Ways to organize and optimize your email.
There are two types of people in this world. Those that have zero unread emails in their inbox and those that have 2,000. I firmly believe that there is no in-between. If you are a 2,000-email person, I have ten hacks for you to become a zero-email person. Please don’t lose hope, friend. It is possible.
It is safe to say that more than half of the emails you receive are unintentionally signed up for. Remember that vest you bought five years ago during the Black Friday madness? Chances are, you are still receiving emails from that store. There is even a higher chance that you haven’t purchased anything from them since. If you want to significantly reduce the emails you receive, unsubscribe! To avoid going through and unsubscribing from each email, check out Unroll Me. Provide a few pieces of information, and they will take care of the rest!
9. Set aside time specifically for your email.
It is very easy to occasionally glance at your inbox throughout the day. Giving it a quick glance at a red light may seem like a productive use of the time, but then the light changes, and you close your phone. In your mind, you’ve replied to the email, but in actuality, you have just saved a draft of the email, surely to be lost with all the other drafts. If this is you, consider making time each day specifically for your inbox. Set a timer and start the process of moving through each email. Do you need to reply, do you need to delete, or do you need to unsubscribe? Using this time to go through your unread emails helps keep that inbox organized!
8. Create subfolders.
Most email providers give you the option to create subfolders. These subfolders are an excellent way to keep everything separate. These subfolders can be labeled however you like. Subfolders based on people, projects, or documents are all great options. Once you’ve read and responded to an email, move it to the appropriate subfolder. You can also have emails automatically sent to these folders. These subfolders will especially be helpful when you are quickly trying to recall information.
7. Change your notifications
If you have notifications set for your email, how many do you have? Most importantly, you can silence your email notifications and set alarms for emails that we know will be important. Emails from your boss, project manager, or other team members should take priority over sales and spam. You can do this on both your computer and phone. This is also helpful when you receive emails outside of the time you have set aside to check emails.
6. Set up templates, signatures, and text expanders.
Have you ever noticed that you are writing the same emails repeatedly? If so, creating a template that you can access easily will save you a lot of time. These emails can be in a word doc, you can send them to yourself and create a subfolder to keep them in, or you can work with a software company that allows you to create systems in which emails are triggered automatically.
Having an email signature is a quick hack to create and a time saver. You can link your website in your signature, make your brand and logo more recognizable, and assure whomever you’re emailing that it is you rather than a bot.
Text expanders, in my opinion, are one of the best-kept secrets in email hacks. Using a program like Text expander, you can create shortcuts for the information you need to recall quickly. For instance, if you have an introductory paragraph for a product or service you sell, rather than continually typing it all out, you could type in a shortcut, and your introductory paragraph appears! I cannot say enough about text expanders; they are a wonderful hack for those who email often!
5. Schedule emails ahead of time.
Scheduling emails is not only an email hack but a timesaving one. Scheduling emails is great for those that send out weekly emails, and you can batch a few months at once and then schedule them out. This is also a wonderful hack if you are answering an email during off hours. Rather than sending an email at 3 am when you can’t sleep, schedule it to send at 8:30. However you decide to use it, a scheduler is a great email hack.
4. Out-of-the-Office messages.
These messages can be used for a plethora of reasons. Leaving work early to go to a doctor’s appointment, use an out-of-the-office message to let everyone know what hours you will be gone. Going on vacation for a few days, great! Create a message letting your coworkers and others know when they can expect to hear back from you. It may also be helpful to temporarily silence the notifications you have set for your email.
3. Limit your email responses.
To optimize the time, you have set aside for your emails, limit each response.
2. Don’t be afraid to delete!
It is an easy trap to read an email and then forget about it, letting your inbox fill up with emails that have already been answered. It doesn’t seem like much, but emails from years ago add up. Keep them for whatever set amount of time you feel comfortable with, then have them deleted. Extra points if you’ve already set up a function to have them automatically deleted!
1. Set boundaries!
Set boundaries! Asked to be removed from threads that you no longer are needed in or to be moved to CC or BCC. Say no to answering emails after hours. Whatever boundaries you need to set, set them.
There you have it! Ten hacks to keep your email in control. While each may not always work for you, test them out and see which ones do. As always, we are here to answer any questions you have! Reach out by clicking the link below!