Nowadays we do everything with our electronic devices. Understanding how you can effectively manage email is a great power and a great tool for productivity.
Email is still the main channel for work-related communication.
In the last article I talked about some of the risks connected to having a mainstream service account to manage emails.
In this one, I want to talk about how you can organize and use this tool to stay productive and not overwhelmed, no matter the service you use.
One of the big distractions you can be trapped into is costantly looking at your emails.
This feels like working, but it actually isn’t.
Scrolling through hundreds of messages all day along as they arrive only makes you unable to focus on the tasks that matter.
Let’s see how you can better manage your email.
Manage email using folders and labels
Most email clients offer an incredible amount of tools you can use to stay organized.
You can take advantage of these tools by, for example, marking your emails with different labels for work, for a specific project or for personal tasks.
Folders are a great way to just see the emails that matter the most to you for the thing you have to do.
The Smart Inbox feature lets you manage email way more rapidly and channel your energies towards the tasks you haven’t completed yet.
Take some time to read and respond
As I said before, always staring at your laptop checking emails is not a good idea.
Instead, you could block some time slots in your schedule to only read and respond to important emails.
A lot of people talk about this trick as a time-saver and as a habit that gets them to not lose important time replying to everyone’s emails or reading promos and requests.
For some people email is one of the most important channels to get clients, to manage relationships or to collaborate with colleagues.
For others, it’s not like this.
Maybe they use different platforms to work and cooperate or maybe their assignments are just not much related to communication.
This is fundamental to consider when you’re assigning time to manage email.
If you’re one of the people of the first group, you want to block more time during the day, maybe even one hour in the morning and another one in the evening.
If you’re someone from the second group, you can think about dedicating just some moments during the week to emails.
Removing notifications, specifically, could make you focus a lot more on your work.
Master your communication to effectively manage email
It’s not a surprise that communication skills will help you get more from your emails.
The thing is, though, it can also help you to be more concise and to eliminate reduntant information that just induces more waste of time if shared.
Many people need to be trained: they tend not to be autonomous when you work on common projects or you’re their manager.
This is bad for you and your time, but for them too. There are managers, employers and colleagues that aren’t willing to tolerate this behavior and could confront them about this or even fire them.
If you make a habit to delegate and give responsability without over-communicating through email, you’re doing them a favor and you’re saving yourself time and energy.
Separate important stuff and promotions/newsletters
Reaching the famous inbox-zero is impossible.
But you have a few possibilities to keep your inbox as minimal as needed to stay focused.
Maybe I overused the word focused throughout this article, but you know, this is what is all about when it comes to working smarter.
Most of us have hundreds of subscriptions to different services, platforms and media.
Separating the important stuff from the noise in our mailing clients has become a really challenging thing to do.
What I suggest, is that you use different accounts: one for promos, social media and newsletters and one from work.
If you already have a working email address, try to silentiate the other one and stop notifications on both your desktop/laptop and your phone.
This way you’ll be able to receive emails that matter or that are work-related, where you can then apply the advice I told you before.
Find the right client
My favorite one is Spark.
Having a client you like and that suits your needs is just as important as all the other points.
Not only do clients offer different features, but also different approaches to how you manage email.
I wanted a client that could host all of my accounts without having to log in several different services to check my emails.
Privacy is becoming one of the crucial factors for the majority of the problems that regard big companies out there, so trying out new solutions which pay close attention to it can be really useful.
I also wrote an article about this where you can find all the tools I’m checking out.
If you liked the article, please share it with someone who needs this kind of advice and subscribe to my mailing list.
Talk to you soon,