Between sifting through spam, crafting the right responses, and keeping tabs on the messages that require follow-up, staying on top of your inbox can feel like a job in itself. That’s why we picked the brains of professionals who have figured out the secret to efficient, organized inboxes—despite getting hundreds of emails a day. Because having a system in place can help you conquer even the most unruly inbox.

10 Ways to Manage Your Email Inbox—According to People Who Get 100+ Emails a Day
  1. Only Keep Emails Requiring Immediate Action in Your Inbox. …
  2. Create a “Waiting Folder” for Action-Pending Emails. …
  3. Make Subfolders or Labels Your New BFF. …
  4. Set Inbox Rules or Filters. …
  5. Use Your Calendar to Track Emails That Require Follow-up.

TOO MANY EMAILS? Use THESE Proven Techniques | Outlook tips included

How to manage your email

Its best to manage your email with a consistent system. While you might want to establish your own process that works best for your industry, company and specific job, these steps can help you get started:

1. Schedule time to check your email

Set aside time each day to check your email and dont check it unless its the appropriate time. This way, you can focus on your other tasks and responsibilities without worrying about whether youre receiving important messages. Depending on your role and the number of emails you receive, you might need to check your email every hour or two, or you could do a check once at the beginning of the day and once at the end of the day if you dont receive many high priority emails.

2. Sort your emails

When you open your email, quickly scan and sort the unread items into folders or use tags to mark them. This will help you prioritize which emails to respond to first and which can wait if you run out of time during this email check. Sorting and labeling your emails will also help keep your inbox clean and manageable, allowing you to immediately identify the items you need when you need them.

3. Respond appropriately

After youve sorted and tagged your emails, respond to those youve marked highest priority. Work your way through your responses in order of most immediate or pressing to those with the longest lead time. If an email requires extensive follow-up or will take you longer than you have to gather documents or information, consider sending a message saying youre working on a full response and set a specific time in your daily agenda to provide an appropriate response.

4. Set auto-responses

Consider using auto-responses during your non-email checking work times. An auto-response might say something like, “I check my email every two hours. If this is a high urgency situation, please call me at 555-555-5555. I look forward to reading your message soon,” so senders expecting an immediate response know to call you if its incredibly time-sensitive or to wait for a response in a couple hours.

5. Turn off notifications

Finally, turn off any notifications you have associated with your email once youre done with your regular email check. A ping or pop-up alerting you to a new message can distract you from what youre doing, even if you dont check the message immediately after receiving the notification.

Why is it important to manage your email?

Email is often the primary communication tool for many employees. Its a great way to get in touch with someone without the immediacy of a phone call, but still a relatively quick and effective communication platform. However, since so many people use email, many people find themselves investing a good amount of time during the workday to reading and responding to email messages. Establishing an effective management system for your email inbox can help you stay on task while still maintaining your necessary correspondence with your customers and colleagues.

Tips for managing your email at work

Managing your email at work is best done by establishing a consistent system that works for you personally and for your company. Use these tips for other ways to maximize your email time and keep your focus while on the job:

FAQ

How do you manage email?

10 Ways to Manage Your Email Inbox—According to People Who Get 100+ Emails a Day
  1. Only Keep Emails Requiring Immediate Action in Your Inbox. …
  2. Create a “Waiting Folder” for Action-Pending Emails. …
  3. Make Subfolders or Labels Your New BFF. …
  4. Set Inbox Rules or Filters. …
  5. Use Your Calendar to Track Emails That Require Follow-up.

What does email management mean?

Email management is a systematic approach to maximizing the efficiency of email practices and minimizing the negative effects that email handling can have on an individual’s productivity and job satisfaction.

Why is it important to manage your email?

10 Email Management Skills Everyone Should Learn to Be More Productive
  • Pick your money-making emails and prioritize them. …
  • Touch every email just once. …
  • Don’t treat your inbox as a to-do list. …
  • Use just one app/tool across all your devices. …
  • Deal with email just twice a day. …
  • Utilize template responses.

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