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

Competing Spectacles, A Review

Over the last few weeks the country has been transfixed on the amazing run of the England football team in Euro 2020. I was initially put off watching the football after I saw the team shamefully bowing to BLM at the start of each game. But as the excitement has grown in the country, I have found myself irresistibly pulled to watch a few games in the tournament. The collective national gaze over England’s Euro 2020 is an example of what Tony  Reinke, the author of Competing Spectacles , calls a spectacle.   A spectacle is something visible that captures our collective attention. It is that moment when society’s eyes and brains focus on something projected at us. This may be a big political story, a sports event, a new film or a badly behaved influencer. We primarily experience spectacles through technologies we use. I have been experiencing the spectacle of Euro 2020 through our television, but others have consumed it on the mobile or in person.  Most spectacles are consumed through ha

Are we worth saving?

In the famous film The Fifth Element , Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) poses a challenging rhetorical question to Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) : What's the use in saving life when you see what you do with it? (Watch  here ).   She is speaking 250 years in the future, where life as we know it is threatened by the arrival of Evil. Only Leeloo (the "Fifth Element") can stop Great Evil from extinguishing life. Leeloo is the vulnerable but "supreme being" that comes as human being to save humanity. To accomplish her task she has to activate the four elemental stones of earth, wind, fire and rain, with her self in the middle as the "fifth element" that is forged into the ultimate weapon against Great Evil. It is at this point of salvation, inside the temple of stones, that Leeloo becomes disillusioned and unwilling to perform the role. She comes to realise that human beings are themselves so evil that they are not worth saving. Any “salvation” will be tempor

Jesus Never Fails

Many a times in my life, the words of this childhood hymn has been a tremendous encouragement. I pray this may encourage you too. Keep looking to Jesus! Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your mother will let you down Your father will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails. Your husband will let you down Your wife will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your brothers will let you down Your sisters-will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your church will let you down Your work will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your friends will let you down Your country will let you down The man of the world will let you down, but Jesus never fails Your wealth will let you down Your health will let you down The man of the world