Email is the most common form of work-related communication. So many people are bombarded with many emails in a day, and it can become overwhelming.
Having all of your emails pile up in your inbox is not a good idea because it quickly becomes too difficult to find anything. But, following these organizational tips can get you on your way to a clean inbox and a more sane life.
Think about your goals
Take a few minutes to consider your goals. Knowing where you want your end point to be will help you get started and stick to your plan.
Where do “done” emails go?
Your first choice needs to be where to put emails after you have read them and taken any necessary actions associated with them. The best way to accomplish this step is by creating a filing system. A good rule of thumb is to keep an email for about a month after you’ve completed the tasks associated with it. If it pertains to a large project, you can keep it a bit longer.
Creating a filing system
Creating a filing system does not need to be daunting; just follow these steps:
- Take a quick scan of your emails and create a list of big categories
- Create subfolders within the big categories
- Start dropping emails into their appropriate file folders
To delete or not to delete
This is the point at which some people become paralyzed with fear. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you haven’t looked at the email in the past month then it is okay to delete. Exceptions to this rule are important documents such a contracts. Go back over emails that you have filed every few months and do a purge, so you don’t get overwrought with emails.
When to put an email in its file
Keep an email in the inbox until you take an action on it. As soon as the action is completed, then file it where it belongs.
Once your filing system is in place, create rules for what to do with incoming emails and always follow them. It will help you stay organized. Once your email inbox is organized, you will feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. But, realistically, busy people often feel like they do not have the time to begin the inbox organization process.
That’s where Gabbyville can step in. Their virtual receptionists can help you organize your inbox and keep it humming smoothly. Contact Gabbyville today and take control of your inbox before it takes over control of you.