Emails are a daily driving force behind both personal and business communication.
According to a study done by the Harvard Business Review, working professionals have over 200 emailson average in their email inboxes. However, they may only reply to around 25% of these emails.
Disorganized email inboxes may be to blame for this. Maintaining a well-organized email inbox is vital for establishing an efficient work and personal balance. If you are looking for tips on how to organize emails more efficiently, this guide can help.
Keep reading below for 10 helpful tips you can use to organize emails and maximize your efficiency.
1. Only Keep Emails Requiring Prompt Action in Your Inbox
Your email inbox is often the frontline for every email that comes in. It is tempting to keep all current emails in your main inbox, but over time this can lead to an even bigger build-up. Before you know it, you've got a major case of email backlog.
One of the best ways how to organize emails is to use your inbox only for those emails that require the most immediate action. This way, if you are looking for an important work email, you won't have to sift through every email in your inbox trying to find it.
If you receive emails that are informational but do not demand a response from you, move them to a subfolder or archive them. This simple tip will help you clean your email inbox and organize emails much more efficiently.
2. Create a "Waiting" Folder for Emails Still Pending a Response
Another way how to organize emails efficiently is to have a "Waiting" folder. In this folder, you would put emails that are still waiting on a response from another team member or manager before you can proceed.
You're separating them from the emails that need a more prompt response, but are still important lines of communication. This is a great way to track any ongoing projects that require a lengthy chain of responses between team members.
Doing this adds another layer of structure to help you prioritize and organize emails based on urgency. You can ensure any important projects that are still in flux receive the proper attention they deserve while awaiting any follow-up messages.
3. Use Subfolders to Organize Emails Even Further
When it comes to disorganized emails, don't be afraid to use the subfolders feature available on most email platforms. Subfolders are a simple way for how to organize emails. It lets you store emails under specific folder names.
This is ideal for classifying and organizing email correspondences relating to certain projects. If you have a large project that requires a lot of emailing back and forth between different departments, you want to keep all of these emails together in their proper folders.
You can even go as far as titling them with the names of the different team members and email addresses the emails are coming from. This will save you precious time and effort in the future.
4. Utilize Labels for Effective Email Management
Labels can also be a great ally for how to organize emails. With labels, an available feature on most email platforms, you can easily categorize your email inbox. This will aid you in your search if you are looking for emails pertaining to a certain project or discussion thread.
With labels, you can be as specific as you want to be and you can assign multiple labels to one email. You can find these labels in the left side panel of email platforms, like Gmail. Click on the link and you can clearly see all of the emails listed under that category.
Using labels can save you from massive headaches when searching for important work emails.
5. Eliminate Junk Mail with a Three-Strike Policy
Junk mail is a major obstacle to email inbox efficiency and it's about to get even bigger. A projected 58 billion junk emails will be sent in the next 4 years.
You may have signed up for some email marketing lists at some point in the past. Maybe you were looking for a promotional offer for a certain website with an email list sign-up but now you're not interested. The problem is, the junk emails will still keep coming from that sender until you unsubscribe.
A three-strike policy relates to the number of times you delete emails from a given sender or newsletter. The third time you delete an email from a particular promotional mailing list without reading it is when you need to unsubscribe from the list altogether. It keeps you accountable and gives you a blueprint for how to organize emails more effectively.
6. Make Time Each Day to Check and Sort Emails
Letting emails pile up isn't the best way to manage your email inbox, but it's a common occurrence. In a survey of email usage, 40% of email users admitted that they had over 50 unread emails in their inbox.
This is often due to a lack of time spent actively going through and sorting through emails. That's why it's important to set aside some time each day, or at the very least, once a week to organize emails.
Spend between 15-20 minutes maximum going through and organizing your emails in a session. You can even spend a few minutes going through your email account on your smartphone while you're waiting in line at the grocery store or pharmacy.
Taking a proactive role in checking and sorting your inbox is an effective way how to organize emails more efficiently.
7. Set Up Filters and Inbox Rules for How to Organize Emails
An email filter can also help you manage your email inbox more efficiently. You can use them to block certain types of junk and spam mail from coming through. Filter emails by their headers, content, language, or sender information.
You can also set up special inbox rules or blocklists for identifying spam emails. These rules will vary based on the unique parameters you set for separating spam and junk emails from your most important emails. This will tell your email inbox how to organize emails coming in based on the criteria you set.
However, you should always double-check your spam and junk email folders from time to time to make sure an important email didn't get accidentally classified under these filters by mistake.
8. Set Follow-up Reminders in Your Calendar
If you find yourself constantly forgetting to follow up on important emails, you may need to set reminders. Thankfully, you can easily set up reminders through your smartphone or computer's calendar function.
Be sure to put the folder or the labels where the email can be found in the Notes section of your calendar. That way, you will be certain to know where you can find this information when you need to reply or follow up.
Not only is this a helpful tip for how to organize emails better, but it keeps you accountable as well. You're taking the necessary steps to ensure that these important emails don't fall through the cracks. These reminders can also help you improve your email efficiency.
9. Perform a Routine Clean on Your Email Inbox
Your email inbox works almost as hard as you do. If your email inbox is cluttered and disorganized, chances are you will be too as a result. An ounce of prevention now can save you from having to sift through potentially hundreds or even thousands of emails later on.
If you are able to, try to clean your email inbox every 2-3 months on average. Doing this will help you keep your email inbox as clean and as organized as possible. Performing routine cleanouts can assist you with how to organize emails.
Clear out emails that are between 6-12 months old. If you are on the cusp of 6 months and think you may still need them for some reason, you can always archive them instead of deleting them.
10. Use Email Management Software
If you've tried everything else to no avail, you can always try an email management system instead. Email management software is one of the fastest and most convenient ways how to organize emails. It takes the guesswork and the hassle out of organizing your email so you can clean your email inbox with ease.
Mailstrom can help you manage your email inbox with one click. Use the Block feature to put meddlesome spam to rest. Or unsubscribe from old and unwanted mailing lists in a snap with the Unsubscribe feature.
With Mailstrom you can take control of your email inbox again. That means you can have the efficiency you need to just the emails you want at your fingertips. And Mailstrom's industry-leading encryption protects your privacy with OAuth2 but never has access to your personal email account passwords.
Clean Your Email Inbox with the Mailstrom Email Management System
Dealing with a messy email inbox can be a struggle. But with these helpful tips, you can learn effective ways for how to organize emails more efficiently. If you're looking for an innovative email management tool, try Mailstrom,
Mailstrom is a powerful email management system that can help you get your email inbox back to normal again. The integrated Block and Unsubscribe features let you tackle pesky spam, junk, and email newsletters with one click. Its fast, quick, and easy-to-use interface will have your inbox looking its best.
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