If you are like most of us, you probably look at your email and get stressed out. An email inbox represents a to do list that you have to do, but you really didn’t have control over. Other people are essentially deciding your schedule. For some people, they can spend an entire day replying to emails and not get any work done.
But email remains an essential work tool. How can we balance the benefits of email, against its potential drawbacks? How can we avoid email overload and not let email be a source of stress in our life?
I reached out to 85 successful professionals who have developed an effective email strategy. Together we have 400 tips to effectively manage emails.
I hope you enjoy these and that you can find some wisdom nuggets to improve your life.
Audrey Morrissey is an executive producer and the creative force behind The Voice, NBC’s four-time Emmy Award-winning musical competition series. Morrissey’s roots are in music television. A veteran of MTV, she spent nine years at the network in their music and specials division working on their high-profile music series and annual event specials, such as Unplugged, VMAs, and Movie Awards.
1. I calendar my time for responding to emails like I do my personal schedule and my meetings. By having a designated time blocked at intervals throughout the day, I know I’ll be able to read through my emails and respond to those of greatest priority. Plus, with several times blocked during the day, I’ll have time allocated even when my schedule shifts and one of those periods is taken away for a more pressing issue.
2. My husband and I make time with our son a priority so we never have our phones at the table but after he goes to bed, we enjoy some quiet time working together by answering emails, brainstorming ideas and finding the quiet and calm environment to finish out the asks of our day.
3. I use an email client, Sane box, which automatically sorts my email into boxes of different priority: important, later, news, personal, etc. This helps declutter my inbox, allowing me to focus on pressing work emails during the day and the remainder in my off hours.
4. I routinely unsubscribe to unwanted email spam once a week. Being disciplined about this cuts down my inbox numbers tremendously.
5. I keep my email alerts to a minimum. I subscribed to one general news alert and one entertainment news alert to get timely headlines throughout the day and reserve the remainder of my news and other blog checking to mornings and evenings.
Tom Szaky is the founder and CEO of TerraCycle, a global leader in the collection and repurposing of complex waste streams. TerraCycle operates in 21 countries, working with the world’s largest brands and companies to create national platforms to recycle products and packaging that currently go to landfill or incineration. Through TerraCycle, Tom is pioneering new waste management processes to create circular solutions for materials such as cigarette butts, laboratory waste, coffee capsules, personal and oral care waste and even food packaging that otherwise have no other path to be recycled.
1. Take action on each message.
Read the incoming mail and make a prompt decision on each: reply, delete or file away. Start drafts for new messages if you can’t respond in that moment. Do not read each email and then go back to respond to them all — that will require twice the amount of time, if not more.
2. Don’t flag emails.
That said, I often receive emails I can’t fully respond to because I’m busy, I don’t have the answer, or the reply requires an update or additional information. Don’t flag the email to handle later, as in a few days, the flagged email is long forgotten. Write a quick response letting the recipient know that you have received their message, are working on it and will reply again soon, looping in the relevant people who will add to the conversation. Make a note for yourself to follow up, if that is helpful.
3. Delegate when possible.
Whenever it is appropriate or possible, such as when I receive a message better addressed to a team lead or an associate, I forward to my colleagues to answer. If I have context on the situation or any directives or advice, I’ll include that with the original forwarded message, or take a walk over for a quick chat if I’m in the office. Ask yourself, Can this be better handled by someone else? If so, forward it to your team and save yourself the time.
Know what the priorities are. I’m always aware of the messages I should be looking out for and do a decent job of writing emails as they are needed. When I do get to sit down to read email between meetings, calls and frequent travel, this gets my full attention and energy.
5. Use human resources.
Take advantage of the talented, competent people you work with to write effective emails that communicate with clarity. One of the reasons we flag emails or accidentally let things slip is because we are working on the perfect response in an important exchange. Cut down on time wasted (and potential deals dropped) and craft timely, impactful messages with the help of your colleagues.
Issa Asad is founder and CEO of Q Link Wireless. The company supplies low-income individuals and families living in America with a free cell phone and free monthly service that includes free calling, free monthly data, and unlimited text messaging through the government-run Lifeline assistance program. Issa continues to transform the telecom industry with novel customer acquisition strategies and unique approaches to grow customer affinity and loyalty.
I believe that successful business owners use tools that work for them to manage their emails, not necessarily tools recommended by experts. As an entrepreneur, managing my schedule properly is closely connected to my success moving forward, and that means finding the right ways to manage my emails.
• Invest time at the get-go: Filtering and creating folders may seem like a lot of work, but the time you will save in the long run really adds up.
• Perfect time-saving email responses: People are less likely to fault you for keeping it short and sweet than never getting back to them! Stay to-the-point and keep communication simple.
• Integrate tools: Whether it’s Outlook or Google, use multiple features of the same product to keep everything in one place. It’s easier to navigate, whether you’re on your phone or a tablet.
• Sync: There’s no point in finding the optimal tools if you’re not going to sync your devices.
•Trust your team: Be sure to delegate. Having an intuitive assistant who can answer on your behalf will make a world of difference to your time management. It’s also why I keep my staff working for me no matter what industry they started out in — they are crucial parts of the decision-making process, and they understand how I work.
Jillian Ezra is the CEO and founder of Ezra Productions, an award-winning creative agency specializing in video production. After studying economics at NYU and working in finance and PR in New York, Jillian launched Ezra Productions in 2012 when she discovered the power of branded storytelling. Jillian is passionate about social justice and creating opportunities for women and minorities in the video production industry.
1. If you never want to forget to follow up with someone, download Boomerang immediately. It is an absolute game changer. When you’re writing an email, it allows you to set a date and a time for the email to boomerang to the top of your inbox. That way, if a person hasn’t gotten back to you, you can politely follow up on schedule. Or if you know you need to deal with an email if it hasn’t been responded to in 2 hours, boomerang it back to yourself in 2 hours.
2. If you’re a night owl like me but don’t want your clients or staff to know you’re reachable after hours, or if you want your email to be the first thing someone sees in the morning, utilize the send later feature in Boomerang. You can set a specific date and time for your email to be sent.
3. If you work well with time blocking and use email as a distraction, limit the number of times a day you check your email to 3. Don’t respond to emails in real-time. It might sound crazy, but your time is valuable and people will wait.
4. When you do check email, scan for the most important ones and deal with the ones that have the highest priority first.
5. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails with https://unroll.me/ once every 3 months.
Brian Ludwig joined Cvent in 2000, shortly after the company was founded. Brian was initially a top contributing sales rep and rose the ranks over the years. As SVP of Sales, he oversees Cvent’s worldwide sales of the flagship event management solutions division and the mobile app solutions division.
The top tips I use for managing my email in the midst of extensive travels and meetings are:
– Make font small and no lines of text preview below the email itself so that emails in inbox just take up one line — therefore maximum number of emails can be seen on one screen. Then nothing falls through the cracks.
– Use quick parts to insert commonly used paragraphs, phrases, text, etc.
– Don’t reply all if not needed. Just reply to the one or two people that need to see your reply, thereby mitigating how much back and forth will happen on the chain. — Flag emails that need follow up. I’m surprised at how many skip this practical feature.
– Folder anything you need to reference later. Don’t leave it in the inbox.
-Delete anything that has been read and doesn’t need to be in a folder. Don’t leave it in inbox.
Levi is the Manager of SEO and Community at G2 Crowd. Levi works on creating content users love, while also bringing visibility to G2 Crowd’s new content. Before coming to G2 Crowd, Levi graduated from Indiana University’s Telecommunication department.
Canned responses save me hours a week. I was able to see what responses/emails I was receiving the most, and build default messages to save in my email client. Then instead of writing out these responses every time, I could just select my default canned response and hit send.
Sharlrita is a successful entrepreneur, motivational speaker, business strategist and author. She is dedicated to teaching and coaching women entrepreneurs and women in leadership to break through the proverbial glass and sometimes concrete ceiling. As the Secret Weapon for women, Sharlrita provides proven, exclusive strategies and tips to help them build profitable online and marketplace businesses.
My top five tips for managing emails are
Gretchen Hydo is an executive business and life coach who helps her clients get more of everything they want. With her background in PR, marketing, and business development, Gretchen gives her clients powerful tools to achieve their goals, break through obstacles, and become laser focused. Some of the benefits of working with Gretchen include enhanced decision-making skills, greater interpersonal effectiveness, and increased confidence.
1. Like paper mail, emails need to be organized. It’s important to go through your emails and either delete, respond or file them so that your inbox isn’t overflowing.
2. Many people suffer from FOMO — fear of missing out, and so, they keep all of their livingsocial, groupon, and others ads that infiltrate their inboxes instead of deleting them. Even if you have not read them, it is okay to delete them. If you want to find the latest deal, you can google it later. Having a sparse inbox makes the brain feel more optimized and less overwhelmed.
3. If you are lucky enough to have an assistant, give that person access to your email and let them do some of the heavy lifting. Assistants know what is junk and what isn’t.
4. Set up different email accounts and use them for different things. Junk mail can go to a certain account, business to another, personal to another. This way you can quickly scan and assess what you need to get back to.
5. Lastly, respond to your email daily. Don’t let it pile up.
Jessica Higgins, JD MBA BB is a marketing entrepreneur whose research and publications help executives and everyday people better understand the impacts of emerging cultural trends. She owns the digital media agency, Digital Unicorns, where she and her team elevate the digital influence of their clients. Her first book, 10 Skills for Effective Business Communication: Practical Strategies from the World’s Greatest Leaders released at #1 in Amazon New Releases for Communication and Social Skills.
My work is a lot like drinking from a fire hose. I am the CMO of all my clients, meaning that emails flood in all day from the east to the west coast, and then all night from India and abroad. Because the email flow is 24/7 I have to seriously self-manage my emails so as to not go crazy or get too overwhelmed. Here are my top 5 tips to handle emails if you, like me, are on 24/7.
I. Recognize the toxicity of emails.
My first tip is about awareness. You absolutely cannot multi-task no matter how much you convince yourself otherwise. None of us can. Our neuro-firing gets disrupted when we check an email and it takes about 5–15 minutes to get back into productive flow afterward.
II. Only check during non-productive time.
If you really look at your day there is a lot of idle time. I check my emails while walking between meetings, ordering lunch, and all the other non-productive tasks I do. This lets me keep my work time for what its designed: doing actual work.
I scan all emails quickly and if I can respond in a second then I’m on it. For others that require more thoughtful responses, I mark them as unread and then address them during real working hours. This lets me get through 90% of emails quickly, leaving only 10% that need the extra effort.
IIII. Double check during air travel.
I can’t tell you how many emails have gotten lost on in-air Wifi. If you’re flying, make a list and check it twice when you land!
V. Save the late-night responses in draft.
Anyone who has ever sent a delirious email at 2am knows better. If you haven’t done this yet, then you’re welcome! When you’re tired your error rate increases. It’s so worth it to save and send the following day so that you don’t look unprofessional.
Rhonda has lived and worked in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Mumbai, and across India, with extensive and on-going international travel. She has managed teams of up to 20,000 people as part of global leadership across 162 countries while leading IT transformations. She was one of the first female leaders to spearhead offshoring operations.
She has lived and worked internationally — in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Mumbai, and across India — and has managed teams of up to 20,000 people. Vetere is also the co-author of an HP special edition book, Enterprise Service Management for Dummies.
Rhonda contributes her perspective and knowledge by serving on boards for professional, educational, and athletic institutions, including the US Olympics and Paralympics, The Canadian Cloud Council, Longwood University, George Mason University School of Business, SWAAY Magazine, Miss Fashion Week, and Xcelocloud Inc.
There are many ways to manage emails to ensure that you are prioritizing appropriately. I receive a very large amount of emails everyday and it’s important to be sure to stay organized and manage them in a timely manner.
Check who the email is coming from. Consider the author of the email and how quickly a response is needed. Triage of email urgency is key.
Determine if you are on the To or CC line. Sometimes a response is not warranted, it is just a way to keep you in the loop of activities that are going on. When copied on a note, often there is no response needed.
Start at the top of inbox not bottom. Most current should be addressed first as often problems will be resolved or the most urgent will need to be handled first.
Take 15 minute chunks of time during day to look at email otherwise put it away and focus in current meeting. Tell everyone in a meeting to focus and be present and lead by example.
Don’t hide behind emails. Pick up the phone and call each other if there is too much back and forth. I have found that a conversation or a misunderstanding can be quickly resolved. Also, there can be miscommunication or misunderstandings over email.
Organize emails into folders so it is easy to find any emails that you may need. The best feeling is an empty inbox.
Matthew Aversa is the Vice President of Communications at Rio Vista Universal. At 17, Aversa founded his own PR firm, Twenty One PR, with a focus on talent, hotels, and liquor brands. Being a millennial in public relations, Matthew always stays up to date with current trends and the constantly evolving media world.
With hundreds, if not thousands, of emails coming through everyday, it’s important to keep your inbox AND your outbox organized and clean. Here are my tips:
1. Label all mail. When I receive an email about a specific client or event or anything else I am working on, I make sure to label it to be sure I can reference back when I am following up or need to be able to have the email handy.
2. Read all emails thoroughly. It’s important to be sure to read all emails before clicking that send button. Make sure names are spelled right and that the contents of your emails are specific to who you are sending. In my case, as a publicist, I frequently send a few people pitches about the same client. With that being the case, I need to make sure that there aren’t any incorrectly addressed and that the content is correct.
3. Stay on top of important emails. This one is simple. Any emails that need immediate attention need exactly that, immediate attention. To avoid missing deadlines and important client updates, I always respond with an answer or a note letting who I’m responding to know I am on it.
4. Send to self. This is one thing I do everyday. If I have an email that needs attention and I am not able to get back immediately or if information I don’t have is requested, I forward the email to myself to make sure the email is at the top of my mailbox
5. Delegate. If an email comes through that I can handle but am too busy to get to, I introduce someone else on my team that I know can get back to the person contacting me. It’s important to know that your time is valuable and that it’s not always necessary to respond right away to every email, especially when there are other members of your team that can take the appropriate time to respond.
Francis Perdue is a Senior Publicist and Communication Director for My Beverages. Since 2010 Ms. Perdue has provided public relations and business consultant services to businesses, non-profits, branding to entertainment entities as as well as entertainers.
