At Aegis Capital Corp, an email is a crucial form of communication, just the same as most modern organizations today. Anthony Lapadula, managing director at Aegis Capital shares some of the most important point and tips to keeping your email organized and clutter-free.
Organizing email is crucial to productivity–and security. While email is a valuable communication and collaboration tool, it can easily overwhelm you. If your email is a mess, it can hurt more than productivity and stress you out; it can damage your business. Clutter can make spotting a suspicious email more difficult. While a totally empty “inbox zero” goal is hard to achieve, here are seven quick tips to get email organized and tame your email mess:
Is Your Firm’s Email A Mess? 7 Quick Tips To Get Email Organized
- Unsubscribe. Most of us unsubscribe from junk email all of the time but don’t stop there. Do you get a regular newsletter that you somehow never had time to read? Every time it comes in, you save it for later (read never) or delete it. Save yourself a step and unsubscribe. If you rarely read things that are making a regular appearance in your inbox, unsubscribe from those lists.
- Start a processing filing system. Many people have email folders for organizing the old email. These could be by the client, by subject, by project, etc. While useful for managing old email, such a filing system leaves your email inbox a mess. Add a second layer of filing for how you process email. Many people suggest a deadline-oriented email organizations system with these files:
Today: Email you must respond to before the end of the day
This week: Emails you need to deal with before the week’s end
This month: Emails that require a longer-term response
FYI: For informational emails that require no response.
Be merciless in sorting emails into one of these four files first thing and several times through the day and you will quickly tame your email mess. And once you have dealt with an email, either file it in a proper saving file or delete it to keep your email organized.
- Use rules and filters. You can automate some of your email organizing. Email rules can send emails directly into one of the above processing files. Google’s Gmail filters and Microsoft Office Outlook email rules are some examples, but options abound. You won’t catch every email, but even reducing ten or twenty percent of incoming traffic can help. You can also filter out certain emails into spam folders or even “do later” folders based on subject lines, senders, and content.
- Consider creating standard canned email answers to frequently asked questions. You may find that a certain percentage of your incoming email is routine and repetitive. By cutting and pasting pre-made answers to commonplace questions, you can quickly cut through email clutter.
- Avoid reply-all email responses. Do you really have to send a two-word “thank you” email and include everyone on the email list? Don’t clutter others and ask that they don’t clutter you. Let your teams know when they need to include you on emails. Do you have to be on every email? Chances are not. If you find yourself quickly deleting numerous emails from your team, it is time to let them know when they can leave your name off.
- Consider using various email management tools and email organizing add-ons. Developers have created a variety of tools to help you with email organizing. You can use apps like unroll.me to mass unsubscribe, saving you the tedious task of manually unsubscribing from newsletters and junk emailers one-by-one. Others offer advanced filers and rules. Still, others unify multiple email boxes in one desktop app. More time and effort-saving apps are coming online all the time.
- Create a Quarantine file. Set up a file for suspicious emails. If you wonder about the legitimacy of the sender or links, you want to get that email out of your active queue. When busy, you might inadvertently click. Create a file for emails worth a second look. It will make it easier for your cybersecurity team to find and eliminate problematic emails.
While these seven email organizing tips won’t guarantee you’ll get to inbox zero, they will give you half a chance to tame your email mess. You’ll be more productive, less distracted, with fewer missed emails or missed deadlines.