Have you ever pictured the way your email inbox looks before you open it and heard a voice in your head saying, Oh No, how am I going to find that specific email now?. Do I even have time to look for it?
If you have, read through, but first know that you are not alone. Whether you are an employee, a manager or a self-employed person, there is no shortage of time wasters in your day. Email could easily be one of them when not managed properly. The following 8 tips will come in handy if you are wishing to get a good handle on your email.
Depending on your responsibilities, it’s best to check your email no more than three times a day at regular times. For example, check your email in the morning, in the afternoon, and then before you get off work or before you go to bed depending on your needs. Fewer trips to your inbox mean less wasted time.
All of us have signed up for various newsletters that are full of information that we know we’d love to read about. The only thing wrong with that is, we don’t read it. We just save it in the email software, causing us to miss out on other important messages that we do need to read. If you’ve not read information from anyone you’ve signed up for within 30 days, you probably won't read any future ones either. Just delete them all and unsubscribe from the lists.
This is an email address that you’re going to check on either a weekly or monthly basis - one that you’ll use for any business for which you don’t know anyone personally and you order from them on occasion, or for when you sign up to get a freebie and you know you likely won’t have time to read the messages. That leaves your regular email address cleaner.
It might be tempting, but you don’t have to reply to every single email. When you open an email, if you can answer it right away (within less than 1 minute) with the information that is needed, do it right then. If you can’t, put it in a "reply by date" folder. So, with each email, you should be able to reply, schedule a reply or delete it. There will be very few emails that meet the"save to read later" category. Ensure that you are very picky about this. If it’s not something you know you can act on, delete it. Delete your saved emails every thirty days.
Instead of leaving emails in your box to save the important information, extract the info and put it into a database. If it’s really needed, then you’ll go through the effort. If it’s not needed but you think you should save it “just in case”, then you should just delete it.
When you shop online, you’ll get a lot of receipts and you may need to save them for tax purposes. If so,set up a folder for receipts to go into, with the tax year on it; for example 2017 for anything spent starting January 2017 till end of Dec. Then filter all receipts into that folder. That way you’ll have any receipts handy when you need them.
Even in your regular email you can set up an autoresponder that explains to people that you answer emails at particular times of the day. That way, if something is important they’ll pick up the phone to call you instead of sending an email. Also,with an autoresponder, you can schedule emails you want to send later.
Most email programs can filter information so that before you even look it’s labeled a certain way. That way you can manage the email correctly. There are some emails you simply don’t need to open and read. This way you can delete them more easily and see the important messages faster. For example, you can filter messages that have certain words to be labeled with that word, so you can search that word and answer them faster or delete.
There are more ways to fine-tune the control you have over your email, but for a start, the above is enough to get you used to the activities involved. Over time, it will save you a lot of time and effort and you will be glad you've taken up the effort to eliminate yet another time waster.
A firm believer in Quality and Excellence in all aspects of life. In my life, there is always a higher level to get to.
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