Although I’m certainly not one to boast, my organized email inbox is often commented on. It perplexes me when people say things like “I can’t find it in my crowded mailbox” or “I have 839 unread emails.” How do they even perform? That said, while I understand there are many out there who receive far more emails than myself, with the right combination of labeling techniques and time-saving resources you too can achieve an impressive mail system – one that will make your discombobulated friends jealous!
1. Get Gmail.
Angela from Bravo’s Gallery Girls, who had an unfortunately short-lived run, once stated that she would only date someone with both an iPhone and a Gmail account. Although I can’t back her up on it since she was quite the eccentric character, there is certainly some truth to this statement. If you are still using Optimum Online or Hotmail for your emails, then what are you waiting for? You need to upgrade your email services now; trust me when I say that a Gmail address will be well worth the switch!
2. Enjoy your new automatic filter.
Following my advice and switching to a Gmail account will immediately benefit your life! The categorization of emails into Primary, Social, and Promotions tabs guarantees you become more organized. However, if you’re an email marketer this newfound system may make things slightly difficult. Nonetheless the positives still heavily outweigh the negatives when making that switch today!
This stunning Gmail innovation instantly identifies any emails from Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, GoodReads, and other similar sources into your Social tab. Similarly, it categorizes all of your online shopping activity (speaking for myself here) under the Promotions tab. Instantly boost efficiency with this incredible tool!
3. Labels, labels, labels.
If I wish to take a peek inside my soul, all I must do is look at my email labels. This list thoroughly illustrates what matters the most to me, with each purpose and task coming with its own label. Although this is a new account for me now, during college days too there were such categorizations – within ‘My Projects’ tag would be a long listing of individual undertakings!
My emails are always in order, with only 50 or less cluttering my inbox. I keep any reference material that I need later in archives and the rest go directly to the Trash. This process works perfectly for me since everything left untouched is either still under process or needs action/response from me. The sight of a neat email box gives immense satisfaction!
4. Filter your incoming messages.
Streamline your inbox by creating filters for the emails you receive from certain people. All it takes is a few quick clicks: hit “More”, select “Filter Messages Like These” and then click on “Create Filter With This Search.” Always remember to check off “also apply filter to matching conversations” so that each future email from this sender will be automatically labeled with your chosen label; you can also create filters based on other criteria too. By following these steps, I now rarely have any unlabeled emails in my inbox!
5. Delete like you’re on hoarders.
A warning that I cannot emphasize enough: do not go overboard with archiving. As tempting as it may be to make use of the attractive labels you have created, in most cases when you’re done with something, just get rid of it!
6. Designate specific time for email.
The brilliant Kate White shared a lifesaving tip with me: don’t attempt to respond to emails continuously. Instead of squandering time every few minutes reading your mail when you’re lacking the time and energy for an adequate response, assign yourself 15-minute (or more) intervals during which you can read, delete, label or archive messages – or respond to them without fail! This will help foster efficient productivity in what could have been wasted effort on responding too soon. To save time and stay organized, it is essential to handle your emails once. Do not let yourself waste any more hours rereading the same messages over again – simply read them, take action where necessary, and move on quickly! Additionally, when you are in a hurry or look at something ‘on the go’ never think that can address this later; otherwise, you run the risk of overlooking important details.
7. Don’t respond to email on your phone.
Carly Heitlinger, otherwise known as the College Prepster, emphasizes that “99.9% of the time,” a response can wait and it’s safer to take our time than rush into anything. She further explains how easy it is for typos to occur on phones or misread something from an email thread even if we forget to reply – making her point louder with YES! A million times YES! We must all remember that taking our sweet time will only do us good in avoiding any potential mistakes.
Did I miss any email beautification tips? If so, please share them with me – I’m forever on the lookout for new ones!