Did you know that there’s right way to manage your email inbox? It’s true. Well that’s according to the productivity experts.
There seem to be lists and lists of common inbox management mistakes posted on websites and blogs across the globe, which makes it pretty clear that for many businesses, and individuals, email can be a big productivity drain.
I think most people know that you can make plenty of mistakes in sending email, in fact I read a statistic recently that claimed over 70% of people admit they’ve emailed a wrong person or copied someone on an email by mistake – hands up if you fall into that group!
In this blog post we’re not talking about email mistakes but rather ways to manage your inbox, ways to better coordinate those hundreds of emails coming in each week. Admittedly not everyone is inundated with hundreds of email each week, but if you are some of these idea might help you look at little closer at your setup. If you’ve mastered the inbox let us know your ideas too.
Managing too many emails
I read an article this week literally titled How I deal with 800 emails a week. It’s an interesting number for starters – have you ever counted how many emails you receive? The author is CEO of BizSugar, Anita Campbell, who says her email strategy is a mixture of various productivity tips she’s read over the years. She suggests to tag junk mail and being better at managing subscriptions, she also makes an interesting point about recognising when you should and shouldn’t respond to emails.
Sholto MacPherson from Box Free IT has a different view. He’s published a whole series around mastering email that looks more deeply into how businesses are managing information. Sholto notes in thwe article series that “email overload has real consequences” for business. He advocates taking a look at what’s happening internally and developing strategies for managing the flow of email – he takes note of useful tools like Yammer and instant messaging tools (both of which we’re using at Reckon). He also takes note of the mental energy used taking to scan emails and decide what to do with the correspondence.
Constantly checking email
The experts say we shouldn’t have email on all day, rather we should check email several times during the work day so that it doesn’t become a distraction. I hear this tip constantly. Do you do this, or could you do this?
Henrik Edberg at the Positivity Blog says to reduce your need to constantly check the inbox start small. “You can probably postpone the checking for one hour in the morning without big consequences. Then if possible, after a day or two, try to move the checking further down the day. Maybe to after lunch. Or perhaps even, as I have, to the end of the workday.”
Simple, practical tips for changing email habits
Do you use your inbox as a to-do list? Or maybe you archive everything when you really should just be deleting?
Forbes published a really simple and helpful article on email this week that even offers simple steps to change bad habits.
My pick of the bunch was their tip to “start using your inbox for new mail only. If you’re done with an email, it should be archived, filed, or deleted. You can always search for any email you need later.” Simple and practical advice.
Share with us your great tips for taking charge of your inbox.