Trouble with managing your emails?
As businesses and as individuals, the number of emails we send and receive daily is growing, infact Radicati.com says that over 100 billion emails are sent and received per day, set to increase to over 132 billion for business email alone by the end of 2017. More people are working remotely and working at different times of the day, making email one of the quickest and easiest way to communicate.
At network meetings I attend, the quantity of emails and email management is a common annoyance. Having an inbox full of emails, is like having a desk covered in paperwork a queue of people at your door demanding your attention.
One question I was asked recently by a busy website designer was ‘how can I manage my inbox better?’
‘how can I manage my inbox better?’
How to manage your inbox
Having worked as an Executive Personal Assistant for almost ten years, email management is something I can do with my eyes closed. But as a busy business owner, you might not have the time or inclination to manage it and sort the wheat from the chaff within the tonnes of emails you receive every day, but there are ways to make life a lot easier – here’s my top six tips below:
- Stop sending emails – THINK about what you are sending, if it’s important maybe a text or phone call will get you the answer quicker and then you can get on with what you were trying to do. If you send an email, the chances are you’re requiring a reply – and that’s one more email in your inbox;
- Unsubscribe – did you really need to receive that newsletter? Is it still relevent? If you no longer need it, unsubscribe from it;
- Create a separate email for subscriptions – we all love to sign up for a newsletter or two, whether it’s for the special offers or tips and advice. By creating a different email address for anything you sign up to, you can keep these separate from your main business emails and then only look at them when you choose to;
- Use the ‘spam’ button – emails will only keep coming from the same source if you just delete them. If you can’t unsubscribe from them, mark them as spam and they’ll stop hitting your inbox;
- Rules – create folders in your inbox for the stuff you receive most often – this might be daily reports from your sales team for example. Then set up ‘rules’ so that when they come into your inbox, they disappear into the folder immediately. When you need those sales figures, you know where to look for them;
- Flags – you can also flag emails from specific senders so that they are highlighted in your mailbox, allowing you to focus on the most important ones first.
Some email systems are better than others and the degree of automation varies significantly depending on what you use. I love the options within Outlook and the rules you can set up within it, but I also use GMail a lot now, and like the ability to configure my inbox into categories such as Primary, Social and Forums, if you want to know how to do this, read this.
I’m too busy to set up rules and filter my spam!
Then the next best thing is to get someone else to do it. As a Virtual Assistant I work remotely, so can log into your email client and sort out your email nightmares in the ways I have mentioned above, setting up rules and designating emails to the spam bin so you have one less annoyance. Please do get in touch if this is something you need help with.
Running a business is a full time job, so make your systems work for you and not the other way around.
Do you have challenges with your inbox? Have you tried any of these tips and did they work for you? Do you have any tips of your own to share? Please let me know by commenting below.
For details on how we can help you to find the space to grow your business, call us on 07814 218142 or email email@example.com
If you’re unsure of what to delegate you can download our handy delegation list here, download our free guide – 30 ways to use a VA, or, if you are wondering what else we could support you with, try our quiz here.