Managing emails is a daunting task, especially when you think Gmail does the sorting for you. Even with predicted replies form Gmail the program still does not know your needs for work or the tasks you have to get done.The hardest thing to do is to remember to organize the emails in the beginning. First start with understanding what helps you be productive in your everyday tasks. Do you need to see invoices coming in from clients? Are you awaiting replies back from an important person or company? What people are considered preferred and who can be placed in general mail?
My top five tips are:
Adam Mendler is the Chief Executive Officer of The Veloz Group, where he co-founded and oversees ventures across a wide variety of industries: Beverly Hills Chairs, a leading office furniture e-tailer; Custom Tobacco, a one-of-a-kind cigar customization e-commerce platform; and Veloz Solutions, a technology consulting and software development practice. Adam remains active in each portfolio company, providing strategic guidance and driving initiatives related to growth. Adam also provides business thought leadership as a contributor to Forbes, Inc. and Thrive Global; as a speaker to businesses, universities and non-profit organizations; as an expert cited in national media outlets; and as a formal and informal advisor to numerous companies.
My single best tip when it comes to managing emails is to star emails that are important. We live in an age of email overload, and it is impossible for anyone, let anyone busy, to stay on top of their emails in real time. It is inevitable to come across important emails that cannot or need not be responded to right away, but risk getting lost in the shuffle. Star those emails, and when time allows, go through the starred email section in your email account, and re-read and respond to the emails you have starred. You can stay on top of important communications, but do so on your terms and on your own time.
I’m an accomplished Healthcare CEO who was recruited in 2006 to bring the Board’s dream to reality. I got the project unstuck and off the ground, with hard work, grit and chutzpa, and by building strong teams. I positioned PDI as a strong brand and compelling social mission, wrote a business plan, secured a construction loan, raised $1.5M in 1 year, oversaw construction, hired amazing staff; creating what others said was impossible: sustainability in healthcare for families from low-income families.
Healthcare is under intense pressure, with declining reimbursements, profitability under pressure, unprecedented consolidation, regulatory demands, value redefined, and rapidly evolving consumer wants. To not drown in emails, I stay committee to keeping on top of emails. These are my top five tips:
(1) Set aside half an hour each morning to clean out emails you can delegate to someone else.
(2) Set aside the next half hour for the emails you are responding to.
(3) Delete unneeded emails as you come across them.
(4) Dedicate 2 hours in the day where you do not look at your inbox at all. You will be much more productive!
(5) Half an hour before you go home, spend 15 minutes to go through any new emails, rapidly (using same delegate vs answer sorting as in the am).
I execute PR campaigns for leading healthcare, insurance, financial, and professional services companies throughout the nation. I help clients stand out among their peers through thought-provoking editorials, byline opportunities, executive interviews, and content marketing. I studied Anthropology at UC Berkeley and graduated from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business’s BASE Summer Program (Business for Arts, Sciences and Engineering).
1. Use the spam filter. I can’t stress how annoying it is to receive unwanted marketing pitches when you have important tasks at hand. I screen for everything from spam emails to specific phrases.
2. Separate your personal email from your work email. This common sense strategy helps me prioritize client work over the latest Twitter highlights. There’s a time and place for surfing the web.
3. Today, tomorrow, and after. I created 3 folders that separate work that I should do within the day, within the week, and those that can wait. This is helpful when working with a variety of stakeholders at different locations and time zones.
4. Consider an email scheduling add-on like Right Inbox. Scheduling rote tasks ahead of time instead decreases stress and makes you look like a rockstar!
5. Get some rest. Work — life balance for any professional is imperative. I have a 9:00 PM cutoff time for attending to emails to ensure that I get enough sleep and am able to wake up early and energized for the next day.
Lynn R. Zakeri, LCSW is a self-employed therapist in private practice the Chicago area. She has experience working with children, adolescents, adults and families on many issues, including anxiety, depression, transitions, work ethics/motivation, young adult goal setting, self esteem, anger, family dysfunction (present or past), marital therapy, new mom stress, social skills, trauma, self-harming, and eating disorders, among others. Lynn serves on many committees and when she is not working, she is being a parent to two boys as well as plays the part of soccer mom.
I receive anywhere from 100–200 emails a day. I am also responsive and thoughtful in my replies, don’t accidentally miss much, and have a current inbox that reads 10 unread messages.
I have three email accounts. A shopping account, a personal account and a work account.
I have found that these tips work best to manage my emails and to be on-top of them.
1. I handle emails 90% of the time from my laptop, not my phone. I have more of a risk of ignoring something or trashing something I need when it is on my phone. If I read a message on my phone, I go back and mark it unread until I am at my laptop and can put focused thought into the process. I DO often skim my inbox from my phone and in a way that gives me the mindset of what I have ahead of me when I sit down at my laptop and I know what I have coming (lots of work issues? Or perhaps a quiet email day).
2. I do the dump first. I have all three windows open on my laptop. I start my process with my junk email account. I delete most everything, and do not look at what is left. If it is something to glance at and then trash, I will do that at this time (for example, if I want to see what date a package is to arrive). I get rid of all subject titles that I know are not relevant to me in all 3 accounts and hit trash (with the added security that I can go into the trash for a month if needed). As a side note, I unsubscribe regularly from sites I no longer find of interest.
3. I then go back to what is left unread. Starting with the shopping email, going to personal, and then to work, I am ready to focus and tackle what is ahead. I don’t open (or I mark as unread) whatever I need to come back to. If an email requires more time than I have in front of me, it will remain on unread status until I have time to reply.
4. I archive into appropriate folders so my inbox still looks manageable (House, Work, Correspondence, Vacations, Each Child’s Name, etc). When I have an inbox with something left in there, I know that means I need to come back to something interesting in that message.
5. I make sure that my email replies are spaced out (for example, I can see on my laptop where I hit Return) so that each point is more likely to be received and not lost to the recipient on their cell. Often people read emails as they read texts and it is skimmed. It saves a lot of back and forth time when I bullet and space out each issue.
Krystal Covington is a marketing consultant serving international clientele and founder of Women of Denver, a membership organization and community of thousands in Denver, Colorado.
Inbox zero is a real as a purple pig, but there are ways to get close using tools that help organize the box of madness you might be seeing each day.
I use a tools called Boomerang for Gmail that allows me to manage my box more effectively.
I tend to use emails like a to-do list, which leave emails in the box for days or weeks at a time. With Boomerang I can send an email away for now and have it come back when I’m ready to address the issue.
The game of inbox tag gets easier with a tool that allows me to schedule an email to return only if it doesn’t get a response by a certain date. That clears it from my inbox and gives me an accountability partner to remind me to get back with someone if I don’t get what I need.
Overall my new tool has been effective in getting me closer to inbox zero than ever before. Aside from that I focus on deleting emails that don’t get me closer to my goals and aren’t necessary to respond to. In the past I tried to respond to everything, but when you’re telling someone no they inevitably ask why not, which leads to another message and thoughtful response. It seems harsh, but my time and sanity are more important than their ask.
A social entrepreneur by heart, Keli is an Australian businesswoman with one goal in mind — more understanding, tolerance and respect! She is an accomplished author, speaker, single mother, facilitator and social activist who is determined to leave this world in a better state of mind.
Any project, large or small requires focus and prioritizing, and this is especially important when everything you own lets you know you have an email. Honestly, if you are easily distracted you’re screwed!
Ask yourself — what is going to build a relationship and is an immediate investment email?
Tip #1: Prioritize your emails to immediate, weekly and reference only. You need to have a simple system that will remove the clutter and provide some breathing space for everything else you have going on.
Tip #2: Dedicate a set time, for example, 6am — 8am every day to answer those emails that are immediate.
Tip #3: 1 day per week, focus on the not so urgent and file or flag what you have answered for follow up or forwarding.
Tip #4: Keep your downtime to glance and/or file the subscription and notification reference emails.
Tip #5: You need to be ruthless and focus on what is important to your business. Is what you are subscribing to really going to benefit your business? Maybe isn’t good enough because you don’t have time, so file it and go back to it if it becomes relevant to your business.
Time management is key and when everyone and everything wants your attention and money, deleting and saying no will be your life saver… trust me!
Former Police profiler, Jemimah Ashleigh, is a global authority on creating sustainable start-ups and positioning businesses and entrepreneurs as experts in their marketplace. She was named one of Australia’s Top Female Entrepreneurs and a Woman to Watch in 2018. With a no nonsense, straight shooter approach, Jemimah cuts through the noise and smashes the invisible barriers that hold people back from mega-success.
1. Check emails at regular intervals throughout the day
Check your emails once in the morning, once at lunchtime and then one last time in the evening. Do not let your email dictate your day — consider it yet another tool for business. You don’t need to be 100 per cent responsive, especially in 2018 when things are always moving at a rapid pace. Turn off notifications for emails on your phone.
2. Consider the unsubscribe link your new bestie!
Every single one of us gets tonnes of emails everyday so get rid of the emails you don’t really need. There are plenty of tools out there like unroll.me that can help. Another handy tip is never to read through your Spam emails.
3. Run your inbox like a boss
Get organised to help yourself out. Create and maintain separate folders and direct all of your emails into one central inbox.
4. Get into the habit of sending short, succinct responses
Emails don’t need to be long responses. As a general rule, if you can’t fit your response into an email that takes you less than a minute to create, pick up the phone and chat about whatever you need to.
5. Reach zero emails each day
There is nothing worse than the stress of knowing you’ve got 50 emails waiting for your attention in your inbox. Wherever possible, aim to get to zero emails by the end of every working day.
Davis is the co-founder and CEO of Printful, the print-on-demand drop-shipping company that lets anyone start an e-commerce shop and sell print products online. In just 5 years, he’s built a multi-million company and a team of over 400 people in three locations across the USA and Europe. He believes that his success lies in effective time-management and clear goals.
I’ve always seen email as a busywork that steals productive time. To deal with my incoming emails, I have a system:
1) I only read emails at certain times of the day. I use the Boomerang’s Inbox Pause feature, which allows emails to come in twice a day, at specific times when I can devote my attention to them.
2) I use the Gmail’s built-in follow-up reminder feature. It helps me to stay in the loop and make sure that deals and conversations get closed.
3) I use the ‘’inbox zero’’ approach to email management to keep my inbox empty. I recommend a tool called The Email Game — it makes you deal with each email in your inbox (reply, delete, archive, etc.) and discourages you to skip and move forward to the next email until you haven’t handled the previous one.
4) I never use my email for writing down to-do’s, as it motivates you to open your inbox more frequently than it’s necessary, and so you also spend more time in your inbox than it’s necessary. I know that many people use their emails for writing down things to do, but I would recommend using apps that are specifically made for that purpose.
5) I use the 3-strike rule for promotional emails and newsletters. That is — if I have previously deleted a newsletter or a promo email from a specific brand twice, the third time I get a message from them I unsubscribe from the list. I also very carefully consider email lists I subscribe to, and unsubscribe from emails from companies that I’ve bought from once or shop at irregularly.
A self-described C-suite ‘startup junkie’ with a depth of experience in sales and marketing, Mark Godley is CEO of LeadGenius. LeadGenius provides B2B marketing and sales teams with highly-accurate lead generation data and go-to-market intelligence, derived from a unique combination of machine learning and human researchers. With more than 25 years of technology industry leadership and startup experience, Godley most recently served as Chief Revenue Officer for HG Data.
1. Build a filter to move all nurture emails out of your inbox.
2. Turn off ‘threaded’ emails, conversation mode.
3. Turn off desktop and phone notifications.
4. add signature, including your email address, to all replies.
5. Turn off email for the first 90-minutes of your workday.
6. move emails out of your inbox daily and star messages that need follow up.
7. know when email isn’t as effective and a live phone call or f2f meeting will get you to closure with more understanding more quickly.
Solyman Najimi and Juka Innovations Corporation’s Inventor and Partner, Serge Karnegie, are long time friends and colleagues. The two spent more than 10 years bouncing ideas off each other, coming up with inventions. Having daughters and wives with long hair gave them the idea of TubShroom and the rest is history.
1- I go through my email box once every morning to sort through all the important vs. non-critical emails. The important all get responded to on the spot or moved to a To Do folder to be responded to, usually, within 24 hours. The rest are non-critical and are set to read manually or quickly read through. This helps me ensure no critical emails fall through the cracks and I can stay focused on getting through the To Do’s each day. I make sure my To Do folder is either totally empty at the end of each day or, at least, as light as possible.
2- I check for new emails throughout the day no more than once every two hours so my work isn’t interrupted every 5 minutes. This batch method keeps me focused on the task at hand.
3- I move longer-term tasks to a separate cloud-based task manager instead of keeping that task in my email box or in my To Do folder for longer than a day or two. Longer-term tasks are usually lower in priority than the daily To Do tasks.
4- I have multiple emails that I can send out emails from. Each one has it’s own configured signature line which contains my name, position, contact info, website, etc. relevant to that particular email address that I’m sending out from. This saves time in having to re-write or copy/paste that info each time.
Grayson Lafrenz is CEO of Power Digital Marketing, an Award Winning Digital Marketing Agency, listed on the INC 5000 as well personally being a finalist for the San Diego Business Journal Most Admired CEO as well as making it on the San Diego Metro Magazine 40 Under 40 list. Mr. Lafrenz specializes in executive management, internet marketing, employee development and sales leadership with decades of experience growing revenue & driving profit for organizations ranging from Fortune 500 brands to startups.
With over 20 years of experience, June supports promotion of the IPS brand, including strategic planning, messaging and creative services management, with additional responsibility for software product marketing. Her team provides services in brand development, research, campaign and go-to-market strategy, collateral and content development, print/video production, website design, and training programs.
1) Use two (or more) categorized folders for your work account: Our IT team sends anything that I don’t categorize as important to daily work into an Other folder so I can review (and 99.9% of the time, delete) when I have the time.
2) If you’ve been away for some time, even just a couple of days, take a quick look at your oldest messages first, but only for info re: what has transpired in your absence. Respond to recent messages after you’re comfortable you understand enough about current status of an issue or project. Ask colleagues for verbal or written updates if you’re not sure. This avoids a lot a wasted time and misunderstanding.
3) Copy and save significant project-related messages in separate folders. This creates a ‘paper’ trail that you can use for reporting project status, history, expenses, etc.
