Six email accounts and 1,043 unread emails. That’s my current total today. And I’m launching a new business in a few weeks, which will mean more email addresses. And more emails.
While some days it feels overwhelming; most of the time I have a handle on it. Here are the top five tips I’ve adopted to help tame my inboxes.
1. Get out of the office. This may sound counter-intuitive, but follow my thought process. With smart phones and tablets we have the ability to be connected anywhere at anytime. Yesterday I deleted a dozen emails and responded to another 10 while sitting in the drive-thru waiting for my grande hazelnut latte. I blasted through another 50 while waiting for my lunch date to show up. Does this mean I’m connected 24/7? No, it means I take advantage of down time while I’m living my life.
2. Use your words. This blog, my emails, and nearly all of my computer work is dictated into a wireless headset, a smart phone app, or a mini digital recorder. You can speak up to six times faster than you can type. The voice recognition software I use on my computer and on my iPhone is Dragon NaturallySpeaking. You have to try this; it’ll save you countless hours each and every week.
3. Ask for help. Whether you decide to hire help or opt for some technological assistance there are some great options to help you manage your inbox. One of the tools I started using — Unroll.Me — scanned my email accounts and on one account alone I had over 275 subscription to newsletters. No one needs 275 subscriptions to newsletters. No one. This program allows you to roll your subscriptions into one handy dandy newsletter or unsubscribe from one centralized location.
4. Identify a filing cabinet. Your inbox is not a filing cabinet. Do not hold on to every email because you think it might be important – someday – in the future – maybe. When you read an email act on it. Then delete it or put it in the appropriate folder. Do not attempt to simply warehouse it in your inbox until you need to act on it or figure out what to do with it.
5. Let it go. Chances are if it’s over six months old and sitting in your inbox it’s become obsolete or irrelevant. Let it go, delete it, get rid of it and get over it.
These are just some of the tools I used to stay on top of the multitudes of emails that come into my world daily. What are some of the tips you use?