Whether you are managing your own inbox or a clients, the struggle of maintaining order is real. In today’s fast paced, content driven world, the need to wade through information can quickly grow from a desire for knowledge to drowning in information. It is unlikely that you can simply stop signing up for all of those webinars, periodicals or network furthering correspondence. You can, however, make your inbox work for you, rather than being a slave to it.
Here are three time savers that will help you stay afloat in the cyber sea of email.
1) Maintain a Zero Based Inbox
Easier than it sounds, I know. The quickest way to get buried under email is to let everything live in your inbox. Simply put, you wouldn’t leave all of your letters, bills and junk mail sitting in your mailbox. Apply that same diligence to your inbox.
It may take some time on the front end to get to that crisp, empty email home screen, but it is worth the investment. Say goodbye to the stress of seeing that little red badge number climbing up, up, up on your email icon and say hello to the peace that comes from dealing with emails in a timely manner.
The easiest way to do this is by utilizing filters and folders.
2) Use Filters and Folders to Gain Back Your Time
This option can seem overwhelming, but let’s explore and see just how simple it is.
There is no one size fits all. Create folders and filters that work with how you think. One person may have a folder for each property he manages and person that he corresponds with regularly and that works wonderfully for him.
Another may be great at deleting emails as they are done and a simple three folder structure of the following may work for her:
1. Needs Attention
If you have someone else managing your emails, this efficient structure may suffice:
1. Needs Attention ASAP
2. To Do
Once you have your folders set up, you can use filters to automatically send emails from certain addresses to specific folders.
3) Manage Your Subscriptions, Don’t Let Them Manage You
The quickest way to fill up your inbox is subscriptions. Content is king, but it can also clutter. A quick tool (especially if you are managing your own email is unroll.me.
This tool will search your inbox, group your subscriptions and then send you a daily digest. All of those emails from your favorite stores, blogs you follow and industry articles in one simple email. And, if you get tired of receiving them-you can unsubscribe from your dashboard rather than clicking through each email
Bonus: For those of you with your own business, your inbox can be your livelihood. If you find you are spending more time sorting through emails than doing what you do best, it may be time to consider outsourcing someone to handle that for you. A Virtual Assistant may be a great option for you, as you can hire for specific tasks or set amounts of time without the overhead attached to a full time employee.
These tips can save anyone time and stress. Just like investing in your 401(K) now will set you up to win in the future, taking a few hours to invest in bringing order to your inbox will save you days of stress in the months to come.
Cover photo creds: libreshot.com