I recently had a great talk with my friend Steve about e-mail management. Steve has a unique perspective on all things business: he’s a Grammy winning drummer turned business guru, and we had a great talk about how he manages his massive inbox using a series of folders.
While I’m not as cool as multi-foldered Steve, I’ve been able to stay on top of email using these simple steps:
I remove myself from any and all email newsletters of any kind, no holds barred. I make up for this by subscribing using RSS feeds to people I want to hear from using a free app called Feedly.
2. Set up mail rules
There are a few coupon emails that I still like getting, and I set up an email rule in my inbox to send it to a folder labeled “coupons”. Here’s a link to a video that explains how to do this with Apple’s mail program. LINK
3. Turn email into To Do items
4. Use email as a time filler
My mom was the master of grouping small tasks together for unexpected down times- I still remember her whipping out a folder of work in the car while we waited for a train to pass, and getting done a slew of tiny tasks. This approach works great for email, too. Whenever you have a few moments between tasks, crank out a few email. A little bit goes a long way over time.
5. Clean everything every week
If you didn’t clean your house each week, imagine how gross it would look. The same holds true for email- set time at the end of each week to empty out your inbox, respond to all the last few email you didn’t get around to, and you’ll be amazed how productive you’ll feel starting each week with an empty inbox.