Nick is a web designer and digital marketer who’s obsessed with driving results for his clients. A focus on goals and results help Nick get results online for businesses he works with.
1–5: Don’t be afraid to archive or delete messages without answering them. 90% of emails are unsolicited or marketing material that you simply don’t need to look at. Make that judgement and delete it. Stop with the fear of missing out and just click the delete button. The only emails that demand a response are people who you are working with to help or are paying you. This is such an important thing to do it is all 5 of my tips for managing emails.
Author, Founder of The Bungalow PR, a lifestyle PR firm. Black belt at connecting the dots. Mama to Milo. @pancakesandhula. Prior to founding The Bungalow PR, Stacie Krajchir-Tom worked as a television producer for 15 years. Her experience ranges from producing morning TV at NBC and Extra, where she produced style, fashion and beauty segments and conducted red carpet celebrity interviews. Stacie is the author of two books published by Chronicle Books and has been featured in media outlets such as Forbes, The Washington Post, Smart Money Magazine, Real Simple, Design Sponge, Lonny and The Los Angeles Times. She is a regular on-air Lifestyle Expert on Extra TV, Access Hollywood, KTLA, Fox & Friends and has been Contributor to Huffington Post since 2007.
1. Morning Check In.
Upon starting my work day , I quickly check emails for anything pressing that requires immediate attention. Anything that is urgent, or on deadline, I reply to immediately — this way fires are put out immediately and I clear the deck of pressing and urgent, stress related tasks and can move on to other things.
2. File Session
Once I’ve addressed the urgent emails, I file the rest into three categorized folders: Priority, One week or This month. Not every single email requires immediate attention, and I have had to force myself out of the habit of scrolling emails and replying to every single one that happens to pop into my in box. This is the most inefficient way to manage emails. With technology, social media, texting and emails , we have somehow manipulated our minds and sent the wrong message to our clients, co-workers , friends and others that we are all available 24/7 — that any message that pops into our in box requires immediate, drop everything action. This is a very unhealthy, stressful and inefficient way to operate our daily lives. We need to instead create systems that help promote balance and a well rounded digital relationship.
3. Today List
I review all the emails in my today folder and create a list and prioritize everything in categories, this helps me with maximum efficiency — I batch my tasks. This is the time I also think bigger picture and list tasks other than my emails that need to be handled as well as personal tasks and those I can delegate to others. Always ask yourself does this require my talent? If it doesn’t, delegate it. Knowing when to delegate is a sign of a good and productive leader.
4. Digital Shut Down
After I check and file emails, I turn off my social media and email alerts for at least one hour. This feels a bit uncomfortable and crazy at first, but I promise it is an incredibly effective strategy. This is what I call my golden hour. It gives me time to knock out a huge chunk of that to-do list. Having been a live TV producer, I can accomplish more things in this one hour than most people do in an entire day. It’s how I am built, which is both a blessing and a curse! But recognizing your most productive time of day is the secret sauce to productivity and streamlined efficiency. By doing this, I really free myself up to be more present for my staff , clients and also alleviates pressure of wondering if I have addressed important things — I have.
I use my golden hour to write emails, make calls, and schedule meetings, doing what I call outputting rather than frantically responding to incoming tasks, as many of us have a tendency to do. If you keep checking your social media and email all day, you’re really setting yourself up for distraction and unsuccessful multitasking, rather than focusing on your overall work effort.
5. Delete, Junk and Unsubscribe
Once a month, I set my calendar remind me to delete, junk and unsubscribe emails I no longer need to see or receive. You would be surprised how putting aside 10 minutes on the train, or in Uber to scroll through emails, delete, tag as junk or unsubscribe to emails you no longer need to be included on, can free up so much digital and mental space!
Symon Perriman is the President and Founder of FanWide (http://www.FanWide.com), the world’s largest fan club network. He is an internationally recognized business leader, industry expert, author, keynote presenter and technology personality, whose content is viewed by millions of technology professionals each year, across digital, print, online and social media. He graduated from Duke University with degrees in Computer Science, Economics, and Film & Digital Studies, and also serves as a technical advisor for several startups.
Use email signatures as email templates — if you regularly create or reply to emails with the same text, just save the content as an email signature so it is easy to reuse the same message.
Vary the contact information in your email signatures — not everyone you speak to should have all your contact information, like your phone number. If you do not want people to contact you by phone, keep that out of your default email template, but also create a template that does include this info.
Always unsubscribe from spam and unwanted messages — although it can be frustrating to waste time clicking on links and replying to message to be removed, it pays off eventually. Spammers sell their mailing lists to other spammers, so the earlier that you can unsubscribe, the fewer unwanted messages you will receive.
Delay delivery to communicate during core business hours — if you are sending professional emails, try to send them during business hours. Although many executives work late at night, sending an email to a customer at 2am can be offsetting and can make them question if you are using offshore marketing help. Most email programs let you delay the delivery of the email until business hours the following morning when they can be automatically sent on a schedule.
Separate newsletters from regular email — most business professionals subscribe to different types of industry newsletters. Automatically move these messages to a separate folder so that it is easy to find and read them during passive email viewing times, such as during lunch or your commute.
Christine is a strategist, writer and senior PR counselor, having worked with and led high-impact account teams for challenger brands as well as more established Fortune 500 firms growing and defending market share. Prior to working in PR, Christine was an editor for a consumer technology publication in New York and a public policy think tank in Washington, DC.
I receive hundreds of emails a day AND I am committed to an empty Inbox at the end of every day. To accomplish this, I set up Quick Steps in Microsoft Outlook. There are three basic types of Quick Steps I create: 1) Calendar 2) Tasks and 3) Folders. Once I read an email, I decide whether to respond immediately or schedule it for further action. If the latter, I either schedule time for the activity on my calendar or add it to my To Do list. Quick Steps lets me do this with the click of a button. For example, a Calendar Quick Step will take an email, turn it into a calendar event and attach the email to the calendar event. It’s an easy way to turn an email conversation into a meeting to resolve matters. A Tasks Quick Step will take an email and automatically turn it into a Task with the original email attached. I can set the due date and then not worry about it. The third Quick Step I use will take an email, mark it as read and then file it to the folder I specify. For example, if I’m reading an FYI type of email on some client work being done, I can read it and then click the Quick Step button for that client. The email will be marked as read and then filed in one step. I love having an empty Inbox at the end of the day and I love being able to look over my calendar and Task list to understand my workload and whether I need to increase delegation. I feel doing this gives me greater visibility over my week while also making sure I address each email.
Robb Hecht serves as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at New York City’s Baruch College where he leads students into the future of customer first digital marketing technology principles. With a career background including R/GA, FCB, Havas, Omnicom and Google, Robb has led and coached clients like GSK, Starbucks, AT&T, Pfizer, Cigna, Johnson & Johnson, American Express, Pepsi, GenZ business students and gig economy Instagram and Facebook startup side hustlers to build customer first social media businesses. In his free time he’s a competitive runner and advocates that America #TakeTechSeriously
My approach to managing my personal email is odd, but effective. A while back they said email was dead, but I have found it the best tool to keep up on trends. So I subscribe to 100s of email newsletters delivered to my gmail account and daily I pick and choose which ones I want to skim and read. I delete all the emails I never get to once or twice a year by selecting delete unread emails. In this way, my personal email serves as an ongoing social feed with personal.
For work email — I either take immediate action on an email or move the action item to a TO DO list and return to the email that same day or later in the week. If its a mui importante — I’m a luddite and print it out and physicalize the email as a reminder of its importance.
Susan Dworak created new industry and legal standards in the way America checks IDs to prevent the devastating legal, financial, and social consequences caused by fake IDs. Susan is the CEO of Real Identities, a team of legal and tech experts based in Silicon Valley dedicated to saving the lives and livelihoods of people, companies, and government agencies required to check ID to confirm age and identity. Susan has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UCLA and a Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law.
Prevent. Unsubscribe and block to prevent useless emails from reaching your inbox. Think of it this way: If you save one minute a day, you’ll bank 6 hours of time in a year; five minutes a day, 30 hours; thirty minutes a day, 182 hours. Even better, if you use those accrued hours to streamline other areas of your life, you’ll exponentially increase productivity.
Assess value. Subscribe only to senders that add value to your business or to your life. There’s a difference between efficiency and effectiveness. Checking hundreds of emails a day may sound efficient, but if those messages add little or no value, the process is not effective.
Be decisive. Read the message, make a decision, and reply with specific instructions using clear and concise language that cannot be misconstrued (thereby preventing wasted time and additional emails seeking clarification that should have been included initially). Train your team to skip replies unless a response or confirmation is truly necessary. Countless got it and will do messages clog inboxes.
Name it. Use a special nickname coupled with a keyword for various email purposes. For example, use [nickname][email protected] for travel, [nickname][email protected] for online purchases, and so on. Direct all emails to one inbox, making it infinitely easier to search and sort messages. Sort messages by keyword, read multiple subject lines at-a-glance, and then answer or delete in bulk. You can cancel a particular email address, need be, without affecting your other email addresses.
Filter. Train a team point person to review and filter messages sent to select email addresses (perhaps not personal or highly confidential emails). Empower that person to handle certain matters. Instruct them to flag messages that require your direct or immediate attention. That person can also forward emails regarding certain subjects to other teammates who then add summaries to topic-specific repositories to be read and digested at the right time.
Donna Miller is the award-winning founder of C3 Workplace, northern New Jersey’s largest network of independently owned co-working spaces. Over the past 20 years, she has helped over 2,000 business owners to start and grow their organizations with her back office support, bookkeeping services, and educational programs. Donna’s work as been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Dun & Bradstreet, Diversity Woman, and Thrive Global.
Having helped well over 2,000 companies to start and grow, I can tell you that email is THE #1 shiny object which adversely affects productivity. With that in mind, here are five ways for you to manage the crazy:
1) Turn off all email notifications. It’s amazing how many people complain about email interrupting their day, but still allow notifications to pop up every time a new one comes in. Really?
2) If I was to take a lesson from Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek, I’d only check email about once a month. As hard as I’ve tried, my personal best is creating the habit to only check email twice a day. Also, I do not respond to clients after hours. I may write the email after hours, but I choose the Delay Send option so that all of my emails go out during business hours. If I’m responding to clients at 8pm, being logged in and available at that time is the expectation that I’m setting. No thank you!
3) Migrate your team to project management software so that project-related messaging stays with the project, not in your inbox. It also makes it a gazillion times easier to find those project-related emails (notes) six months down the road and beyond. Bonus!
4) Let your phone be … wait for it … just a phone on the weekend. My world is B2B, so weekends are my time to unplug, literally. I turn the email OFF on my phone on Friday night and turn it back on Sunday night. Crazy simple!
5) Don’t try to have 3D conversations via email. 3D conversations are more complex, potentially emotionally charged, and require a high degree of emotional intelligence. I often have consulting clients forward me a complex email and ask me how they should reply. My standard answer: talk, on the phone or in person. You can’t coach, sell, or negotiate by email. Old school rules!
Taking a more hands-off approach to email is often difficult to start, but the payoff is greater productivity and less stress.
Janine K. Iannarelli is the founder and president of Par Avion Ltd. She has more than 30 years of business aviation experience representing numerous corporations and private individuals worldwide with the sale and purchase of business aircraft. Par Avion is an aircraft marketing firm that specializes in the exclusive representation and acquisition of aircraft with an emphasis on pre-owned business jets valued upwards of $65,000,000 (USD).
1. Prioritize. This is a key element of time management which segments the mail into level of urgency categories: Immediate — a project can’t move forward without my input; Secondary: It will get addressed at some point during the day; Non-urgent, evergreen: These emails will be addressed before the day or week is over depending on your job requirements.
2. Delete. Simple as that. Any solicitations that are not core to my business or life get deleted without a look. It will certainly make you rethink the subject line of your outgoing email.
3. Manage. Whatever we do online requires input of an email address and consequently you end up on a distribution list. I take the time with fresh mail from vendors that I have done business with on a one-off basis or who email me too frequently, to unsubscribe or manage delivery.
4. Pick up the phone. Too often we start to get caught up in a conversation via email that requires far more time and attention than calling the sender and addressing the matter over the phone would have taken. Plus it is nice to reconnect this way!
5. File. Create folders for those with whom you frequently correspond which in turn makes it that much easier to reference a prior exchange.
Michael Medico is the author of numerous books including the new Absolutely. Positively. Genuine. Real Fake News! He founded and served as CEO of a New York City advertising agency for 35 years. Medico is a Vietnam War Veteran.
Managing emails is something I have done as both an advertising executive and author. Depending on what I am using, here is some of what I do on my desktop, laptop and smart phone:
• I always leave the ‘To’ and ‘Cc’ blank on emails until I have written and proofed them. In the past I’ve hit the ‘Send’ button too quickly and the email went out with being complete or being fully proofed
• When I reply, I sometimes change the subject to better suit the response
• For all the emails I receive regularly from the same person or company, I immediately create folders in both my Inbox and Sent. In some cases, when there is large volume, I create sub-folds certain senders
• I immediately delete and eliminate all spam and junk emails from both my Inbox and Junk folder
• I really dislike clutter so I also regularly delete my Delete folder.
•I always proof any replies as sometimes my brains works faster than my typing, and I try to catch spelling and grammatical errors.
Born in Ohio, Aaron Hoey grew up in Akron and Cuyahoga Falls.In 2016, Aaron joined Amour Vert with the intention of leveraging his 23 years of professional retail and fashion experience to build a little known brand into a world class organization. As CEO, Aaron is leading the company through a period of rapid direct to consumer growth and expanding the brand’s presence through the US market with vision to take the brand to a broader offering on-line and in select retail environments.
I check email from my phone right when I wake up in the morning. That way, I’m able to knock things out early and not constantly feel behind. I manage 90% of my emails from my phone since I have it with me 24/7.
I take public transportation or Uber whenever I can. That allows to me to use my commute time effectively. Since I’m normally commuting in the mornings and evenings, I’m able to come into the office already ahead and get home feeling caught up.
I don’t use folders to organize my emails. Everything is in my inbox. I mark things as read or unread, and once it’s read, it’s gone. That way I spend no time filing or sorting, and I can easily find old threads through one quick smart search.
Delete all spam as fast as humanly possible. Amour Vert is a fast-growing company, and we constantly have people reaching out who want to work with us. About 30% of my email is spam, which I recognize by the subject line and sender, and I immediately delete.
