Email has become almost as much a staple of ordinary life as utilities like electricity. However, most people don't realize how common sending emails has become. In 2022, the data show that people tend to send about 2 billion emails every day!
On the one hand, that number points at how useful email is. On the other hand, it gives you some sense of why so many people struggle with email inbox management. With 2 billion emails being sent around every day, keeping your inbox clear can seem impossible.
However, most people only worry about email inbox management when they are having some kind of problem with it. When that happens, they often don't have the time to zoom out and learn about how to solve their problems in a permanent fashion.
Taking a little time to learn about how to keep your inbox as organized as possible will pay off in the long run. Read on to learn all about the most powerful tips you can follow to stay on top of your inbox!
1. Decide How Often You Will Check Your Email Inbox
Most of the tips in this article can be thought of as either setting up a tool of some kind or making decisions once and for all in a way that will work for you. When you know how often you will check your email inbox, you can save yourself from having to wonder if you should check your inbox again or not.
Pick a frequency of checking your email that you know will work practically for your situation. Then, avoid checking your inbox between sessions. One of the ways that people waste time on email is by compulsively checking it in little moments when they are not sure what else to switch to attending.
Sometimes, people find themselves checking their email because they do not want to get going on some less pleasant task that does not have an easy on-ramp.
You can avoid these kinds of problems by deciding to check your email only three times a day or whatever frequency works for you. However, do not stress out too much about following your new rule exactly. Most of the improvement comes from knowing what you think is a good idea about email management and roughly following your general plan.
Occasionally checking your email because you forgot about your system does not mean that you lose the vast majority of the benefits that such a system provides.
2. Use Automation for Email Inbox Organization
Many people are still catching up to the power of automation. Although automation has transformed our economy and world, most people still do not prioritize it as part of their own lives.
The value of automation is crystal clear in the case of email inbox management. Most people never look at email automation opportunities. In other words, it is not so much that they have considered such opportunities and decided that they do not seem interesting.
Rather, most people never become aware of their options in the first place. Once you familiarize yourself with the automation tools that your email platform provides, it will become obvious to you that there are ways that setting up automated practices will save you time in the long run.
3. Manage Individual Emails Faster
Most people don't have any specific rules about how they manage emails. They open each email up and then try to figure out how to handle it in a somewhat haphazard way. Making a few decisions about useful ways to conduct yourself when responding to an email can help you save a lot of time.
For example, if you have trouble thinking of what to say, you might decide that one of your common practices will be to write out a poor email that will need a lot of editing. Most people find that this kind of haphazard engagement with the task helps them get out of a rut.
Halfway through their bad email, they are writing pretty decent sentences. Then, all they may need to do is go back and edit the first few sentences that were clumsily constructed.
You might also consider making a decision about how to respond to a given email whenever you can. Some people do not immediately see how they think they should respond to an email. However, if you can make a point of taking the time to decide on the spot, you can avoid adding to a growing list of unanswered emails you've already seen.
4. Improve Email Inbox Management With Prioritization
Most modern email providers provide a prioritization option for inbox management. It takes just a few minutes to figure out how to use it. If you have already considered doing so and it is not for you, then you may want to pay more attention to our other tips.
But if you haven't considered using the priority inbox tool on your email provider yet, give yourself 15 minutes to look at it and think it through. A simple Google search for tutorials can help you understand whether using this tool makes sense for your context or not.
5. Hashtags Can Help With Email Management
Many people are amazed at the kind of communication dynamic that Twitter creates. However, one key to understanding why Twitter became so popular is understanding hashtags. Hashtags are a powerful way to keep track of related pieces of content.
You can enjoy the power of hashtags on Twitter, but you can also start using them in your own emails. For example, you might compose a draft response to an email and add a hashtag.
Later on, you can search for that hashtag in the search function of your email. Then, you will find all the emails that you have marked with that specific hashtag. This can make it easy for you to ignore the emails irrelevant to your current task and focus on the ones that may help you make a better decision in as little time as possible.
6. Use Different Inboxes or Accounts
Setting up multiple inboxes can be a great way to make sure that your emails are sorted before you even look at them. You can also start multiple email accounts to achieve similar purposes.
With a few different email accounts, each with a few different inboxes, you can have as many divisions for your incoming emails as you like.
This is a great way to prioritize how you handle your emails as well. You can make sure that your most important emails end up in certain inboxes and pay special attention to them. That way, managing other, less important emails will not interfere with taking care of what matters most.
7. Invest in Email Cleanup Assistance
Email cleanup services can help you eliminate an overflowing inbox. They can also help you set up a system to keep such a problem from occurring again.
Some people find it difficult to implement all of the many techniques that make for expert email management. Depending on your situation, it might be easier for you to hire a professional service.
That way, they can tell you which techniques will be most important for your unique situation. They can provide you with much more customized advice since they will be familiar with the intricacies of your unique situation.
8. Spend Some Time Learning Computer Shortcuts
Many people never take the time to learn keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts may individually save only a few seconds. However, it might amaze you how many computer functions can be activated using a shortcut.
Once you know enough shortcuts, you might be able to cut a 60-second task down to only 10 seconds. In other words, little improvements in efficiency can add up to a lot when it comes to keyboard shortcuts. This may come in especially handy when you are trying to get through a long list of emails.
9. Learn How to Delete Emails
Simplicity will make your email inbox management easier. The more moving parts you can remove from the system, the easier it will be to handle whatever remains. That is why it can be such a good idea to delete emails whenever you can.
Decide under what conditions you will delete emails and write down a list of simple rules you will follow as you consider deleting any specific message.
This way, there is a good chance you'll end up deleting many more emails than before. You will also be able to delete them in a decisive way without wasting any unnecessary time or stress.
Apply the Best Tools for Organizing Your Inbox
When it comes to managing your inbox, a little investment a day can go a long way. Spending a few hours setting up a few processes and making a few decisions for yourself can save you hundreds of hours in the long run. The improvements you can enjoy are even more obvious when you account for how many emails you send in a year.
To learn more about how to manage your inbox and achieve maximum efficiency, reach out and get in touch with us here!