Since we are getting our offices cleaned up and organized this week, I thought I’d share a few ideas for keeping your inbox under control. How many emails do you get every day? Me? I get somewhere between 25-50+. Every. Single. Day. I’m sure there are many people getting a whole lot more than that. If those pile up for a week, I’m looking at 300+ emails, and that’s a lot! What are we to do in this age where most communication is handled via email? Here are 5 steps you can take to get a handle on your inbox.
How many times are we asked to submit our email address for various purposes? We make an online purchase and give our email, we really want to win that million dollar sweepsakes… submit our email. Order pizza online… email… You get the picture. Very often there is a little box (already checked for your “convenience”) that states you agree to receive email from that company. My first word of advice is to uncheck that box before the emails even start arriving, but we all forget (or never see it in the first place) and start getting emails on a daily basis. These are overwhelming and just add to the clutter. If you have these types of emails in your inbox, you can simply unsubscribe. Most often the unsubscribe link is at the bottom of the email.
There are other types of emails you can unsubscribe from as well. For example, Pinterest used to send me an email every time I had a new follower. On average, I get 5-10 new followers every day. That’s 10 new emails in my box. You can modify your settings and ask that Pinterest not contact you at all, or choose to receive just one email each day showing all your new followers. The same options are available for other social media accounts as well.
Dare I even say this? Yes. I need to. Blogs. Sometimes we subscribe because we find the content interesting, but after awhile our interests change or we aren’t receiving the content we originally signed up for. Here’s an example: When someone unsubscribes from my blog, they are asked to give the reason for unsubscribing. One person unsubscribed stating they had only signed up to receive recipes. Nothing more. Well, I can totally understand the reason for the unsubscribe because I have a total of (I believe) 2 recipe posts on my entire site. She wasn’t receiving the content she was hoping for. If you are overwhelmed with the amount of emails you receive from a blog, but still enjoy the content, often there are options to receive a weekly email vs. emails every time a post is published. I added this option a few months ago, and love that my readers now have the weekly option.
2.) Use The Trash Button
I purposely subscribe to emails from stores where I often shop. I like to be aware of special coupons or deals that are going on. However, these emails come every day. If I know that I’m not going to The Container Store today, there’s no need to keep an email with their “One Day Only” Special Offer. Just trash it and forget about it. See a blog post from your favorite blogger, and the title is about crafting with kids… and you don’t have any kids… nor will be crafting with kids at any point in the near future? It’s okay to just trash it and read about your favorite interior design tip next time.
Use the trash button for items you have read and don’t need anymore. That announcement from school, saying classes are releasing two hours early, is no longer needed 2 weeks later. While important to know that day, once you’ve read it and your kiddos are home safe, trash it.
3.) Set Aside Time to Go Through Emails
Often times we check our email as we’re sitting in the drive-thru or waiting at the doctor’s office. Problem is, when your order’s up or the doctor enters, you put your phone away… or, at least that would be the polite thing to do. Now the email is marked as read, and while there was something that needed attention, we forget about it in our hamburger-induced-coma. The email scrolls on down and we forget all about it. By setting aside a chunk of time to sit down and focus on our inboxes, we can actually address those emails immediately.
4.) Less than 5 Minutes to Address? Do it Now
We often get emails that simply require us to jot down a date in our planner, or quickly respond to a question. If it will take less that 5 minutes to completely take care of the email, do it now.
If, on the other hand, you don’t have time to address it in the moment, flag it so you will remember to address it when there is time.
5.) Use Folders
There are a number of emails that I want to keep for reference, but I don’t need to see them every day scrolling across my screen. For these items, I make folders in my email account and simply drag my email over to the correct folder. Most of the folders I have created are for blogging purposes: Affiliate Programs, Pinterest Activity, Payments Made & Received, etc. You will have your own folders based on what comes through in your email. I also suggest a folder “Just for Fun”. These can include all those emails that are simply for enjoyment purposes. Open this folder when you have a few minutes waiting for an oil change, or while on break at work.
Do you have any handy tips you use to control your inbox? I would love to hear about them.
Enjoy your day!
Just in case you want a few more emails in your inbox 🙂
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