Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Managing Your Email Inbox

Tips for Tuesday

Depending upon your circle of friends and family, you may or may not handle large amounts of emails. If you own a business, it's even worse. Every day, I receive over 300 emails on various accounts. That's a lot of time that I have to spend sorting through those emails and taking action on them. So how do you manage your email?

1. Set up spam filters. Many programs like AOL and Yahoo have them built in. A good anti-virus program will filter for you also. In Outlook, I can block emails from specific email addresses as they arrive. That weeds out about 50/day for me.
2. Take yourself off as many mailing lists as you can. Often, when you purchase something or complete a survey, there's that little box that is automatically checked to receive emails from similar sponsors. Look for that box to un-check. If you do find yourself on unwanted lists, unsubscribe from them immediately.
3. Schedule time to read your emails. Open them in the morning, at lunch, and again at the end of your work day. Look at personal emails in the morning or evening.
4. If you look at emails on more than one device, have them automatically delete from one device after it's been opened on another. Then you won't have to delete them from two devices.
5. Act on your emails only if you have the time. If it would take more than two minutes to respond, then move on to the next email. Flag the saved email for action later.
6. Color code or flag the emails that remain in your Inbox. Categorize them by importance--Act Today, Act this week, Read later, etc.
7. Don't let them pile up in your Inbox! If you need to save them, move them to a folder. The more they add up, the more overwhelmed you'll get. Before you know it, you'll have thousands of emails to sort through.

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