Skip to main content

13 Email Tips to Keep Your Inbox Under Control

Eric McKiddie provides the following helpful tips to help deal with the deluge of emails. I found number 12 surprisingly useful! 

1. It’s an inbox, not a staybox. Don’t store email in your inbox. It is a good place to receive information, but a bad place to keep it. Delete old emails that don’t matter, and file ones that do.

2. Zero is not the goal. Don’t try to keep your inbox at zero. That is a sign of unproductivity, not productivity. Check it several times a day, not continuously throughout the day.

3. Silence. Turn off notifications for your email, whether audible, visual, or both. This will prevent you from being tempted to dive back into your inbox.

4. Separate quick replies from long ones. Batch process your emails based on how long they take to reply to. First, go through your inbox and reply to everything that requires only a quick response. Then go back through and reply to emails that require more thought.


5. Don’t clean out your email first thing in the morning.  Get started on high level projects first. If you have to check your email first thing, only reply to the emails that require a quick response (see tip #4). Save the longer responses for another time of the day so can get to your priorities right away.


6. Oldest to newest. Are procrastinated emails starting to pile up? Process your email from oldest to newest. This will force you to deal with emails you have been neglecting.

7. Delete without reading. If you can tell from the subject line that the email isn’t relevant to you, delete and don’t even read it.

8. Save attachments. Create folders on your computer for attachments. Or print them. Don’t keep emails in your inbox just for the attached file.

9. Get rid of junk mail. Unsubscribe like nobody else’s business.

10. Use your email’s search capability. A lot of people store emails in their inbox so they will know where it is for later reference. But even if you delete the email, you can always search for it. In fact, deleting or saving emails is a win-win. You’ll find the email faster through a search than looking through each email in your inbox, and your inbox will be cleaner and more current.

11. Lean into your priorities, not email. Never check email as “one last thing” before starting a project that will take a lot of focus and time. You’ll get sucked into the email vortex, and you won’t get your most important work done.

12. Delete emails, even if the conversation is live. Delete emails you have replied to, even if the conversation is still going. You will be reminded to continue the conversation when your email partner replies back to you.

13. What to do with links. When someone sends you an email with a link to a website, click the link and bookmark it in your web browser or save it to Instapaper, and then delete the email. Now the content is stored in a place where you are in “online reading” mode (which is more reflective), rather than “email reading” mode (which is more reactive).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I am what I am by Gloria Gaynor

Beverly Knight closed the opening ceremony of the Paralympics with what has been dubbed the signature tune of the Paralympics. I had no idea Ms Knight is still in the singing business. And clearly going by the raving reviews she will continue to be around. One media source says her performance was so electric that "there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen as she sang the lyrics to the song and people even watching at home felt the passion in her words" . The song was Gloria Gaynor's I am what I am . Clearly not written by Gloria Gaynor but certainly musically owned and popularized by her. It opens triumphantly: I am what I am / I am my own special creation / So come take a look / Give me the hook or the ovation / It's my world that I want to have a little pride in / My world and it's not a place I have to hide in / Life's not worth a damn till you can say I am what I am The words “I am what I am” echo over ten times in the song. A bold declaration that she

The Price of Obedience

If we obey God it is going to cost other people more than it costs us, and that is where the sting comes in. If we are in love with our Lord, obedience does not cost us anything, it is a delight, but it costs those who do not love Him a good deal. If we obey God it will mean that other people’s plans are upset, and they will gibe us with it—“You call this Christianity?” We can prevent the suffering; but if we are going to obey God, we must not prevent it, we must let the cost be. - OSWALD CHAMBERS This is by far the hardest thing we are likely to struggle with as we seek to live lives that are totally surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. What if obeying God meant that your family members lost a well-known or well-loved circle of acquaintances? Had to move to a smaller house? Drove uglier cars? Wore older clothes? Lived by a weekly rather monthly budget?Accepting this part of obeying God is especially difficult for men or women who are the breadwinners for their families. The c

Welcome to the Christian Life

What if someone promised you the perfect place to live, in a more beautiful location than you had ever seen or imagined, with every single one of your needs met and where you would be surrounded by relationships of love forever? What if that person told you that you would need to surrender what you now have, that the journey would be long, and that there would be sacrifices and suffering along the way, but at the end the glories that have been pictured for you would be yours? What if someone promised that when you become weak and disheartened, someone would be there to encourage and strengthen you, so you could continue the journey? What if this person said that there is a place in this gloryland prepared just for you? What would you say and do as you compared the small bag of things you have now to the unprecedented beauty of the gift laid before you? Wouldn’t you say, “I’ll take that journey”? Wouldn’t you be willing to make those sacrifices? Wouldn’t you, in moments of discouragemen