Do you have one of those inboxes that’s exploding with emails and you don’t think you’ll ever get through them all? If that sounds like you then I have some good news.  Read on to find out an easy way to quickly get on top of your inbox and manage it moving forward.

Mistake – Tackling the Backlog of Emails First

If you look at the hundreds of emails sitting in your inbox it doesn’t inspire you to sort them out does it?  So instead, I suggest you create a folder in your inbox for all those emails that are pre-organisational stage.  This will clear your inbox and leave you feeling a bit more freed up in your mind.  You could call this folder “backlog” or “old mess” or whatever takes your fancy.

The next step then is to figure out some action folders you would use regularly that you can sort your incoming emails into.

Action Folders To Create

For me I have created the folders below. They work for me and I find it easy to lay my eyes on any email I need.

  • To Do
  • To Read
  • To Pay
  • To Keep
  • Working Projects
  • Client Emails To Action

Next Steps

Now as new emails come in, set a time each day you go through your new emails and sort them into the action folders you created.

You don’t want to be looking at emails every time they come in. It will take up your whole day before you know it. So turn off your email notifications, pick one or two times a day to check them. You could try 9am and 4pm.  

Now you’ve got that under control the only other thing left to do is to work out when you are going to deal with the emails in your action folders.

When to Take Action

This could be different for each person depending on your volume of emails and what you’ve got happening in your business.  You would want to daily action some folders.

  • To Do
  • Working Projects
  • Client Emails To Action

Others you could leave them as a weekly task.

  • To Read
  • To Pay
  • To Keep

Now don’t forget to schedule in your calendar when you will do these daily and weekly tasks so they don’t get forgotten!

Last thing …

That Dreaded Backlog

If you haven’t looked in this folder for 6 months or more, I’d be tempted to delete the lot!  

On the more cautious side though, I would probably go through and keep anything that is related to finances first, keep them then trash them. 

If you really want to keep some of what’s in that backlog, then set aside a little bit of time each week to chip away at it … maybe straight after you do your weekly filing.

 

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