Does anyone else start to feel incredibly overwhelmed when the number of emails in their inbox hits a double digit? Or is that just me? Turns out that email housekeeping is one of my many fortes … well, it was!
Allow me to humbly brag for a second here when I say that I am usually pretty organised when it comes to emails. I enjoy knowing that I am not only responding to people in a prompt manner but seeing an inbox that is nicely organised and empty brings me a sense of peace and accomplishment!
That being said, I must admit that over the last few weeks, however, I haven’t been able to maintain my great inboxing track record and usual email housekeeping practices. What was once a single digit inbox number has swiftly moved into the upper double digits.
Now, while I may continue to check in on my emails, with the hope that ignoring all of them may miraculously have them disappear, this is not the reality at all. And so, if you find yourself wishing for the same thing, then I am happy that this email housekeeping blog found you!
Together, we are going to dedicate the next hour to our email inboxes… you know, after you’ve finished reading this blog of course! The aim here is to clear it all out. Not only will this help you clear your head but help you get your day started on the right foot!
Ready to get started?
My top email housekeeping tips
- Try and empty your inbox daily. Think of your inbox as an actual mailbox. You wouldn't keep mail sitting in there for long periods of time, so why do it to your inbox? This has been an incredibly helpful tip that I learnt from Cyril Peupion's Book Work Smarter: Not Harder (It is a brilliant book that’s helped me get super organised. I highly recommend reading it).
- If I can action something in less than 5 minutes, I will do it right there and then so I can get it out of my inbox.
- UNSUBSCRIBE from all the marketing emails you do not read. You know the ones you have intentions of reading, but you never quite get around to it. Just unsubscribe, you know you will never read them and it's one less thing you have to read later on.
- Have folders for your emails. I have 2 emails accounts - one for my business and one for personal stuff. Some people prefer to have only one. Either way, having folders to separate the various types of emails that you receive will definitely make things much easier to sort through and revert back to
To help you out here are a few of the folders that I personally use; To do, Finance, Follow-up, Important docs, Client Folders, Promotions, Resources, URGENT.
- Delete all of the emails that you don't need. This will ultimately save you storage which will, in turn, save you money!
- Set up filters. Trust me when I say that filters are your friend. I have certain emails which are automatically sent straight to certain folders. I will read these emails when I get downtime or if I am winding down for bed.
- Designate a time of the day to check your emails. Allow 30 minutes to attend to emails. I personally prefer to check mine first thing in the morning, before lunch and just before the end of the day. This is however your choice and something you will need to integrate into your own schedule.
- Respond to emails within 24 hours, once replied, file it away in a completed folder. This point may take some time to get into the habit of doing, but once you practice 24-hour turnaround times, it will become second nature and help with your email housekeeping!
Good luck! There is no better feeling when you see that empty inbox, so go and get started on clearing all of the mails now! You’ve got this!