With everything relying so heavily on technology nowadays, it’s likely you’re getting swamped with email messages every day. It’s crucial that you find a system that works for you to help you manage your inbox and stay on top of your messages. Let’s look at a few simple ways you can streamline your inbox.
1. Check your inbox multiple times a day.
The very first step to managing and streamlining your inbox is to check your messages multiple times a day. Once you set a schedule for checking your inbox, you’ll find it starts to become a habit. Add your email to your computers, phone, and all other devices to make sure you’re always able to be notified of incoming mail. Keep in mind, checking your inbox does not mean you have to respond to all of your messages every time you open your mail. See the following tips for advice on what to do when you’re short on time.
2. Set up an autoresponder.
Once you have a general idea of how long it takes you to answer your emails, set up an autoresponder. An autoresponder will automatically reply to all emails you receive. Typically it will thank the person for writing you, mention any other important information you’d like to pass on, and most importantly, you’ll be able to set a guideline as to when they can expect a response from you.
3. Sort your messages.
Whether you’re a business owner or blogger, it’s likely you’ll start receiving many, many messages every day. The best way to stay on top of those messages is to create folders for each client, event, etc. The more you can sectionalize and organize your inbox, the easier it will be to find the messages you need in the future. Additionally, it’ll save you a lot of time down the road when you have to re-open a conversation to have all the messages you need conveniently in one location.
4. Create a Respond folder.
As I mentioned before, just because you check your inbox doesn’t mean you have to respond to every message right away, and it’s likely you won’t even have time to. This one trick has worked miracles for me, and I bet it will for you as well. Create a RESPOND folder (the all caps really helps too!), and place all of your messages that need your attention in this folder as you receive them. Then, when you have some spare time, you can open up that folder and go through your messages one by one. This saves time by having every message you need to answer all together rather than having to scroll through one long, jumbled inbox list.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
How do you streamline your inbox? Let me know in the comments below!