I’m a much faster texter, so I try to communicate through text messages as much as possible.
Marni Shapiro has more than 25 years of experience in the consumer and retail industry as an Entrepreneur, Merchant, Manager, Consultant and Research Analyst. Marni co-founded The Retail Tracker in 2006 following 11 years at Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers and five years in the fashion industry. She received an M.B.A from New York Univerity Stern School of Business and received a B.S. from the University of Michigan.
This might seem counter-intuitive but having three email addresses is step one in curing email overload. One email is dedicated solely to career and work related emails. A second email is related to everything personal from family and friends to schools, doctors, airline and banking correspondence. The third email is related to all things retail, social media and entertainment (newspapers, Netflix). Once emails arrive on my desk I delete what I can and open what needs addressing or answering. At the end of the day if I have not finished tending to these emails they get filed in a folder TO BE READ so they do not get lost or fall to the bottom of my screen. The email to write this article and the link sat in TO BE READ for three days before I had time to deal with it, but I try to keep this folder to a maximum of twenty emails so that I am forced to get it done. I keep files and folders for emails I need to save or refer to, like travel reservations, so they are easily accessible. For example Travel includes four sub-folders 1) business, 2) vacay, 3) interesting (articles emails and ideas for trips from people) and 4) completed or cancelled. When I no longer need a folder I put a Z in front of the name so it drops down on the list. Finally, I am pretty good about going back through my phone and my computer and deleting emails every month or so. If I feel I am falling behind I will put an appointment in my calendar for an hour so that it is booked and I have the time to deal with it the way I would a doctor’s appointment or anything else. It works.
Kean Graham is the CEO of MonetizeMore, an 8-figure ad tech company that is a Google Certified Partner with 100+ full-time team members remotely based across the planet. MonetizeMore was conceived in the mountains of Machu Picchu and has grown to $17M in revenues. Graham has traveled to over 80 countries during the 8 years that he has been growing MonetizeMore.
I find most people that struggle with time management spend too much time on email. People have very disorganized email inboxes and it causes a negative spiral. Google Mail is incredible for creating an efficient inbox. I used the below tactics to go from reading 100s of emails per day to 20–30:
Category Tabs: People should organize their email within the Primary, Social, Update and Promotional tabs. Only the important emails that require your attention / reply should go in Primary. Social should be push notifications from your important social media sources. Updates are emails that might be important updates but don’t all need to be read. Everything else goes into Promotional.
Filters: I also use filters to proactively make sure certain emails with certain keywords or from a sender are filtered beforehand. I have many emails forwarded to relevant team members in my 100+ full time staff and other filters send emails into relevant folders.
Canned Responses: I template almost any type of email because there are so many emails that I repeat multiple times per day. Why write these out each time? All it takes is a couple and done!
Email Game: This tool increases the productivity of reading and replying to emails via productivity ratings.
Slack: When we started decentralizing our team’s communication to other tools, every ones’ inboxes shrunk. Slack was the tool that took the brunt of the communication away from email. Any one-to-many communication that didn’t need to be private went on a Slack channel.
I started Keepsafe because I realized that we have little control over our digital content. Many of us have limited knowledge of who can see what and when they can see it. In my own life, I realized the lines between personal and professional were becoming increasingly blurry, and that there weren’t any valuable tools to help separate them.
Read and respond to email only twice a day.
I stay focused on business priorities by only checking email twice a day. This way, I spend most of my time being proactive about moving Keepsafe’s business forward (versus reacting to others’ priorities). I don’t spend time on unanticipated communication that creates noise and detracts from what I set out to do each week. Some weeks are more challenging than others…
Always try to get to Inbox zero. It’s possible.
My daily goal is to get to Inbox zero. I do my best to address each email and clear my Inbox everyday. This way, I don’t waste time or cycles on responses, and I get back to people quickly. I’m German so I value efficiency (among other things!)
Make sure your team only uses Slack instead of emailing you.
Slack is only available to members of my team, unlike email where anyone can fill up my inbox. This makes Slack a higher priority channel where I know that notifications must be important. This lets me be responsive internally in real-time while keeping my sanity thanks to only checking email twice daily.
Maureen Lake, MA is a Holistic Wellness Expert and the Best Selling Author of Being Happy Raising Happy. She is a graduate of the Integrated Medicine Institute and received her certification in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University. She specializes in thyroid and adrenal difficulties, insulin resistance and sleep issues.
I run two businesses, and receive hundreds of emails a day. It’s important that I organize my emails effectively and efficiently. Without organization and mindset, I’d be in an email hole that would be impossible to crawl out of every single day.
1. I apply mindset and discipline by only checking email 3x a day: morning, before lunch, and the end of the day. My companies consist of a small team, and this expectation is known and practiced by all.
2. Even so, it can be tempting to check email more often, so I turn off all alerts, that way I’m not tempted to multitask. Turning off alerts will increase productivity and allow you to focus on your work without distraction.
3. When I do check emails, I apply the 2-minute rule. If it takes me longer than 2 minutes to respond to an email, I place it in my Waiting folder. At the end of each day, I spend the time necessary to respond to each email I placed in the Waiting folder before I close email out for the day.
4. A simple filing system is essential for me to organize my messages. I prefer broad categories, they work best for me, but you can easily set up a more detailed system. The folders that I file emails are Action Waiting Clients and Archives.
5. Finally, blogs, articles, newsletters or other items I want to read are re-routed to another email address. Rerouting keeps my primary email address free of clutter, and I can read these items at another time, typically after work or on weekends.
Alex has been in the CPG Food Industry for 10 years running start ups and managing multi million dollar brands. She Founded Alpine Start, the first to market premium instant coffee in 2016 after seeing a big gap in the market.
Tip One, Don’t check your email every 20 seconds, it will stress you out, and create a nasty habit.
Tip Two, build out time in your day to sit and focus on your responses without distraction.
Tip Three, delegate where you can, and pass over to your team where appropriate.
Tip Four, Unsubscribe to emails that you immediately delete anyways. The less distraction, the better!
Tip Five, manage how many email addresses you have. Have one personal, and one business. Otherwise, you will just confuse yourself.
I am an IT Engineer, Marketing and SEO Expert, Founder of FullMusculo.com the biggest fitness community for Latin America and Spain. I speak English, Spanish and Italian. And i have been living traveling the world since 2011.
I have succeeded managing my email using this 5 tips i am going to share with you right now:
1. I am using folders to prioritize emails. I have created 3 folders on my email:
One folder called TODAY: it means all the emails stored there need to be solve before midnight.
Another folder for this WEEK: it means i have the rest of the week to solve it. I usually respond them before friday so i can keep my weekend free of emails.
And the last one for this MONTH: And yes you guessed, it means i have the rest of the month to respond those emails.
2. After i sorted those emails on the folders, some remain there. Those that have remain have to be deleted or answered immediately.
3. Keep it short. People tend to write a lot via email. But I just write what is necessary to say. If there is too much to say then it is better to call the person involved.
4. Do not create conversations through email. This is tied with number 3. If you need to talk then call him and you can save some time.
5. Do it twice a day every day. With this final tip i can guarantee you that you will keep your email as clean as mine.
This 5 tips has kept my email clean since 2015. I hope they work for you too.
Aidan Snee is a forward-thinking leader in the ever-changing field of Sales. After a successful career spanning twelve years in the industry, Aidan founded Inside Sales Solutions to improve on the outcomes delivered by third-party lead generation partners to deliver return on client investment and help grow business. His 20 year expertise in advanced selling strategies and constant drive to modernize the sales process using the latest productivity tools, has helped clients such as HP, Cisco, and IBM stay ahead of the curve and dominate the complex business of sales and marketing. Aidan credits the 100% growth year-over-year of Inside Sales Solutions to being customer-centric and always aligning the company goals with those of clients.
1. I have filters setup in my Gmail inbox account to help me stay organized and up to date. As for junk emails, I have become a big fan of the Gmail Unsubscribe button Google has recently added. For those that are not using Gmail, there are a lot tools that can supplement the ease of the Unsubscribe button like Unroll.com.
2. The key to a well-organized inbox is prioritizing. Myself or one of my assistants help me with labeling emails urgent or not. Not all emails have the same importance. I check my inbox 2–5 times a day, and I know exactly which emails to attend to first and which ones I may be copied on as to just be informed.
3. Having direct contact with clients, I ensure all words within an email I compose have meaning. I keep it to the point and ensure that I bring value, social proof, and statistics that I know the person on the other end cares about.
4. I use my cell phone to regularly unsubscribe/delete, so when I get to my desktop, the load isn’t as bad as it could have been
5. For emails that need scheduling, I utilize tools like MixMax and Calendly to increase the ease for everyone involved and function off of a single calendar (whether personal or professional).
Yali Saar is the CEO and Co-Founder of Algorithmic Branding Agency Tailor Brands, a venture backed startup company teaching computers how to design, and offering a self-service branding platform for over 7,000,000 clients worldwide. Set to create the world’s largest branding agency, Saar has experience leading projects for Coca-Cola, Telekom companies and more. Prior to Tailor Brands, Saar was a journalist, political spokesperson and co-founder of Raising the Bar, a worldwide education initiative with hundreds of members in New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Hong-Kong.
I use labels for everything in my inbox and automate the labels using the Gmail filter option and auto-tag auto archive certain messages types. This allows me to reduce the inbox load from anything that I know doesn’t require my response. I use the starred option to mark any email that requires my response. This allows me to better manage my time and never forget to answer anything. I read the email I receive, if it requires immediate answer I answer. If it doesn’t I star it and then I get back to it at the end of the day. If it is not starred it will not get a response.
As a Sr. Manager of Talent Development for a leading FinTech company by day, and the owner of a virtual leadership development company at night, Tess is passionate about helping small businesses and their people reach full potential. She’s a 2018 Charlotte Business Journal 40 Under 40 winner, a DisruptHR speaker, and has been featured in Forbes and Business Management Daily for her insights on talent development. Tess gets it — what successful talent practices look like for small businesses, how managers should lead, what it takes to grow a career to the next level — and she’s on a mission to help others get it, too.
First things first, only touch emails once. My personal rule is that if I click on an email to read, then I have to do something with it, which means answering, deleting, or filing it after reading. This helps me not to treat my inbox as a to do list! I used to flag emails that were important or urgent and keep additional ones in my inbox as reminders for things I needed to do. Then I realized that an email inbox is not a task list, it’s merely a funnel for communication, and that changed everything.
Labels and color coding are my favorite way to manage email, since I’m a visual person. For example, when a new client signs on to work with me, I change them to purple so their emails instantly stand out in my CLT Leads account. I have colors for emails that I’m CC’d on too, which means I don’t feel the pressure to instantly read those emails and risk having them pile up in my inbox.
To stay organized, I create file folders and at the end of the year I dump everything into one folder and start fresh. I get pretty detailed with my folders, but even having a few basic ones (Things to remember, FYI emails, Follow Ups) can help immensely. I also utilize rules to have certain emails go to folders without ever hitting my inbox. I especially love doing this for newsletters, so that they stay out of my inbox and I am in control of checking the newsletter folder when I have the extra time.
And finally … I got over my fear of clicking the delete button. Did you know that deleted emails actually aren’t deleted at all? They go to a delete folder! That’s life changing and freeing and amazing news for anyone who has thousands of emails piled up in an inbox.
Liz Toombs is the go-to interior decorator for Greek housing, homes and businesses. Her projects can be found in more than 22 states from coast to coast. As an expert on decorating and entrepreneurship, Liz has been profiled on MSNBC’s Your Business, and is a recurring expert for Realtor.com, The Huffington Post, The Associated Press and TV stations in her home base of Lexington, KY.
● Don’t send e-mails after work hours. This practice is problematic for several reasons. For one, you don’t want to program people to think you are always reachable after work hours. Secondly, you don’t want it to seem as if you do not have enough time to get work done during normal work hours. Lastly, it’s common for e-mails sent after hours to be lost or forgotten about in a cluttered inbox.
● With that said, manage your e-mail, don’t let it manage you. I walk away from e-mail in the evenings and on weekends. If it’s a dire need, clients and contacts know they can text me.
● Don’t check e-mail first thing in the morning. I used to do this and found that it gave me a frazzled start to the day. Instead, I get dressed and into the office by 8 a.m., which is when I begin replying to e-mail with a clear head.
● No one enjoys reading lengthy emails. Less is more — narrow down your content so the reader receives a clear, concise message. Focus on the purpose of the e-mail, rather than fluffing it with jargon.
● Be careful about CC’ing and replying all. No one needs e-mails in their inbox that weren’t meant for them! Be intentional with who your desired receiver is and your purposeful message to them.
Nicole founded Darn Good Yarn in 2008 when she wanted to combine her passion for creating and her dedication to helping others. Nicole has brought Darn Good Yarn from being a company run out of a small basement in Maine to #558 on the Inc. 5000 list. Nicole earned her Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors in Business and Technology Management from Clarkson University, where she was not only in the Air Force ROTC but also a Resident Advisor and Varsity Tennis player.
1. The first rule of managing your e-mails and avoiding an overloaded inbox is to eliminate distractions. A cluttered inbox is easy to avoid if you use consolidation tools, such as unroll.me, to keep mass newsletter-type emails together. As a business owner, I’m always intrigued to see what other brands are doing, so I don’t necessarily want to unsubscribe from things to eliminate the email. With unroll.me I have messages like this delivered to me in one scroll-able page each day — super helpful and efficient!
2. Stop using your inbox as your to-do list. We all do it, but it’s a terrible habit. Instead, use a productivity management tool (asana is a good one). Or, if you’re like me and prefer an old-school approach, use a notebook to keep track of to-do’s instead of depending on flagged e-mails.
3. Make a separate email address that you only give out to your high-priority contacts. Make it funny and unique, and give it to people who know only to email you when it’s necessary. When I give out my super-secret email, I usually get a laugh about it, but I follow-up with reminders that if it’s given out, we have a problem :). For general inbounds and inquiries, I have people email my customer service team and they are trained to deal with common questions.
4. Pick up the phone and put the thread to bed. If you find yourself having to respond to an e-mail chain more than twice, it means you’re in a conversation that would move much faster if it were handled on the phone. I can’t stand back-and-fourths — if it gets to more than two emails, expect a call from me. Done! Next topic!
