As an online business, it’s fair to say that the majority of your business correspondence is probably completed via email. Not only is it fast and secure, but it’s also easy to monitor and track the history of a conversation. But this instant method of communication also has its downsides – one of which is how messy your inbox can get! So if you’re looking for ways to help manage and maintain a clean inbox, here are 10 tips that will help.
#1: Limit how often you check your inbox
Your inbox can be a huge time-waster for you, so get into the habit of only checking it two or three times a day. If you check it too often, you could miss spotting potential patterns, issues and problems that could be solved and help alleviate inbox clutter and overwhelm.
#2: Unsubscribe from the junk to keep a clean inbox
One of the top things you can do to help have a clean email inbox is unsubscribe from all the junk mail you receive. Get into the habit of hitting unsubscribe the moment you see junk in your inbox, rather than just binning it and not solving it for good.
#3: Unsubscribe from those newsletters you hoard but don’t read
Whilst you’re unsubscribing from emails, think about those newsletters you’re subscribed to. You know, the ones that you gather in a ‘to read’ folder – but never do!
#4: Have a clean inbox by setting up the right folders and tags for you
If you want a clean inbox, it starts with the right filing system. Set up folders and tags that suit your needs – this could be by topic, client or subject. The time it takes you to set this up will pay dividends further down the line.
#5: Make use of rules and filters
Once you have the right folders and tags in place, you’re then able to use rules and filters to help keep your inbox clean. You can automatically send emails to folders, tag them, mark them as read or for follow-up – go with what works best for your needs.
#6: Set up automatic replies and canned responses
If you find yourself sending the same email over and over, automatic replies and canned response can be great for you. You can use them for frequently asked questions, as well as letting a recipient know their email has arrived.
#7: Correctly manage old emails to help keep your inbox clean
One mistake a lot of business owners make is using their email inbox as a store-all facility. There are certain old emails you’ll need (and want) to keep, but if you want a clean inbox, you need to be selective with them. Don’t just keep them in your inbox, either file, delete or archive them.
#8: Don’t use your email as a to-do list or calendar!
If you want to have a clean inbox, use it only for what it’s meant for! Far too many business owners use the inbox as an impromptu to-do list or calendar. If an email has information that needs to go on your calendar, add it to your calendar. Need to action an email? Do it – but then move the email from your inbox and into the right folder within your email system.
#9: Respond and act immediately
Actioning an email is crucial if you want a clean inbox. You need to effectively manage the emails within it – and that means responding and acting immediately. Send a quick reply or delegate, as needed. Add to your to-do list or calendar and then either file, delete or archive the email.
#10: Consider delegating your inbox to someone else
It’s worth considering outsourcing your inbox management to someone else if you either don’t have the time or can’t manage it yourself. Creating and maintaining a clean inbox is just one of the many tasks a VA can manage for you. Not only will it revolutionise your inbox, but it will also help free up your time and alleviate some of the stress and overwhelm often associated with email management – so why not give it a try!
If you don’t yet have a VA and are looking for one to work with your business, why not get in touch? Let’s talk and see how your business will benefit from, not only having someone to help maintain a clean inbox but also working alongside you and streamlining your entire business.