Email is the bane of most peoples business lives. It should be one of the most efficient business tools you have instead it’s an intrusion that needs to be tamed and kept in check before it becomes overwhelming.
How long do you spend each day on email?
I usually spend less than 15 minutes .. It didn’t always used to be like that.
I often used to spend 2 -3 hours a day answering emails that really didn’t need to be answered or weren’t in the slightest bit important.
My email nightmare came to a head in October 2013 when I was on vacation. I found myself lounging by the pool , cold beer in hand, ploughing through hundreds of emails… Something had to change!
That day I did some research and adopted an “inbox zero” outlook to mail.
Basically that means that I aim to have no emails in my inbox at the end of the working day.
Once you start to do this email becomes a great tool again and not a burden.
Here are some simple tips for getting control of email.
Set Your Out Of Office Reply Daily
Set your out of office reply when you are working for example between 10 am and 4 pm. In the message that gets sent tell people that you’ll only answer emails between 9am and 10am and 4pm and 5pm.
Also include instructions for contacting your Helpdesk or support desk. Direct them to your knowledgeable if you have answers to commonly asked questions there.
Use Advanced Email Clients.
I suspect most people use Gmail or the Google Docs email reader to control their emails.. It’s not efficient!
There are lots of advanced email clients that let you quickly archive, delete or postpone emails to a more convenient time, Mailbox is one.
The new Outlook for iOS is another. it’s superb and makes the Gmail client look like something from the 80’s
Speaking of iOS if you have an iPad or an iPhone they can make tools for handling emails. I often use my iPad to handle most of my email tasks as i find it quicker than traditional desktop mail clients.
My main solution for handling email is to use 2 tools in tandem.
From the stats the first tool gives me It seems that I used to receive emails from over 1200 sources, imagine if they came in every day!
I use https://unroll.me to take all the emails that may be useful but aren’t that important.. Groupon deals, Appsumo, amazon deals etc and it adds them to a single email.It also lets me unsubscribe with a single click, since I’ve used it I’ve “rolled up” 193 emails and unsubscribed from 716 that’ potentially 900 less emails to deal with.
That leave 328 emails that still arrive in my inbox at any time, but with with a click of a button I can move them to the rollup list or unsubscribe.
However I have a tool that deals with them.
The second tool I use is Sanebox. Sanebox is genius, it separates emails in to important one’s which go to your inbox and then ones that can be dealt with later.
You have the option of 5 different mailboxes where you can separate emails, I have Later, Payments received, News, and Notifications set up.
You can quickly assign emails to different boxes so that you never miss an important one amongst all the daily crap.
I generally only now get between 5 & 10 emails a day I have to deal with immediately. These are from Peoples whose emails I enjoy reading or whose emails are important.
You don’t need to use all the methods above, if email is an intrusion then choose the solution that works for you. Remember email should be a tool that helps you grow your business.
If you have any tips you use to keep a clean inbox please post them in the comments section or on the Facebook page
I was having a crappy time earlier in the week, among other things we were burgled, so we are sitting here with no patio doors in the coldest month of the year.. (still didn’t stop me getting sunburned on Wednesday though!)
Anyhow I logged into the SMO forum to be met with these 2 Posts, posted less than an hour apart.
Well done guys you really cheered me up.
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