5. Keep an egg-timer on your desk. On busy days when my inbox is exploding, I set the timer for a specific amount of time, say 15 minutes, and get as many emails answered as I can. It’s a great personal exercise that also provides structure and helps me get things done, fast.
Andrew Ruditser is the founder of MAXBURST, Inc., a website design and digital marketing agency located in New York City that creates compelling and effective digital presentations for businesses and brands.
Some of MAXBURST’s clients include top companies such as Google, Canon, Tamron, Capgemini, JetBlue Airways and Windstream Enterprises.
Andrew Ruditser has appeared on Fox Business News, Bloomberg Businessweek, Newsday and LI Business News as a digital media and web development expert. He has been honored as Long Island’s 40 under 40 outstanding Young Business Professionals. MAXBURST, Inc. is the proud recipient of the prestigious W3 Award for Web’s Best in Show for Visual Appeal and we are rated Top 10 Web Design Agency Worldwide by 10 Best Designs and TIA.
I manage my business emails exactly the same way I manage my electronic files on my computer. Everything must go into a specific folder. I create several main folders like Clients, Personal, Travel, and News. Within each one of these folders, I then create sub-folders. When a new email comes in I will either file it manually or set a rule in my email client to automatically move all new email from a particular sender into the appropriate folder. This allows me to always maintain a manageable amount of emails that hit my inbox and I do not feel that overwhelmed.
If an email is critical and it requires immediate action it will stay in one of my folders as an unread message until I have time to act upon it. I will make it a point to set aside a little bit of time some time daily to catch up on emails that need an immediate response. This way I avoid any email anxiety.
James Green is the Founder and CEO of Offer To Close, a real estate technology company offering tools and services that make a home-buying process simple, transparent, and affordable. James is an accomplished Senior Executive, Consultant, and Entrepreneur with 14+ years of success in the online dating, pet, and real estate industries. James holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, with an emphasis in Marketing from Brigham Young University and a Bachelor of Arts in Real Estate Studies from Ashford University.
I reached a point early in my career when I started getting hundreds of emails a day and had to come up with a strategy to be responsive to important messages without letting email management become my full-time job. I created a system that for me has changed little over the years, but has become key to managing the amount time I spend reading, replying to, and organizing emails without it taking over my entire day.
1. Create a daily pattern for when you check your emails. I never found that checking my email once a day, like some email tips I’ve read before, would actually allow me to stay on top of requests and updates. So I started by checking email about an hour into my day, right after lunch, and right before I leave for the day. I don’t miss much that way, but I have hours to focus on the meat of my job.
2. Create folders to store emails for people that you get recurring emails from. This will allow you to find past conversations if you need them later without having to sort through hundreds or even thousands of emails in your inbox.
3. Set up rules in your mail client to automatically filter emails into the folders you have created so you don’t have to move them from your inbox to a specific folder whenever you are done with the email. You can still see all messages in your unread mail folders or in a customized smart folder for Outlook.
4. Unsubscribe from emails regularly. You’ll find that if you really need mail from someone, you’ll re-subscribe to it again, but most of my recurring emails come from businesses that I don’t frequently visit and I never read their emails.
5. Purge your emails. Whether you do it monthly, quarterly, or yearly, delete your old emails. Like unsubscribing, you’ll find that you don’t look at most emails again after you first get it. If you have analysis or presentations you can’t bring yourself to delete, save the files and delete the emails. Between Dropbox, Google Drive, and the dozen other cloud storage services, you should be able to store them free for years.
She is a venture partner at JJRichman, a private investment firm investing in diversified assets around the globe including real estate, cryptocurrencies, stock market, and digital assets.
For someone with rather unconventional schedule, I get up at 5am in the morning, do my meditation, yoga and work out. By 6am, I’m ready to crack on my daily activities and I would recommend to batch up your emails by go through them based on importance and urgency.
For example, catch up on the easiest and time-sensitive yes/no emails first and do more of the task-based ones (requires decision making and other people).
By going through the easiest ones instead of the toughest ones first, you actually are likely to go through the harder and more time-consuming ones by having a sense of accomplishment and progress earlier in the day.
Instead of getting stuck with emails that usually require more than a minute to respond to, responding to the easiest ones first get you going giving you higher chances to move towards the rest of the emails.
I’m a professor of finance at Gordon College and lead the school’s Master of Science in Financial Analysis program. I’m also a Board of Directors Member for fintech and financial services companies. I bring an unusual bilingual perspective to the academic world, having spent 15 years in senior executive positions in international business and finance.
Switch to a inbox system of four subfolders. Organize your messages based on urgency of response:
1) Inbox: the inbox is a holding pen. Emails shouldn’t stay here any longer than it takes for you to file them into another folder. The exception to this rule is when you respond immediately and are waiting for an immediate response.
2) Today: Everything that requires a response today.
3) This Week: Everything that requires a response before the end of the week.
4) This Month: Everything that needs a longer-term response.
5) FYI: Many items are informational. If you may need to reference an email again, you can save it to this folder.
Timothy Bach, one of Chicago’s youngest media entrepreneurs. Most notably known as the founder of The Creator Factory, a digital content management and consulting firm. At a mere 21 years of age, Bach boasts top industry names as clients, such as TV Host and Instagram star Danielle Robay, along with businesses of all sizes including B.O.S.S. and the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition to his nationally recognized consulting firm, he owns several online entertainment media brands with thousands of cross-platform followers; strategically using these sites to test new platform strategies allowing him to provide his clients with the most up-to-date content strategies.
As a social strategist, communication is literally my business. From personal consultant calls to high-pressure conference meetings; my days are spent helping others find the best way to market their message. While most of my time is spent helping clients communicate on a mass media scale, it surprises many to hear how often I receive requests to help improve email communication. Yes, this includes equipping executive with strategies to better relate to coworkers via text, I do receive questions on how to better manage their email workflow.
Here are my top 5 tips for rocking your email workflow!
1) If it ain’t worth your time, delete it! I never understand why busy professionals always feel they need to answer every email the first time. If someone is truly persistent and wants to get your attention, they will send multiple emails or replies and you will be able to see this and respond after multiple inquiries. Make people prove their worth before you spend the time!
2) Utilize folders and sort. I have a folder for every client and even folders inside those folders if I have numerous concurrent large scale projects.
3) Priorities messages by creating a sorting method inside your email ecosystem. Many email providers allow for you to either collar code or label email accounts you want to priorities and can even auto sort messages into specific folders. This way you can start with important messages first and move on to secondary importance when you have free time.
4) Make time to archive unneeded emails. For me it is of the utmost importance to keep each and every last email stored in case I need it for reference or for other purposes so I very rarely delete any correspondence. What I will do is archive messages and folders that I no longer need to keep my email box clean! Every Saturday, I take 10 minutes and archive old messages from the past week. This way, I start fresh every week, only having to sort the past weekend’s messages.
5) If all else fails, there is always the personal assistant method. If you are truly busy; there is no harm in hiring someone to specifically look after your agenda and personal corespondents. I know several client who have part or even full time assistants who help take the extra load off of their week by sorting through less critical messages. You can also combine strategies by having priority messages sent directly to you and then leaving all other inquiries for your staff.
If you would like additional assistance with your social strategy, check us out at TheCreatorFactory.com . Also make sure to follow me @SirTimothyBach and engage with me on social; I’m always happy to meet a new contact!
My Name is Emily Mendez. I am a widely-published mental health writer and expert. I have written extensively on mental health for sites like Project Know, Migraine Again, Detox.net and Rehabs.com. I also have more than a decade of experience in mental health and psychology, including former practice as a private practice psychotherapist.
As a busy professional, I get tons of emails each day. I have various email accounts and it can be hard to keep up with all of them. However, I have found that the following things help.
1) Set aside time each week to do a deep inbox clean — Schedule time in your calendar to go through your inbox and delete everything that you no longer need. This is the key to keeping an organized inbox.
2) Use folders to organize important emails that you want to keep. This will help you keep emails organized so that you can find important information later on.
3) Unsubscribe — Use this feature to stop receiving annoying marketing emails that you do not want to keep getting.
4) Change email notifications — A lot of email communication is repetitive. Change your email notifications with banks, credit card companies, utility companies, etc. to receive the fewest emails possible.
5) Use the Sweep feature — Some email accounts, such as Outlook, offer a sweep function, which allows you to go through and sweep all repetitive emails that you don’t need all at once. This allows you to sweep your email clean and is a great feature.
Angel Radcliffe is a Financial Educator, Speaker, Author & Entrepreneur. She is the founder of M~Suite & Ballin’ On A Budget brands as well as the owner of a boutique consulting firm, CAS Consultants, focusing on ‘Empowering Entrepreneurs Through Financial Management’. Ms. Radcliffe has 10+ years’ experience in the areas of; Finance, Accounting & Technology and has a track record of executing projects across Global & Domestic teams.
Managing email is never easy, especially when it comes to managing multiple accounts related to entrepreneurship. Growing my business and brand I have found a few email hacks which help keep my life from hours of filtering through emails.
1. Hire an assistant — I use an assistant to help manage certain email accounts. This way potential clients or brands aren’t waiting for my reply or small details such as headshots, bio, or standard documents I use within business. Assistants are also great at helping manage your calendar or appointments as well, if you are unable to respond to a meeting change request.
2. Auto Reply — Setting an auto reply should be in everyone’s toolbox, share your typical response time immediately along with simple directions to sites, forms, etc.
3. Email Filters — Most email accounts allow you to filter emails from certain people, subjects, etc. to folders. Setting your email filters allows you to see and prioritize what needs a reply right away. Along with email filters, be sure to set a ‘safe’ list of clients, brands, etc. so emails aren’t lost in the spam folder for weeks on end
4. Combine email accounts — This trick has helped me manage my personal emails in addition to other accounts in which my assistant isn’t over. With combined accounts, it takes the hassle out of logging into each account to check and reply to emails.
5. Categorizing emails /Folders — Setting up folders in your email is key for any busy and successful person. No one wants to funnel through the inbox looking for the important client email, by setting folders, you always know where certain emails are located; for instance; clients emails, branding, marketing, travel. Etc.
Edward is currently CEO of the Earth Capital Group which is a global sustainable fund management group managing in excess of $1.1 billion in Private Equity Assets. He is a well known investor from his background in the family office world and asset management.
Managing emails is a key part of my day. I remember when I was a fund manager that I used to receive over 300 per day and all of them had to be looked at to decide if they were important! Today now that I manage an international business email can become a discussion forum which not only takes up valuable time, but is highly impersonal and rarely solves the problem. People also expect an instant response which busy people are often unable to deliver. I prefer to have regular management calls with our international offices and use email for the agenda, minutes and matters arising which uses the system for what it was intended rather than as a discussion forum which can only lead to overload.
In our London office I am trying to prevent the use of emails to ask simple questions preferring instead that a colleague will walk round to my desk or call me for an answer which improves our face time and usually means that we can answer the next two questions as well which raises productivity. Thirdly our HR training has been amended to remind colleagues that they only need to respond to an email which is sent to them and cc is for information purposes only. Personally I find email far too impersonal and in our marketing process we try to do as much of it face to face or over the phone as possible using email purely to share information. However I have to say email is a fantastic filing system and I am guilty of storing too many emails in my inbox. I have yet to find a way to stop myself doing this!
Chris Wain is the Director of Sales at www.africatravel.com. The website is a luxury tour operator, specialising in African holidays. Chris has been working here since 1992.
1. The more efficient your email segmentation, the tidier your inbox will be and the easier it will be to access any and all urgent correspondence. Categorise your inbox with separate folders and categories. You can set up these sections any way you like, depending on your business and needs, and these categories will appear as separate tabs within your emails, allowing you to prioritise which emails you read and respond to.
One effective method of categorisation is to split your email folders up between colleagues, clients and external; you can do this by inputting your colleagues’ email addresses into one category and your clients’ addresses into another. Therefore, anything that comes into the general folder is from an external stakeholder, customer or other source.
2. Make the effort to unsubscribe from unwanted email chains as soon as the first one hits your inbox. If you downloaded a new software for your company and suddenly find a promotional email from the supplier, advertising a brand new update software, take the time to unsubscribe from their list. It may take a little time out of your day, but it’s worth it to avoid the endless trickle or spate of follow-on adverts. This will seriously limit your email clutter.
3. Don’t put off reading your emails. Keep checking your inbox at regular intervals and respond in real time. Don’t just sit there and let them pile up for two days — if you are a business owner or deal with many contacts, this could mean you face having to respond to 200 emails; a figure that will be increasing as you try to catch up.
4. Don’t feel like you need to read every email. If you’re a newsletter subscriber to a few publications but the email header for a particular month’s newsletter doesn’t sound like something you’d want to read, delete the email. If it’s of no interest, you won’t be sorry and will have cleared up a bit of space in your inbox.
5. Favourite certain contacts so they stand out in your inbox. If it’s someone very important, you can click the ‘star’ icon to mark them as important. This will draw your attention to their emails immediately, allowing you to respond straight away.
I lead a b2b communications agency that helps science, industrial or technology innovators to communicate their value to complex audiences around the world. I am a linguist, published author and passionate people coach with 13 years’ experience of delivering business results to blue chip companies, SMEs and start-ups globally. I successfully established and ran an agency in Asia and have led agencies through significant growth.
Tip 1 — Know when to pick up the phone: some email conversations can become like a game of ping pong and our overreliance on email can be hugely counter-productive. If you are to- and fro-ing with someone more than a couple of times, pick up the phone and talk to them. It could save another 4 or 5 emails and gets that action out of your inbox.
Tip 2 — Set time aside for newsletters and industry emails: I’m constantly torn between wanting to be kept in the loop and wanting to reduce email volume. I find that if I set aside half an hour each day or an hour or two per week on a set day, I can read through my industry newsletters with the space to really digest them.
Tip 3 — Don’t be a keyboard warrior: replying right away to emails whether they are internal or to clients/customers/suppliers not only interrupts your planned activities, but also sets a dangerous precedent. Your contacts will come to expect immediate responses from you, which will lead to an always-on state. This is a slippery slope!
