Do you want to know how to manage your inbox more effectively? Do you have one of those inbox that’s exploding with emails and you don’t think you’ll ever get through them all?

If that sounds like you, then I’ve got some good news. Read on to find out an easy way to quickly get on top of your inbox and manage it moving forward.

Don’t Make This Mistake

The natural thing to do is to look at what’s already in your inbox and want to tackle that first.

Only problem is … looking at that massive bunch of emails doesn’t inspire you to sort them out!  So I suggest this instead …

Create a folder in your inbox for all of that backlog. Let’s call it the pre-organisational stage.  Move all your backlog into this folder to clear your inbox and your mind.  Give it a fun name if you like. Anything that makes sense to you really.

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

Create Your Action Folders

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
  • Client Emails to Action
  • My Emails to Action

Next Steps

Set a time each day to go through your new emails and sort them into your new action folders. For me I do this once in the morning and once at the end of the day. This stops me from getting sidetracked with incoming emails all day and gives me time to focus on project work.

Now you have that under control, the only 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 the volume of emails and what you’ve got happening in yhour business. You want to take daily action in some folders.

  • To Do
  • Client Emails to Action
  • My 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 and then trash the rest.

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