10 Tips to Effective Email Management
Let’s talk about email management! I do not know about you, but sometimes my inbox can be a little bit scary. Does it ever happen to you that when you are looking for information online about how to do things, or become a Virtual Assistant (like moi!), in order for you to get the information, you need to give your precious email address in exchange?
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It’s no secret that everyone wants your email. This is because it is the precious golden ticket into funneling you into a sale down the road. So you reluctantly give your email address to get the information that you want and need, but then the horror begins! You are constantly bombarded with lots and lots of emails from different agencies, bloggers, business people, all at the same time and you start feeling overwhelmed with your inbox, that you really start to dread it!
Email management can be one of the most stressful tasks as a business owner. Here are a few tips on how you can manage your emails is a more effective way.
Work on your emails one time a day – Set a specific time, every day to read your inbox. I suggest a time of the day where you are the most productive. In my case, I am more productive in the morning.
Prioritize your emails – Read the ones that are going to benefit you at that moment or during the day. Do not go into the rabbit hole and read every single one. Get in and get out quick. You have more important things to do in your business. I suggest putting a specific time to work on your emails. More on that later.
Mark your calendar to reply your emails on a certain day – If you need to respond to inquires, or clients complaints, set up a specific day on the week, like every Wednesday morning where you dedicate yourself to do these tasks only. Nothing else.
You do not need to reply to every single email – It is going to be tempting to respond to every single one, but just pick the most urgent ones, and the others leave it for another day.
Create different templates to manage your emails better – This is where the canned emails come into play. If you are constantly replying the same thing over and over and over again, time for a template! Do a general canned email/template, and it will be easier for you to adjust and tailor it to a specific client. This saves you time! As a busy business owner, time is precious. Don’t waste it!
Only read the ones that are relevant to you – If you share an inbox with your business partner, only read the ones that have your name on it or the ones that you are currently working on. It’s all about focus. Remember, in and out… do not go into the inbox rabbit hole.
Categorize your folders by topics – My inbox is filled with folders! Folders are BAE to me! Once I finish reading, I move it to its special folder for future reference. Some examples of folders that you can have can be: “To do”, “Urgent”, “Done”, “Bills to Pay” etc.
Set up your filters – Gmail has a super nice tool where you can tell when a specific email comes into your inbox it can categorize it for you! I LOVE automation! For this just go to Settings Wheel —> Settings —> Filters and Blocked Addresses — > Create New Filter —> on the “From” put the email address that you want to filter —> Create filter and pick the options that you want on your email. For me, I pick to skip the inbox and apply the label that it needs to go to, and Voilá! There are other options, pick the ones that suit your needs.
Time yourself when replying to emails and the time spent in your inbox – Similar to point #2. Set up a time of 25 minutes, and once the timer goes off, close your inbox and on to another task. I use the Pomodoro Technique.
Unsubscribe from emails that you have not read in more than 14 days.
So now you might be wondering, “What is my next step?”. Set a day and time this week to start working and cleaning up your inbox. The first step is the most difficult one, which is action!
If you feel that this is something that will be too overwhelming for you to do, the best thing would be to outsource the task. Hire a Virtual Assistant to get the job done. If you need a VA, you can contact me, and I would be more than happy to assist you in tackling that inbox!
If you decide to do it yourself, comment below and tell me:
- How did this little project go?
- What things do you think you need to get better at?
- What strategies did you learn while doing this project quicker?
I am all ears!