Tip 4 — Never or rarely reply from your phone: although technically a millennial (just!), this might make me sound old fashioned but as a professional, I make a conscious effort not to reply from my phone unless absolutely necessary. Sometimes of course it will be, but not many things are so urgent that you have to reply while on holiday or out at dinner or even travelling to work or a meeting. I often receive several garbled, one line emails sent from phones which are simply unnecessary. Honestly this is one of my biggest email bug bears!
Tip 5 — Create a culture of trust: in the PR + marketing agency world, you’re often covering your back by sending emails to confirm conversations with editors, journalists, clients, suppliers etc. This can become too much and leak into internal communications as well. If you show that you trust your team and don’t need to be copied on every client email, they often develop and grow much faster and your inbox is a lot healthier. As a leader, I should only really be seeing anything when it becomes a major opportunity or problem, not every day email exchanges designed to reassure or involve me in something I should trust the team to handle.
Fiona Adler is the founder of Actioned.com — a productivity tool for individuals and teams. She has a track record of multiple business successes, and MBA and writes about entrepreneurship at DoTheThings.com. Fiona currently lives with her family in France, where she enjoys pushing the envelope to get the most out of life, and loves helping others do the same.
1) Stop using email as a to-do list. If you do this, you’re constantly relying on others to determine your priorities. Instead, choose a good tool that allows you to have a master task list and a daily action list. When you receive an email that needs actioning, either respond straight away, or add the action to your list.
2) Use automated filters to separate emails that need attention from those that don’t. I previously created these myself, but now Gmail does a great job of this (with a bit of extra training!). I have a To read label and everything that is promotional, news articles, or things that don’t require any urgent attention go here. Then, when I have the time and inclination, I browse through this folder and see what grabs my attention.
3) Handle email in batches. I must admit that I still look at email first thing in the morning, but for the most part I leave the responses until later. Once I’ve done a few of the things on my agenda (not someone elses’!), I’ll then spend 30 minutes dealing with email.
4) Trust the Search function and hit Archive. These days, there’s really no need for elaborate folders and labelling systems. Just Archive everything and know that you can get back to it if you need it.
5) Use a scheduling tool for making arrangements with other people. Something like Calendly.com can link to your schedule and show other people when you’re available. It saves a lot of going back and forth with other people.
6) Keep your inbox to less than 20. Inbox Zero is difficult to achieve and quite frustrating (as soon as you get there, you’ll receive another email!). Instead, aim to finish each day with less than 20 emails in your inbox — for me, this is the number I can see on my screen.
Frances Geoghegan is the Founder and Managing Director of www.healingholidays.co.uk. This specialised wellness holiday website is part of the Cleveland Travel Group. The business was established over 20 years ago.
1. Subcategories for separate clients are extremely beneficial. It isn’t unusual to receive several emails from the same client each day, so assigning them their own folder is an excellent method of streamlining your inbox. If you are focusing on one client on a particular day for some reason, you can go directly to all relevant correspondence with that client.
2. Creating email templates works to save a lot of time when replying to messages you receive on a regular basis. If you deal with business enquiries, for example, you can use pre-written replies to answer their questions accordingly. Obviously, these will still need tailoring to some extent to meet the needs of the recipient, but it saves you having to type out the same answer several times a day.
3. Set particular times during the day to read and respond to your emails, for the rest of the time, turn off all notifications. The constant beeps and buzzes of incoming messages can really distract you from your day-to-day tasks, making your work suffer. Whether you choose to catch up on your emails on the hour-long train home or just have a set time in the workday, don’t let this interfere with your downtime — you don’t want to eat, sleep and breathe work.
4. You don’t need to reply to every email which comes through to your inbox. If you need to confirm something, make sure you put it in writing, but if you receive confirmation for something, don’t feel the necessity to respond. Focus on crafting responses for the important emails and spend less time on less significant ones.
5. Hit the delete button on conversations which are no longer relevant. This will make a great deal of free space in your inbox. Certain correspondence, no matter how old, will need to remain in writing for potential future reference but don’t be afraid to delete the trivial conversations, such as emails which contain expired links to web development pages or expired press opportunities. Going through your inbox and doing this could mean the difference between having 1,500 pages of emails and 2,000 pages.
Lori Gatto is the VP of Marketing of the gender-neutral underwear brand, TomboyX. She has 15 years of experience leading strategy and execution of innovative digital marketing campaigns in highly-competitive categories, proven to drive sales, traffic and acquisition for brands including Blue Nile, EXPRESS and OfficeMax.
Email management is a vital skill in order for me to have an efficient and productive day. There are several steps I take in order to manage. I use labels in my inbox to organize my emails which allows me to reduce my inbox load from anything that does not require a direct response from myself. I also use the star option to mark off any important emails that I need to respond to in a timely manner. This feature helps me to better manage my time, but makes sure I never forget to answer an email. I also delete emails that don’t pertain to myself or aren’t needed anymore in order to bring important messages to the forefront of my inbox.
Elizabeth Sherry serves as the Program Manager for Twin Cities Wedding & Event Professionals (TCWEP) and is also the Director of Marketing & Communications on the board for Meeting Professionals International. She has won three International Live Event Association awards in the past couple years. Elizabeth has been a three time speaker at national Special Event Conference in 2013, 2014, 2015.
Accomplished Technology Leader with domestic and international experience in all business cycles. A recognized authority on the strategic application of technology to drive revenue, manage world class development teams, enhance service quality, improve production, and control costs.
Having years of experience managing world class development teams, and now creating Listables a collaborative checklist app, productivity has been a major focus for me for a long time. Mastering email management is something that can increase your productivity drastically just by implementing a few of simple tips.
Tip one is; limit the amount of times you check your email. For me one of the best things I have done is limit the amount of times I check my email daily. Checking, but also fully reading and replying too emails can’t completely drain you of time and energy and cause you to lose focus.
Tip two is; schedule the times you will check your email. For me twice daily, once in the morning when I get into the office, and once around 2pm has worked best and really allowed me to be incredibly more productive, more focused, and produce better quality work.
Tip three is; take action. Don’t put off taking action on emails. It will save you time in the long run. Either respond to the email, delete it, or if it requires further action or follow up that you cannot immediately complete, schedule a time when you can work on it.
Tip four is; create additional inboxes to sort emails by subject. This is one of my favorite tips and really helps you with tip three, taking action. For example, you can have Needs reply, emails you need to respond to, Company Emails, Read Later and so on.
Tip five is; set up folders and filters so emails automatically go to the correct folder. If you want to take organization a little further, this is a great way. For example company wide emails can go into a certain folder, emails from direct team members or by a certain subject can go into another folder.
Stephanie Bousley is an administrative expert, author, and all-around implementation pro. When not assisting titans of multi-billion-dollar companies, she writes about personal finance. Her upbeat, step-by-step approach to handling opportunities and challenges facing recent grads as well as administrative professionals provides proactive strategies for developing a plan, creating forward motion, and achieving great results. To learn more about her upcoming book (to be published by Familius Publishing in the spring of 2019) visit www.studentdebtrebels.com or find her on Twitter/Instagram as @TheDebtRebel.
1. Get on the phone.
Lengthy back-and-forth email exchanges can often be avoided with a 5-minute phone call.
2. Ask to get a coffee with the person or group.
Building relationships in-person helps you understand colleagues better, improving future email efficiency.
3. Don’t use too many folders.
Some people waste half their day organizing and filing emails, forgetting that handy search feature.
Read or unread is the equivalent to Done or Not done, which is the first (often only) step to staying organized.
5. Create your own system.
It doesn’t matter what works for others — create and maintain a system that works for you!
Chantay Bridges is a Realtor, Coach, Speaker and Author who has worked with numerous high profile clientele, celebrities, political and chief executive officers. She is a recipient of numerous awards and accolades, a Christian and sought after by media outlets for interviews and features.
HAVE A SYSTEM IN PLACE:
You cannot just go to your email every day and expect not to be there for the next hour or two. Once you set up a system, it ensures that your time spent is limited and utilized more effectively. The main system I recommend is categorization. Separate emails into folders, groups & places. For ex: Urgent/ASAP! (Then forward it to the Today/To Do list by me or Urgent/Respond ASAP for delegation (This will go to an assistant or someone on your team to respond to or handle). Next: Non-urgent/Has a deadline (me)/Non-urgent; Has a deadline (delegate). For Review: Anyone on your staff can review this email, respond to it, get back to me about it or even delete it.
AUTO REPLY IS YOUR FRIEND:
Make sure all of my emails have various auto reply’s in place that are consistently updated. Whether it’s an automatic email that states Hi, I am on vacation from June 1 — June 15, 2018 please contact Jill in accounting in my absence. A signature that not only includes your contact information but a link to your latest product. Any imperative information that can be distributed to the masses quickly is a win.
ANSWERS YOU MUST KNOW: DID THEY GET MY EMAIL?
You should never be asking yourself this question. Make certain you have alerts set up in place where you can see and know if your email was received, opened, read, the day, the time and by whom. It’s a time waster trying to figure out or re-send something over and over again. You’ll know at a blink of an eye if your email correspondence reached the team, clients and counterparts.
THAT’S ON MY JOB DESCRIPTION?
Make certain it’s a part of someone on your team’s job description to weed out spam, mass group and other email before you see it. Online ads, consumer reports, junk mail, is not your job, make it someone else’s. Have it fixed and taken care of so you don’t have to. Along with have a set time each day that you read and respond to emails. (Your time will be after this has been completed).
Many don’t know but they can easily arrange their email to automatically respond. In addition you can insert a different person’s name and send them the exact same email in an instant. It’s makes following up easier and you can place certain tasks on auto pilot such as a weekly meeting email to a group.
A graduate of NYU Stern and Boston University, Dana is the Chief of Staff at VirtualHealth where she oversees operations, business development, and communications. She was previously at AccentHealth, the country’s largest doctor office media company, where she led marketing programs, sales strategy, and product launches.
1. Prioritize emails by starring the ones that need to be addressed within 24 hours. Furthermore, adjust your inbox settings so starred emails appear on top. This allows you to avoid hunting for them in your inbox and automatically prioritizes your daily tasks.
2. Have automatic labels set up based on specific keywords or sender, so you right away know what the email is about. You can also have these labeled emails go automatically to a folder and skip your inbox. For example, if you get 50 Google Alerts emails/day, then you can create a label called Google Alerts and know those aren’t as urgent
3. Archive every email you read so your inbox is essentially a to do list of everything left to do. If the email doesn’t require a follow up and is just an FYI, archive it! There’s no reason it needs to fill your inbox and make more important items harder to find.
4. Make sure your emails cluster by subject line so multiple emails about the same topic take up too much space. This also makes it easier to look through older emails without having to search.
5. Use tools like Boomerang to have emails return to your inbox at a designated time (1 day, 1 week, 1 month). This is especially helpful for items that need following up in the future but are just crowding your inbox right now.
Brandon Marianne Lee is a New York City real estate agent at Triplemint. She’s also a fantasy football analyst who you can catch on The Athletic and NFL.com. In her spare time, she likes to bum around the city with her husband and two pups.
1. Boomerang for Gmail saved my life. Instead of letting an email sit in my inbox waiting for the perfect time to read it, I boomerang it to come back to me the next morning, or two days from now, or even a week from now. The urgent emails, I respond right away, but if it can wait, I will push it to keep my inbox clear.
2. Unsubscribe from everything. Literally, you need to unsubscribe from all promotional emails and newsletters in your inbox right now. After a couple of days or weeks, only add back what you miss. You will be shocked at how few of those emails will return.
3. Of the newsletters that return to your inbox, filter them. Every newsletter or email blast should get marked as read, archived, and labeled on arrival so you control when you look at the content, not the other way around.
4. Time block your day with two 30-minute blocks to clear out your inbox. Once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. Only respond to urgent messages outside of those two time blocks. Before bed, you can clear out as well, but don’t be a slave to inbox zero and let that keep you from the productive parts of your day.
5. When in doubt, archive. Again, if it’s important, it will come back up. And you can search your emails without everything sitting in your inbox, distracting you from what’s really important.
Ross Palmer has been the digital marketing manager for a Colorado-based startup for 1.5 years, helping take a new company to multiple millions in yearly revenue. He has his own SEO and digital marketing agency, focused on eCommerce clients.
When I was the content manager for a dance record label and running a blog with millions of followers on the side, I was receiving up to 600 emails every day. Simply answering them all was a full time job, and that job began after my 9–5.
For years, I was one of the people who had that icon in OSX that shows 9,999+ emails. It was unmanageable. I had to learn new methods, and my life completely changed when I did. Today, my inbox usually sits at or near zero, giving me so much more peace of mind.
An added bonus is, that I’m much more able to stay on top of not just my email, but people notice that nothing slips through the cracks, and I’m able to stay on top of situations, tasks and people!
Here are my tips:
Create two new folders: To Do and Waiting On.
When there’s something you need to do, immediately move it to the To Do folder and/or your calendar with a notification. When you’ve got an email chain that you’re waiting on a response from someone else to go forward, put it in the Waiting On folder. Check both regularly.
Use Archive religiously.
Delete unimportant emails, and archive emails that are completed but might be important to reference later. Every time you archive/delete, another message is gone from your inbox!
Consolidate your email addresses into one client, with one inbox.
Apple’s built-in mail is great for this, but Gmail can do it as well.
Make extensive use of colors/flags. Personally, I color emails red in Apple Mail that are Urgent, so I can see at a glance what ABSOLUTELY must be done. Likewise, I color invoice emails that have been paid green, so I can see at a glance which emails have either been properly filed are are totally complete.
With the goal of having your inbox be something like your to-do list, and in combination with your calendar, you will be much more on top of everything, and you can be a digital legend! People will be amazed at how you never seem to forget things, and your overall credibility goes up.
Now get your inbox to zero this week, even if that means bulk archiving 2,000 old emails just so you can start fresh going forward — it’s worth it!
Hilary Blair is the CEO and Executive Communications Coach at ARTiculate: Real&Clear, an arts based communications firm in Denver, CO. She is a highly regarded speaking, presentation, voice, and executive communications expert who trains high achievers craving honest feedback. She is impassioned by moving beyond habits and learned behaviors to activate what is unique and authentic in individuals and groups across the world.
1)Be Selective. Ask yourself: is this email an essential relationship to the business? Is it to me, personally? If I indulge all email requests, I would be tied to my computer screen for 12 hours a day.
