Do you feel like your inbox is taking over your life? The constant ba-ding, ba-ding, ba-ding alert of emails pinging into your box is driving you round the bend. Not to mention the constant pressure to answer customer enquiries, follow up prospective leads, sift through the spam and stay up to date on everything that is going on. That elusive inbox zero seems beyond impossible right now.
What would you say if I told you that inbox zero is entirely possible? You just need a few clever tricks up your sleeve. Here are our best tricks for staying on top of your inbox…
7 Top Tips For Inbox Zero…
1: Make An Appointment With Your Inbox
There is a reason that this is tip number one because it is THE most important way to prevent your emails taking over your life. Schedule certain times in the day to check and answer your emails. Don’t keep your inbox open in between these times. Focus on other tasks without the distraction of new emails arriving.
2: Use The 2 Minute Rule
Is it something that you can deal within 2 minutes or under? Then answer it now. Don’t file it for later because it will end up taking twice as long to complete when you have to reread it and get up to speed again. You can also make other emails fit into the 2-minute category by forcing yourself to make quick decisions on trivial things. Refrain from wasting time you don’t have and get decisive!
You know those email lists you signed up for goodness knows when and goodness knows what for? Unsubscribe from them! If you regularly delete the emails from a certain sender then what they have to say is clearly not a priority. Use Unroll.me to consolidate all of your email subscriptions into lists and mass unsubscribe to the things that don’t interest you anymore.
4: Get sorted with Sortd
Get your inbox sorted with Sortd. This is a tool that I personally use in my office with my VA – yes, I fully see the irony of a VA having a VA of her own. But she is part of my team and amazing at what she does! Over the Christmas break I had achieved inbox zero, but as the year went on, the inbox number crept up and up. I want to share my strategy for keeping my inbox in line.
I use a combination of GSuite (if you aren’t already on GSuite, then you can use this link to get a 20% discount) and Sortd Pro. I have categorised my emails into Client Tasks To Do, My Biz To Do List, Tasks With The Team, My VA To Action, Personal List and Networking List. My VA filters the emails that arrive into their respective lists. So when it comes time to do my client work, I only have to look at that list and don’t get distracted by the others. Work doesn’t have to be boring either, my VA and I compete to see who can keep their list of emails the lowest.
5: Use A Task Management System
Instead of having a long list of unread emails sitting in your inbox, migrate them into a task management system. Then you can keep your inbox relatively clean, but not miss any tasks. I can recommend using Trello or Asana for this.
6: Canned Responses
If you get sick of typing the same response again and again, then stop doing it. I don’t mean stop replying, but stop wasting time. Construct a template that you can just copy and paste into your response. You can also set up canned responses to alert people to your availability, when you will be checking your emails, or when you are in the office. This gives people an expectation on when they can expect to hear back from you.
Managing your email is not just about answering messages in a timely manner. It is also about the quality of your emails. Think about it, if you receive a message that is riddled with spelling and grammar errors then it tarnishes your opinion of a business. Are they really professional if they can’t even use spell check?
Grammarly saves you from all of the embarrassment of poorly worded emails. It checks your content before you hit send, alerting you to any errors in the text. You can correct them before dispatching your email off into the cyber world (or blog post like this one)!
Bonus Tip: Get Some Help
If you have implemented all of these tips and you still can’t manage to stay on top of your emails, then it is time to get some help. Just like my VA manages my inbox, she (or another one of my amazing team) can look after yours too.
Remove the worry of missing an important message, losing information, or giving your customers a bad impression. Our Inbox Management service will do all of that and more. Get in touch with us to see how we can release you from the stranglehold of your inbox and help you achieve inbox zero.