deleting! Don’t be afraid to put in your trash bin everything that just reserves a place without reason in your mailbox. As long as you have saved associated documents in your cloud storage, have scheduled your tasks and have planned your events, you can just delete the emails referring to them and save space in your mailbox. Mike McRitchie, strategist and owner of mikemcritchie.com, underlines that deleting emails will help you keep up with your inbox and not to miss key clients’ email. Also, Rahul Alim from customcreatives.com advise spend time to unsubscribe from unnecessary emails that have your email on their lists in order to avoid deleting same spam emails every day.
Good luck with Inbox 0!
Ready(?) Steady… Go!!!