2) Delegate research. If you don’t know who someone is, delegate finding that answer out to someone else. If you have a wonderful staff like I do, have someone answer the questions above and, if the answer is, yes, this person is an essential relationship, reply with a personal message. Something like, Hey Christina, Yes, I’d be happy to connect. I’m Cc’ing Harriet on this email to get us scheduled for a coffee. Talk soon, Hilary.
3) Flags and Folders. Don’t just have Work and Personal as your email folders. Get specific: Referrals through ABC Company, You Need to Catch Up with These People, Potential Coaching Leads, etc. If I flag an email, I always keep a code nearby so that I can quickly check what certain color flags mean.
4) Schedule chunks of time. Be sure to get time on your calendar to solely focus on going through your inbox. After that, schedule additional time to look at specific colored flags or folders.
5) Be succinct in your responses. Mirror the predominant work culture today: clear, quick, and succinct.
Christoph Seitz is the Co-Owner of CFR Rinkens, a global leader in the shipping of commercial cargo, specializing in the containerized shipping of motor vehicles.
I suggest using a tool like Boomerang, which is an email plug-in that — among some other functions — allows you to easily set emails to pop back into your inbox at specific times. It helps to keep the inbox clean, to be very productive, and to never miss following up on anything. Use of Boomerang is mandatory in our company. Also, I wake up around 5 AM and go through about 30 minutes of emails. Getting an early start on emails reduces inbox anxiety for the rest of the day. Throughout the day, I always try to work down emails as they come in, if possible. Since I primarily handle business development, the habit of staying on top of my emails helps push the business forward.. I’ve found that my productivity has soared.
Jane Muir is a Miami attorney, whose practice focuses on commercial litigation, contracts and general counsel. Her diverse experience includes purchase, sale and management of businesses, enforcing a variety business contracts, prosecuting partnership and real estate disputes, defending intellectual property rights, and recovering assets. She has been appointed to serve as Receiver in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, to temporarily manage businesses during legal disputes, and recognized with several significant honors and awards, such as the Florida Bar’s 2015 Lynn Futch Most Productive Young Lawyer Award.
1. It is impossible to advance your own goals if you allow yourself to be distracted by requests for attention from others constantly arriving in your inbox. Start with the decision that you set your own agenda, and that agenda takes priority over the demands of others. Be proactive, not reactive. This attitude is what will enable you to best implement controls on your email.
2. Allow a trusted staff member access to review your inbox, and initiate tasks that can be delegated, like scheduling. In the old days, we had mail clerks who opened all of the mail and sorted it and tossed the junk. It still works with email!
3. Use filters and rules to pre-sort email. For example, Google Apps for Business can automatically forward to staff who need to respond or act and catalog emails into folders for you to check at regular intervals. You have to set up the rule or filter, but once it is in place it can save a lot of time.
4. Set times of day when you read and respond to emails. I try to limit my email review and responses to twice a day. If you cannot help yourself, there are apps like Boomerang that will pause your inbox so that you do not see the new emails arriving until your scheduled emailing time.
5. If you are going to be unavailable for a period of time, alert your clients in advance and set up a vacation response automatic email to tell people whom to contact in your absence.. There is a risk it could mark your domain as spam, but it’s worth it.
CEO & Founder of MoneySavingPro.com, one of the leading cell phone price comparison sites in the U.S. Webber has been in the telecoms industry since he graduated from college. He’s a serial entrepreneur with over 15 years’ experience developing websites that help consumers make better buying decisions and ultimately help them save money with no-nonsense, proven, and researched methods.
As the CEO and founder of MoneySavingPro.com I get a lot of emails each day. Some are junk, some are important, and some I know I’ll need to reference some day. That’s why I believe it’s so important to manage your emails in an organized fashion. It seems easy, and well, it is, however, it took me a long time to get a routine down. But when I did it made my week a lot less stressful. Here are the tips that get me through the week:
Tip One: Creating specific categories — My email has a long list of categories that I use to keep track of everything. Some examples include Freelancer Invoices where I store all my freelancer’s submitted invoices for good measure and Ready Content where I store any emails regarding articles submitted for our website. I save and categorize these emails so I can reference them whenever needed.
Tip Two: Utilizing everything your email has to offer — For instance, most emails offer filters that will send emails straight to the folder you designate them to go to.
Tip Three: Delete. Delete. Delete. — One of the best ways to stay organized is to delete any content that isn’t going to affect your business. Do you get unwanted newsletters from something you signed up to months ago? DELETE THEM. Don’t just let them sit in your inbox and add to the anxiety the number of emails icon creates.
Tip Four: Unsubscribe — You heard me, we’ve already established that you’ve signed up for newsletters you no longer wish to follow. So take it a step further from deleting and unsubscribe so you’ll never hear from them again.
Tip Five: Stay on top of your email — Go through your email everyday, that’s right, even on weekends. Managing emails as they come in instead of a few times a week will save you a lot of frustration in the end.
Beth McRae has owned and operated The McRae Agency since 1995 and had clients such as Google, Red Bull, CBRE and Massage Envy. She has secured press coverage in places ranging from Wall Street Journal and USA Today to MSNBC and Better Homes & Gardens.
Here are some of the things I do to manage my emails. I set up folders and sub folders so I have a place to file emails. I determine what status a particular email receives: file it (high status) leave it in my inbox (medium status) or delete it (lowest status. I also use the red flag on emails that are the highest status, that is that they need some immediate type of attention. I try not to just sit on emails in my inbox. When I do that it fills up and can seem overwhelming. One thing I have found to be critical is scrolling back through and scanning old emails. I do this because I am not perfect and do not always follow my own rules.
Amber Renae is a Civil Engineer, Entrepreneur, Fashion Editor, TV presenter and celebrated style icon who draws on her vast life experience to motivate, enlighten and entertain her audiences. She transitioned from constructing roads to constructing dresses when she started her own fashion label in 2002.
Her second business, was a service based business working as a fashion consultant and dressing some of the biggest celebrities in the World.
And now she’s a digital nomad working from tropical locations like Bondi beach, Bali and LA, inspiring over 70,000 followers from all over the World to build their dream lives.
My entire business is online now and I look to automate or streamline as much of the day to day running as possible. As a qualified Civil Engineer, I’m highly systems and process driven, and am constantly seeking new ways to innovate. In that regard, I love any tools that help increase productivity or communication with my team.
So, here are my top 5 tips to manage emails!
1. Folders: Do you have running projects with people but their emails get lost in your inbox? Creating folders to stay organised is a must to keep a birds eye view of everything you’ve got going on!
2. Time management: You don’t want to be a slave to your email, checking it every minute. Schedule a certain time each day/week to batch reply to emails. Plan your time with ninja-like precision to ensure maximum productivity and profitability.
3. Auto-replies: Auto-replies are great to manage people’s expectations and avoid disappointments. For example, if you know that it will take you 24 hours before you can reply to all your emails, turn on an auto-reply email letting people know you will get back to them within that time frame. Then no one will be on your case!
4. Create canned responses: Do you get a lot of emails about the same topics? Instead of typing out the same answers over and over, create a document with your most common questions and answers which you can just copy and paste (and tailor to the respondent of course).
5. Outsource: Is your inbox giving you a headache and you feel like you can’t handle it yourself? Then it’s time to outsource and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help with things you’re not good at — or simply don’t have time for! There’s nothing wrong with getting a VA (if it’s within your budget). It can, in fact, be profitable in the long run as you’ll have more time to focus your energy on your passion, rather than emails.
Implement these 5 tips and I’m certain your productivity (and peace of mind) will increase dramatically. Let me know here if it does!
Brian Wallace’s NowSourcing is an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH that works with companies ranging from small business to Fortune 500. NowSourcing is the go-to resource for visual storytelling in the crypto / blockchain market, representing numerous cryptocurrency related publications, ICOs, and others in getting press and funding in the space. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events all over the country and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016–2018.
First, don’t let things pile up. If you have time to get to it later, you have time to get to it now. Set aside time each day to go through and respond to all your emails.
Second, don’t give out your email to just anybody. Keep multiple email accounts so you can keep family emails, business emails, and marketing emails separate.
Third, don’t try to return important emails on the go. You run a greater risk of having to go back later and fix something you could have just gotten right the first time.
Fourth, and believe it or not, I believe in Inbox Zero. I’m a bit OCD and it sounds insane, but you can (usually) do it. That doesn’t mean you have to read everything, but learn to quickly respond, delete, and delegate!
Fifth, keep it short. You’re surprisingly considerate if you can send anything you need to someone in 2 short sentences or less. Longer emails are probably better to be resolved as meetings.
Scott Stein has worked with thousands of leaders to help them implement fast track strategies to improve results — as well as being CEO of The Learning Difference. He is author of Leadership Hacks: Clever shortcuts to boost your impact and results. For more information visit www.scottstein.com or contact [email protected]
Top 5 Tips to Manage Emails and Avoid Email Overload
One of the most common complaints that I hear from leaders from across the globe is there is never enough time to keep up with an overloaded inbox.
Here are five email hacks to assist you in staying on top of email.
Tip #1 The Four-Step Email Inbox Hack
One of the most effective approaches is a four-step process that helps you get your inbox cleared.
Step 1: Scan. Rather than taking the time to read through and respond to each individual, start by scanning your inbox. Take a quick glance to see what they involve and who they are from.
Step 2: Delete. Delete emails that have no benefit or are irrelevant. This way you eliminate visual clutter in your inbox.
Step 3: Sort. Sort the remaining emails based on importance. You can sort by sender, or by header and it can be useful to create folders to store emails into — which makes them easier to find later.
Step 4: Respond. Now that you have reduced the number of emails remaining, you can read through and respond by importance — which helps you to get through your emails faster
Tip #2. Limit how often you check your inbox
A common pattern for many people is to constantly check and recheck their inbox, which fragments focus and can also interfere with decision making. Resist this temptation.
Tip #3. Turn off email notifications
Take the time to turn off notifications and if you really need to focus on completing a task, put your cell phone in the drawer — you can check it when you are finished.
Tip #4. Making clearing your inbox a game
When something feels like a chore we often resist completing it. Turn responding to emails into a game. Set a timer and see if you can get through your inbox in less than 20 minutes.
Tip #5. Hack the way you send emails
You can also hack the way you send emails by letting a receiver know which of the following five actions they need to take.
FYI — For your information. You want them to be aware of something
Share/gather information. You would like them to gather their ideas
Decide. You want them to choose from a number of alternatives
Act. You need them to take specific action based on the email
Meet. You need to meet to discuss the topic further
By hacking your approach you can stay on top of your email — which gives you more time to focus on the important things.
Greg Dybec is a founding member of Wing and the former Managing Editor of Elite Daily, where he oversaw the content product, operations, and scaled the team to 70+ employees. He is the host of the podcast, Other People’s Lives, and the author of the book, The Art of Living Other People’s Lives.
Lose the ego
I used to wait to respond to emails for the simple fact that I wanted to appear busy. Yes, I had email ego, and it did nothing but cause me to forget to respond and have emails pile up in my inbox. Lose the ego and respond as soon as you have a chance. The same goes for text messages!
Delete and move on.
I try to keep fewer than 100 emails in my inbox at a time. I’m sure everyone has a different number, but for me, I found that anything more than 100 emails meant my inbox was housing old conversations that I’d never need to re-visit.
You don’t have to change your habits.
Despite working in tech, I have a very basic approach to most functions on my computer and phone — including email. I rarely use labels or folders or plug-ins or alerts. My inbox is the equivalent to getting a car off the lot, no frills or sporty add-ons. When I did try to be a more email savvy, I found myself wasting time trying to learn features that only confused me. There’s nothing wrong with holding on to your habits if you feel it helps you be your most productive self.
Unsubscribe from the junk.
I only recently began unsubscribing from those annoying promotional emails and I’ve never felt freer in my life. Unsubscribing declutters the inbox and, let’s be honest, the feeling of seeing you have a new email only to find out it’s an offer for 10% off a pair of slippers is always a buzzkill.
Disconnect (when it makes sense.)
I’ve always had a habit of checking my email constantly throughout the day and I’m okay with that. Emails are an important part of my job, so I have no problem checking my inbox frequently. Though I do make sure to find time to disconnect and make sure I’m not checking email during the few off hours I can get.
Bruce Schoenberg is the founder of Oasis Day Spa, an acclaimed spa and wellness destination in New York City. Oasis is a favorite amongst New Yorkers and vacationers worldwide. The spa is celebrating their 20th anniversary. Bruce launched the spa in 1998 and has spent over twenty years in the spa and trade show industry.
1. Utilize the Rules functions built in to your e-mail program. Identify key words and/or headlines in the Subject line that you commonly see associated with Spam Mail, and then set-up a rule to automatically move those e-mails to Spam.
2. Don’t let your email pile up and overwhelm you. Create a schedule to answer and purge emails.
3. Make sure to always scan the Spam folder for stray legit e-mails that may have landed there. I find that the legit ones stand out from the garbage.
4. Prioritize your replies — don’t waste time responding to every single email.Give yourself freedom to delete messages that don’t require a response and/or from strangers. If you don’t have the time to complete your essential job functions, answering miscellaneous emails needs to fall off your to-do list. This saves you time by avoiding typing up the reply and reclaiming the mental space it takes to think about how to respond to random messages where the appropriate answer is unclear.
5. Make it a habit to respond within 24 hours. Recognize when the pressure to reply is real and required for things to get done, and when it is all in your head to appear responsive. Your career will be made on your ability to get things done, not your ability to answer emails immediately.
A marketing professional with a career spanning 3 decades. I’ve founded, built and successfully exited 2 marketing agency businesses and I’m now CEO of a 3rd (Buffalo 7) currently experiencing incredibly rapid growth. My skills and knowledge covers strategy development, implementation and management across the whole marketing spectrum.
1) Don’t sit in your inbox all day waiting for stuff to arrive. Instead allocate 2 or 3 time slots during the day, in which you do nothing else and deal with them all in one go.
2) Be ruthless about what you reply to. Don’t feel you need to get back to everything. Some things aren’t urgent or even require a reply. If you’re not sure, leave it and see if the sender follows up.
3) Forget the niceties — they waste time. Sometimes a simple Let’s do it is enough and takes less time than a long, flowery response to the same effect.
4) Avoid email tennis, with messages going back and forth, by giving clear opportunities to agree on a single choice of time to meet. Often, 3 or 4 legs of a message chain can be just 1 if you open doors and let the recipient easily walk through them.
