7 Tips and Tricks to Manage Your Inbox
Email can be one of the best productivity tools in your arsenal, but is it secretly killing your productivity? Depending on how you’re using it, maintaining your inbox might be sucking up a disproportionate chunk of your time. Organizing your email can save you valuable time and help prevent you from overlooking important emails.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just get rid of all the emails in your inbox? An empty inbox may seem like a dream come true, but sadly, you probably can’t just delete all your emails, even if you’ve already read them. Some, you may need to save to refer to later.
Creating folders is an easy way to get emails out of your inbox without losing them. You can find them quickly and easily when you need them, but once they’re tucked away in a folder, you don’t have to look at them every day.
Only Leave Emails Requiring Action in Your Inbox
Opinions on this are mixed. Some say you should create a separate folder for emails that you’re waiting to act on. The benefit of that is that it diminishes visual clutter and makes it easier to avoid looking at these emails until you’re ready to deal with them.
However, if you’re forgetful, it might be hard to remember to check another folder. Leaving important emails in your inbox can keep them front and center so that you’re less likely to forget.
Set Aside Time to Check Your Email
A lot of people squeeze checking their email into whatever time they have to spare. However, if you’re only leaving a couple of minutes at a time to manage your inbox, you’ll probably only be able to do the bare minimum. Setting aside a longer block of time each day can allow you to read, respond to, and file emails without feeling rushed.
Don’t Over Do It
Did someone just send me an email? What about now? You could receive an important email any second, so it can be tempting to check your email dozens of times each day. But checking your email constantly can be stressful, time-consuming, and interrupt your workflow. Make a point not to check too often. You might do this by scheduling set times throughout the day. Most people don’t expect an immediate reply, anyway.
Adjust Your Spam Filter
Spam may be the most insidious force to ever hit your inbox. Some spam is pretty easy to spot, but even if you find it and delete it without reading, dealing with spam takes time. Luckily, your spam filter can do a lot of the heavy lifting. You can adjust your spam filter to prevent more of those messages from reaching your inbox. If you’re concerned that important emails might end up in your spam filter, just don’t forget to check it from time to time.
Unsubscribe from Emails
Do you get newsletters or promotional emails that you just don’t read? Unsubscribe! Deleting an email doesn’t take much time, but preventing them from entering your inbox in the first place can save you more time in the long run.
Use Multiple Accounts
Setting up multiple email accounts for different areas of your life can keep things even more neatly organized. For instance, you could have an account for work, an account for your friends and family, and an account for shopping. Plus, maintaining several accounts allows you to check each one when you’re ready without as much risk of being distracted by an email from a friend when you’re working or an email from work when you’re on vacation.
How do you stay on top of your inbox? Share your favorite strategies in the comments section below!