Most people wake up in the morning and immediately look at their email. Email communication has become a vital tool to stay connected with friends, family, and work. Even though it is a great tool, sometimes we make choices that complicate our (already filled) inbox with hundreds of unnecessary unread emails. Here are some things you can easily do to be more efficient at managing your email.
Choose The Right App
There are many tools, including email clients and apps, that you can use on your mobile devices or computer. Many of them have unique features like email templates, snoozing email, and more app integrations that allow your email workflow to be smoother, and much less of a hassle. Download and try out some of the apps, recommended at the end of this article, to see which one works best for you.
Almost 10 years ago, Merlin Mann made a presentation that changed the way many of us see email: Inbox Zero. It is pretty easy. If you’re not going to read an email, delete it. If you think it is an email that might be useful, archive it. And if you need to answer an email, do it immediately. With this strategy, your inbox will start having less email, up to the point of not having any at the end of the day.
Schedule Email Responses
Reading emails can easily consume many hours of work, so it is better to respond to emails in batches. Try scheduling 15 or 30 minute intervals everyday to open up emails and answer them. This will keep you focused while also reducing your email inbox. This is one of the key email productivity tips from Tim Ferris.
Unsubscribe To Newsletters
If you’re receiving newsletters everyday that you never open, it’s time to unsubscribe and declutter your inbox. Sometimes we subscribe to newsletters thinking they could be useful, but we quickly acknowledge they don’t bring any value. Unsubscribe to the many newsletters you have and stay subscribed to those that bring value to you. If you think this is too complicated, try out unroll.me. You’ll thank us later.
Keep Notifications For VIP’s
It is useless to hear notifications every time you receive an email because most of them are unimportant. It is better to allow notifications from VIP senders that you choose. Take the time to evaluate this strategy and see if it makes a difference.
Only For Logistics
Have you ever had a day when someone understood something totally different in your email from what you really wanted to say? Email isn’t the best tool for expressing an idea. If possible, use it to plan meetings ahead of time, allowing you to better express yourself and evade any miscommunications.
For more information about how to deal with email, we highly recommend reading Unsubscribe by Jocelyn K. Glen. This book expands upon many details and strategies you can use to become an email master.
The Ebb And Flow Of Email
Some times of the year are busier than others. This is a normal part of our work and lives. If you haven’t achieved inbox zero for a week. That’s fine. Eventually, you will get there. Just make sure you have an overall strategy to prevent things getting out of control. You want to avoid email bankruptcy, were every single email gets archived to get a fresh start.
- Unsubscribe from newsletters.
- Choose an email client or app to help you deal with your email management. Check out the following:
- Make a list of VIP’s and turn-on notifications for those people.
Not To Do
- Procrastinate and keep the thousands of emails in your inbox.
- Declare email bankruptcy.
- Subscribe to a newsletter for “that free PDF” (without unsubscribing immediately afterwards).