5) Eat the frog. If you’ve just spent 20 seconds reading an email, reply immediately if it’s possible to do so in just a few words. Coming back to it later is just a waste of time.
Matt Gibbs has helped turn UPshow, a social TV platform for businesses, into a market disruptor that provides businesses a viable, cost-effective alternative to cable TV. Gibbs is responsible for developing the branding and marketing materials to relay the company vision — to change the way that businesses utilize TV by thinking beyond cable to generate business value from the screens they’ve already invested in.
Prior to founding several start-ups, Gibbs served as Director of Social Media at Playboy and was responsible for the award-winning campaign TheSmokingJacket, which pioneered influencer marketing by turning Playmates into social media promoters for sponsors.
I’m OCD about hitting inbox zero before I go to bed each night, and even with Slack and a company directive to not send unnecessary emails, it’s always a challenge. My five tips:
• Don’t organize. The logic behind creating folders for email made sense when the world transitioned from paper communications and filing cabinets. Nowadays with sophisticated search functionality for every inbox, there’s no need to waste time categorizing emails.
• Mark as unread. Partner and problem-solving emails always pop up in the middle of a day full of meetings, and I typically scan them to determine urgency as well as get the wheels spinning on a potential response. Hitting the mark as read button immediately after the first read guarantees that I’ll reply that day in my nightly inbox zero session.
• No fluff. Typically sending emails via mobile (with the sent from my phone signature) is the free pass to brevity. Why can’t all emails be like that? Set the expectation for employees that they’ll always get responses/feedback when needed, but it will never be in the form of a dissertation.
• Make Gmail shortcuts your friend. I’m all about time efficiency, even if it’s saving seconds. With these shortcuts, you can zoom around Gmail without needing to take your fingers off home row (haven’t called it that since 5th grade).
•Unsubscribe. For years I was in the habit of just deleting the spam and irrelevant newsletters I’d get every day. It’s quite refreshing to make use of the unsubscribe button — set a goal to unsubscribe from 1 email per day and you’ll notice the impact in inbox reduction shortly after that.
Alex Johnson is responsible for creating and leading the strategic vision of Swap Motors, the first peer-to-peer marketplace in the $700 billion used-car industry. Alex is a serial entrepreneur in diverse industries including commercial construction, healthcare, hospitality and technology. His companies’ successes have been recognized as a repeat Chicago Crain’s Fastest Growing company, a repeat Houston’s Fast Growing 100 company (Houston Business Journal), and as a Fastest Growing private company in America (Inc. 5000).
1. Acknowledge you received an email
I try to respond as soon as possible. Unanswered emails lead to people wondering if their email was ever read in the first place. This leads to a follow-up email, usually consisting of the same information. Just by sending a quick got it, will be following up soon! you nip the problem in the bud before it even starts.
2. Reduce internal e-mail
• Delegate authority where appropriate: If a project and all its communication can be handled by one of my employees, I let them take care of It. If they have questions or need assistance, I have them direct their email communication to their supervisor. It is much more efficient to be notified of the final results of a project than to receive constant updates through every iteration.
• Use project management software like Teamwork, Trello or Asana: Instead of receiving updates on projects via email, I like to use project management software. It’s much easier to organize projects by subcategories, and at a glance see who’s responsible for a task, what the task entails, and when it’s due by.
• Use a Team Collaboration Tool like Slack or Discord. Much of workday communication consists of quick little questions that often yield quick little answers. I don’t let my inbox get bogged down with these conversations. I save email for important projects which need to be organized and saved in one thread.
3. Stop Emailing People
I don’t send out emails unless I absolutely must. Before emailing, I always ask myself, could this be settled with a quick phone call? In person/ phone communication is usually more efficient because you can get straight to the point, and the subtext of your words is immediately clear. And asking for clarification? It’s as simple as a sentence, not an entire email with multiple people cc’d on.
4. Divide and Conquer
When I’m browsing through the onslaught on emails that attack my inbox every day, I use the mark unread tool to indicate emails that are important, but I don’t have time to look at right now. By doing this, I ensure that no important email gets lost in the midst of all the ones I’ve already opened and answered.
5. Establish a Routine
Email becomes a problem when you let days go by without checking it. Things pile up- and you immediately feel stressed just looking at your inbox. To combat this, I carve out 1- 2 hours every day that I dedicate to reading and responding to emails.
You will be more focused when you do things this way, as opposed to receiving an email and dropping whatever you were doing at the moment to answer it.
That being said, I do try to acknowledge every email as soon as I see it- however, this only takes a couple of seconds, so it’s not a big deal.
Randall S. Garcia is a serial entrepreneur spanning businesses from healthcare to digital marketing. As the host of three popular podcasts, The Millennial Leadership Show, Lead At Home (Win At Life), and The Business of YOU, he has been ranked as a top millennial icon in podcasting. He is also one of the youngest Board Presidents in Texas for non-profits over $3 Million.
Tip #1: Clean Up Your Inbox:
One of my favorite resources that I have found is through unroll.me (no affiliation). This easy to use app will help you see a list of all your subscription emails. Unsubscribe easily from whatever you don’t want. This will help you clean up your inbox very quickly.
Tip #2: Turn off E-Mail Notifications:
One of the most freeing things that I have ever done was to turn off phone notifications to my email. Most busy, successful people get 100–200 emails per day and if notifications are turned on, this means just as many interruptions. By turning off your notifications, you force yourself to check your email only when you need to.
Tip #3: Set Specific Times to Check E-Mail:
I used to respond to emails as soon as I receive them, which meant that I was taking 20 different 5-minute breaks from my valuable work throughout the day. A good practice is to respond to email at 9AM, 12PM, and 4PM in 10–15 minute bursts.
Tip #4: Use Templates:
If you find yourself responding to the same questions from different people on a continual basis, then this is for you. Make a small database of email templates will well thought-out responses. When you get these questions, just copy and paste your responses.
Tip #5: Delegate/Forward Emails:
You don’t have to do everything! If there is an email that you can delegate or forward to someone else to take care of, do it! Delegation is one of the most powerful time savers that you can possibly implement, yet too many busy and successful entrepreneurs don’t use it. Not to mention, delegation helps establish trust and autonomy among employees.
I run a boutique career coaching and recruiting firm in Los Angeles, California. We specialize in creative and technical roles.
The only way to stay on top of emails is to answer them the minute they come in. Of course, some emails will be higher priority than others but ideally you just answer everything as soon as you receive it. Otherwise, emails fall into a black hole that never get opened or responded to. Most Presidents of companies I know will respond to my emails to them within seconds of me sending them.
Erik Korsvik Østergaard (M.Sc.) is a trusted advisor and has worked as a manager, project manager, and consultant for nearly 20 years, focusing on leadership, change management, and organizational development. He has a burning passion for the future of work and the ongoing paradigm shift in leadership. His recent book, The Responsive Leader: How to Be a Fantastic Leader in a Constantly Changing World (LID Publishing, 2018), offers a proven model for responding to the current Fourth Industrial Revolution.
1. Turn off all email notifications on mobile and laptop. In that way, you take control of the process, avoid distractions, and can decide when you want to handle your email — at a convenient time for you.
2. Open your email program only a few times a day. Work focused for 25 minutes (Pomodoro-style). Handle your email, then close the program again. If you still happen to open your email between those 25-minute sessions, make sure that you expedite small emails immediately. Use your time effectively.
3. If your email is more than 200 words, delete it and call instead, or walk to the person and talk together. Long emails are horrible to read and understand, and the time invested in composing the email is rarely worth it. People will seldom understand all points in a long email, and the face-to-face dialogue is much more effective.
4. Remove the email from the inbox as soon as you have handled it. Some people use a folder-based archive system, but I have one big folder that I archive everything into, using the search function for retrieving information when needed.
5. Use email for external communication only. Internally, use a collaboration platform instead, like Slack, Yammer, or Workplace by Facebook, so that everybody can be part of the dialogue, chip in, and feel informed.
Jennifer Stewart has been patiently empowering her clients to understand their computers and technology tools since 2011. She teaches her clients to reduce computer frustration and disorganization, eliminate email overwhelm and understand Microsoft programs. Jennifer is a recognized industry leader and is the Immediate Past President of the St. Louis chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals.
When I first started drowning in email, I felt like I had lost control of my work day. I knew I needed easy-to-implement strategies to take back the control. Here are the top five things that helped me get out of my email overload:
1. I use ‘rules’ or ‘filters’ to immediately push certain emails to folders to keep my inbox from overflowing. Every email program has this option, and it’s been the biggest time-saver I’ve ever implemented. It also helped me to clean up the backlog when I first started.
2. Most people spend at least 8 hours a week on email. That’s an entire day each week! I reduced my total time spent on email by only checking email at certain times each day. When I’m in a groove, I even turn on an auto-responder (i.e. out of office message) to tell people what time they can expect a response from me.
3. I use a timer when I work on email (or anything else!) It holds me accountable, and I can let go of the worry about how long I’ve spent working or how long I have left. I process my email much more efficiently when I use a timer — it’s amazing what a built-in deadline does for my productivity.
4. To prevent accidentally sending an email before I finish, I wait until the end to add the recipient’s email address. This has saved me from apology emails and big blunders numerous times!
5. I use the heck out of my subject line. I indicate what action I need the recipient to take, such as Please reply by 1pm 10/20 or FYI only so they can be more productive, and I can too, when they get back to me on time. This helped to cut back on emails where I was waiting for responses.
Good luck to you as you take back control of your email. I promise, it’s possible!
Kimia Kalbasi is the widely acclaimed Founder of Kimia’s Kravings. Kimia has been featured in the Huffington Post, Socialfly Live, ABC News, Good Morning America Digital, and PA Live. She is a notable lifestyle content creator who not only monetized her hobby and has worked with a plethora of reputable brands but has also marketed herself as a social media strategist who consults clients succeed in the social space. She’s a busy busy bee to say the very least indeed! Between back-to-back meetings, major campaigns, endless emails, and daily events, she still manages she gets through her days with a boxing sesh or yoga to keep the momentum going with a smile on her face no matter how tough the hustle and bustle gets. Above all, her main focus is to spread and share positivity through her influence beyond what meets the eye.
1: Create Folders
When you use your in-box as default storage, it quickly becomes a digital junk drawer, which makes finding what you need tricky so creating folders to categorize them makes it that much simpler to sort through them!
2: Aim for Only 20 Items in Your In-box
Yes, seriously. Twenty e-mails means that you can see your whole in-box without scrolling. As soon as you deal with a message, file or delete it. Only messages from the past week that you’ve yet to respond to belong in your in-box.
3: Stick to a Schedule
Reading e-mails hampers productivity. For professions where constant communication is crucial, establishing a schedule might not be realistic. But if you take a long, hard look at your job, you may find that it is doable to designate reading time every 60 or 90 minutes. Set alerts on your calendar until you’re in a routine. If you skim e-mails on your phone, mark those you need to follow up on as unread so that you don’t forget to respond later.
4: Organize Before You Read
At the beginning of each scheduled e-mail session, sort by sender to spot messages from VIPs then scan subject lines and delete obvious junk.
5: Respond Strategically
Can you write back in two minutes or less? Do so immediately. If an e-mail requires more time, flag it so it can be handled during a scheduled window later that day or the next morning. Afraid a long response will lead to a drawn-out e-mail chain? Time to pick up the phone.
With over 25 years as a property, workplace, and change leader, Neil Usher has delivered innovative environments for organizations in a variety of sectors all over the world, including Warner Bros., Honeywell, Rio Tinto, and Sky. In his recent book, The Elemental Workplace: The 12 Elements for Creating a Fantastic Workplace for Everyone (LID Publishing, 2018), Usher argues that an engaging and motivating workplace goes well beyond mere desk configuration; more holistically, it’s about creating a positive environment in which all employees can live, learn, grow, share, and contribute.
1. Only open an email once–and deal with it with a reply or note. Every time you open an email a second time it’s like receiving a second message. A hundred emails quickly becomes two hundred. They don’t go away unless you deal with them. Instead, they’ll linger and multiply.
2. Set aside a time slot every day for email — schedule this activity like a meeting and stick to it. And as with a meeting, don’t be late and don’t overstay. It’s sometimes even useful to go to a different space to do this, so it feels like an event.
3. Don’t respond to emails immediately or you’ll create an expectation that you’ll always do this. Get people used to you taking some time to consider before responding — and become known for this. You’ll come across as a thoughtful and reflective person, too.
4. Don’t replay to a cc. You’re copied for info. Leave it at that, note the content, and move on. Leave the to recipient to do the responding. You may even sort them by to/cc and just deal with the to emails during your allotted time.
5. Don’t use email as a storage system. It’s a messaging app. Treat it as that — it’s not a filing system. If you need to retain an email for its content, save it as a file in your general directory. Otherwise, you’ll spend hours organizing your emails as well as responding to them.
Heather Nashelle is the very busy designer and founder behind Nashelle Jewelry; a handmade jewelry line created out of Bend, Oregon. While being a wife to her husband Ryan, who manages the company, and raising six children, five boys and a little girl, she also dedicates her time to bringing women gorgeous attainable looks that are simple, fun to layer and timeless. Nashelle is sought after around the world and carried in Nordstrom.
Email, DM’s and Facebook messages are a daily life for Heather; from design needs, donation requests (giving back to society is the forefront of the Nashelle Brand), strategy sessions, marketing direction, forecasting and all the other foundational messages that fly back and forth to build a successful brand. Heather definitely at times can feel that it is overwhelming but has learned how to master the art of delegating, deleting and delivering. To Heather that looks like this: is it important? If the answer is no, delete and if it is unsolicited, mark as spam. Done and done. It is important but belongs to a integral team members roll, delegate and forward. If it is pressing and important that it is to be responded by Heather, she carves time each day to run through them all. If it is not time sensitive, she archives in a folder to be address by each Friday. Knowing all too well, that being at the receiving end of pressing emails, it can be overwhelming at times. Heather finds success in writing lists to mark off who she has responded to and makes that her goal to accomplish each day. And last, as just an an additional tip, it is always a plus to keep your emails full of gratitude and upbeat; Heather likes to call it the Oreo affect; an upbeat greeting, address the topic at hand, sign off with gratitude. Happy emailing!
Originally published at medium.com