How to best manage your emails

03-01-2012 | Dojo |


Now, I said it. Years ago I’d be thrilled to get ‘noticed’ and someone to send me a message. Then times changed. Now I receive spam, unwanted ‘funny’ stuff from friends that don’t understand that some people actually WORK, not to mention all kinds of notifications from various services I am using plus the clients’ messages. Even if most of the stuff I receive is now OK (have told friends to either stop sending their junk or get banned from my email address), there’s still enough content I receive on a daily basis.

And, if you’re not disciplined with your emails, you’re getting yourself into a big trouble.

I am using Gmail for years and have also redirected some of my other accounts into it. It’s easy to use and I like opening my email messages in a browser than have all kinds of attachments downloaded on my computer, whether I like it or not.

Since it’s a new year, one of my resolutions is to get it all under control and manage my inbox in a better way.

  • if it takes under 2 minutes to reply/solve, will do just that. Yep, the ‘Getting Things Done’ book surely has good ideas in it. Greetings from people or simple questions have no place to be ‘archived’ for months. So, will just reply or solve the issue, then delete the message (or archive if needed)
  • everything gets archived and deleted – just cleaned up 2500 messages. Just because I have lots of GB space doesn’t mean I really need to fill it. Now my inbox is clean and has very few current emails.
  • we’re not available on email all day long – if I have a client that needs me for the next 5-8 hours, then I’ll have my inbox ready all this time. I’m paid for this and you never know when the client wants to send you materials or information. Other than that, I open my email in the morning and maybe in the evening. And that’s it. If it’s weekend and I want to go do some sightseeing, you might not ‘catch’ me for hours. It’s better than checking my phone every 3 minutes. If I’m out of the ‘office’, then I’m OUT.
  • everything needs to get sorted, solved, deleted – I used to leave messages for days or months and they piled up. It’s annoying to open your inbox, when you have hundreds of things you failed to solve. With little discipline I can sort my items and solve them as I go, leaving my inbox clean and nice.

What tactics do you use to better manage your emails?


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