A lot of us commit to making positive changes in the beginning of the year. These changes range from losing weight, spending more time with family, or even getting more organized. These positive changes can also apply to our email habits. According to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute, users spend approximately 28% of their time each week simply reading, organizing and responding to email. And this is for personal email as well, not just our jobs.
So in an effort to start off the year with good habits, we wanted to share some tips that will help you manage email more efficiently so that you can spend time on things that are important to you.
1. Put email on the Schedule
Successful people don’t just check email; they process it. Treat email like any other task. Plan some time for it, put it on your daily schedule and then tackle it like anything else you want to accomplish. More importantly, stick to the allotted time you designated for it so that you don’t get caught up and miss out on other important things. Putting email on your schedule will ensure that it’s done with intention.
2. Stop Excessive use of the CC Field
Another easy way to keep email management is to stop cc'ing so many people on your emails. This includes skipping the "reply all” button. The less email you send to people, the less you will receive back. By limiting your email to people who need to see your communication, you’ll reduce the clutter. Plus, your family and friends will thank you for not adding to their inbox.
3. Set up Rules & Folders
Another way to get your email organized is by filtering messages into separate folders. For example, if you are a frequent Amazon shopper you can create a rule to filter Amazon messages into a specified “online shopping” folder. This way, you ensure you never miss a promotion from the retailer or misplace a receipt email because you’ll know exactly where they’re stored. Creating a rule is really simple: from the Settings page, you can create a rule with many or just a few filter requirements. It all depends on what type of messages you wish to focus on (i.e. from a specific user, a particular subject line or even priority level). These are just a few examples of filters that can be implemented. The more you use rules, the easier it will be to find and decide which email needs your immediate attention.
4. Don’t Make Your Inbox, Your To-Do List
People often leave messages in their email inbox for reference later, almost as if it is a sort of secondary to-do list. This is not a good idea. When you use your inbox as a “To-do” list, messages tend to live there forever. The pile of unnecessary messages creates chaos and hinders your ability to be productive. Alternatively, ask yourself if can you delete it, forward it to someone else, or can deal with it in five minutes or less. If so, reply to the email immediately and delete the email. If it has to wait until later, schedule a time to reply and move the message to another folder named “Handle this Week”. Also, remember that you have other tools that can serve as a “secondary to-do list”, such the Calendar, Notes or Tasks features – all of which are included within WebMail V12’s Calendar application. If there is an important event to remember, add it to your calendar. If you have an actual “to-do” item, add it to the task list. All of these tools can be utilized so that you aren’t storing messages until the end of time. If you no longer need a message, then delete it and or file it in a folder so that it does not clutter up your inbox.
Putting new email practices in place is a great way to start the New Year. By following these simple recommendations, you’ll be set to have a more productive and balanced approach to your time and productivity.