There are a lot of time wasters in life and sometimes it feels like email is one of them. There is so much spam and information (albeit useful) that there is no way for a person to ingest every bit of it. Even if you delete your spam, there is still a lot left over that can be difficult to manage. But, you can get a handle on your email with these tips.
Check Your Email on Schedule – Depending on your responsibilities, it’s best to check your email from one to three times a day at regular times. For example, check your email in the morning, in the afternoon, and then before you get off work or before you go to bed depending on your needs. Fewer trips to your inbox mean less wasted time.
Unsubscribe from Newsletters You Don’t Read – All of us have signed up for various newsletters that are full of information that we know we’d love to read about. But, we don’t read it. We just save it in the email software, causing us to miss out on other important messages that we do need to read. If you’ve not read information from anyone you’ve signed up for within 30 days, delete them all and unsubscribe from the lists.
Create a “Spam” Address – This is an email address that you’re going to check on either a weekly or monthly basis - one that you’ll use for any business for which you don’t know anyone personally and you order from them on occasion, or for when you sign up to get a freebie and you know you likely won’t have time to read the messages. That leaves your regular email address cleaner.
Reply, Schedule, Delete, Save – It might be tempting, but you don’t have to reply to every single email. When you open an email, if you can answer it right away with the information that is needed, do it right then. If you can’t, put it in a "reply by date" folder. So, with each email, you should be able to reply, schedule a reply or delete it. There will be very few emails that meet the "save to read later" category. Ensure that you are very picky about this. If it’s not something you know you can act on, delete it. Delete your saved emails every thirty days.
Extract Important Info – Instead of leaving emails in your box to save the important information, extract the info and put it into a database. If it’s really needed, then you’ll go through the effort. If it’s not needed but you think you should save it “just in case”, then you should just delete it.
Set Up a Shopping Folder – When you shop online, you’ll get a lot of receipts and you may need to save them for tax purposes. If so, set up a folder for receipts to go into, with the tax year on it; for example 2017. Then filter all receipts into that folder. That way you’ll have any receipts handy when you need them.
Use an Autoresponder – Even in your regular email you can set up an autoresponder that explains to people that you answer emails at particular times of the day. That way, if something is important they’ll pick up the phone to call you instead of sending an email. Also, with an autoresponder, you can schedule emails you want to send later. A good one to try for Gmail is Boomerang. http://www.boomeranggmail.com/
Set Up Filters – Most email programs can filter information so that before you even look it’s labeled a certain way. That way you can manage the email correctly. There are some emails you simply don’t need to open and read. This way you can delete them more easily and see the important messages faster. For example, you can filter messages that have certain words to be labeled with that word, so you can search that word and answer them faster or delete.