Do you want to cry every time you open your email program and see the volume of emails that have piled up? Are you dreading what your email is going to look like when you return from holidays?
Here are five simple tips to help you organise that inbox!
1. Make use of folders
Create a list of folders to sit underneath your inbox to deal with different clients, personal emails etc. You can then move items from your inbox into your new folders, which makes it a lot easier to locate emails that you may need to refer back to.
2. Set up rules
Rules can be a brilliant saviour to your inbox! Once you have your folder structure in place, set up rules to automatically place emails of a certain characteristic directly into yoru folders (i.e. emails you send to a client could be placed directly into that client’s folder, or emails sent to you from family members could be placed directly into your personal folder).
3. Back up, Back up, Back up!
What would you do if you turned on your computer tomorrow morning to find that your email files have been corrupted? I speak from personal experience here, this scenario has happened to me and I was devastated! To minimise the impact, I suggest that you regularly back up your email files. Find out where they are stored on your computer (if using Outlook, go to ‘Tools’, ‘Options’, ‘Mail Setup’, ‘Email Accounts’, ‘Data Files’) and make sure you back them up on a regular basis (I back up every two days).
4. Use the Flag for Follow Up/Task Features
If you receive an email that needs to be responded to in a week, a fortnight, a month, then drag and drop it into your task feature, or set a ‘flag for follow up’ action to remind you to take action. This saves you from forgetting about following up on that quote you sent out, or paying that invoice to your supplier.
5. Clean it out!
Like any filing system, your email can become clogged up with items that you really don’t need to retain. Try to allocate time on a regular basis (maybe monthly, or quarterly) to have a good clean out and review your folders, rules, signatures etc.
Do you have any great email organisation tips that you would like to share? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your words of wisdom!