We all have those busy weeks where we’re running here and there and barely have time to remember to eat breakfast, let alone go through emails. By Friday, when I finally get around to scrolling through my inbox, it resembles a sea of blue dots — comprising of lots of unopened emails. And with things flagged and saved for later it’s easy to lose track of important emails that require your attention.
So what’s a busy girl to do? If having a personal assistant to declutter your inbox isn’t in your budget (yea, it’s not in mine, either), here are a few easy tips that can save you time…and help you avoid the dreaded tyranny of the inbox.
Hit unsubscribe: Inbox filling up with emails about deals, steals, and sales? Don’t kid yourself. Deleting those unnecessary emails takes precious time. If it’s a store you no longer shop at, remove yourself from their mail list. You’ll be amazed at how many fewer emails bombard you each week. Hint: Using a tool like Unroll.Me can help show you where you are subscribed and make removing yourself a breeze!
Set aside a few minutes each day to go through recent emails: It’s easy to flag important emails on the go, but then forget to come back to them later. Try to set aside five or ten minutes each day to check what’s come in during the last 24-hours. It will help you manage your inbox without feeling overwhelmed when you see the little icon telling you that you have 200 unread emails (or 141, in my case).
Mark important senders as VIP: You know those people that you need to answer ASAP, like your boss? Having them marked as VIP will help create a sense of urgency when an email from one of them appears in your inbox. Hint: Try to limit the amount of people labeled VIP to five or fewer.
Aim to start the new week off with zero emails: I try to go through my emails as they come in. But it rarely happens that I get through all of them. The tips above have helped me stay on top of my email game, but I still get stressed when there are too many unopened emails at the start of a new week. Recently, I set a goal that come Monday morning I will have zero emails in my inbox, which means that I spend the weekend going through whatever is leftover from the week. It’s a great feeling when you can start each week off fresh and ready to tackle what’s ahead.
What helps you keep your inbox organized? I’d love to hear your tips!