Last week while people were still on holiday at the office I took the extra time to clean out my email in box. I had thousands of messages in both my work and personal email accounts. Now, I have only what is coming in daily. I have vowed to not let it get out of hand again. Here are some of the things that I am doing:
- Make a delete or keep decision as I read the email. If keep, then put it in a folder.
- Create a Delete on Sunday keeper folder. This folder is for emails that I can’t make a decision on. I’ll save it in the Delete on Sunday box. If I haven’t used it before Sunday, it automatically gets deleted.
- Unsubscribe. I have a bad habit of subscribing to newsletters and receiving coupon emails from companies I frequent. I’ve found that I rarely read these emails and they just clutter my in-box. This year, I am unsubscribing to all except my favorites that I actually read every issue (which is probably none.)
- Add recipient’s email addresses into my address book. Often I have saved emails in my in-box just so that I would have the sender’s email address on hand. Now, I will take a minute to add his/her address to my address book and delete the email.
According to an article on Suite101.com, there are two simple rules for email management:
RULE #1: Read the email once and file, flag, delete or reply.
RULE #2: Delete emails that do not contain important information.”
The Get It Done Guy says:
Scanning and Planning. This is the hard part. Schedule a time each day to process your inbox. Your commitment: totally and completely empty it. Here’s how: go through each message, read it quickly. Ask yourself, “What do I have to do to handle this message?” Write that down on your piece of paper. For example, Bernice sends a long e-mail about a family tragedy. Your to-do item is “Send Bernice a sympathy card regarding her unfortunate Spandex incident.”
How do you manage your in-box?
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