Having good mailbox management skills and organisational techniques is absolutely crucial nowadays. In order to work effectively in any role that includes emailing, it is important to get this right. In this article, we will be covering some of the top things you should focus on when starting to refine your email management.
One of the best ways to approach good mailbox management is to have dedicated time-per-day that you will spend on your emails. Many of us are probably guilty of having their email tab constantly open throughout the day, and flicking in and out of it regularly. That may not actually be the most productive thing to do.
Instead, try to set aside 1 or 2 time slots in the day (depending on how much time you think you will need), and use that time to go through your inbox. For the rest of the day, keep that tab closed!
Additionally, you can turn your email notifications off. As long as you are dedicating some time each day to manually go in and check your inbox, then this is perfectly fine. Alternatively, you can adjust your notification settings so that you are only notified when you get certain types of emails. In Gmail, you can choose to only be notified when you receive an email marked as ‘important’. See the steps below to find out how.
As a general rule, you shouldn’t have to click on an email twice. If you open an email which requires action from you, then you have two options: take action immediately, or file the email into a category labelled as ‘must respond’ or something similar. We will go over labelling in more detail below. You should always try to respond to emails within 24 hours.
Alternatively if an email does not require action from you, but does require action from somebody else in your team, then you should forward the email onto them immediately and then delete it from your inbox. This helps to avoid unnecessary cluttering of emails that are not relevant to you.
Do not be afraid to delete or archive emails that don’t require any attention, response, or action. The archive option is great if you believe an email is irrelevant, but you aren’t quite ready to hit the delete button just yet!
We covered this topic in more detail in one of our previous blog posts which you can read here.
In summary, you should try to organise your Gmail inbox more effectively by using labels, filters, and markers. This is an excellent way to boost your mailbox management pretty easily.
Implementing labels into your inbox allows you to quickly categorise different emails based on various different points. You can create your own labels, and then attach different emails to that label. For example, you could create a label called ‘must respond’ – like we mentioned previously – and then attach all emails that require a response to that label.
Filters allow you to segment your emails as they enter your inbox. You can set up automatic filtering, which will cause certain emails that fit a specified criteria to be filtered in a certain way. For example, you can apply a filter that will cause all emails from your boss to be automatically marked as ‘important’.
Markers allow you to quickly mark emails as ‘important’, which can be very helpful. You must be careful not to overuse this feature, however, and to ensure that you do go through your ‘important’ emails regularly and take action. Once action has been taken, you should unmark them. Additionally, Gmail allows automatic marking. This means that your Gmail will begin to learn to recognise which types of emails should be marked as ‘important’, and will mark them for you.
Don’t forget to check out our recent article here to find out how you can do all of these steps.
And last but not least: unsubscribe from unnecessary email lists! If you receive promotional emails that no longer interest you, or you are part of an email list that is irrelevant to you, then don’t hesitate to unsubscribe.
All promotional emails will have a small ‘unsubscribe’ button right at the bottom of them. By unsubscribing from certain email lists, you will help to reduce the clutter in your inbox and ensure that the emails you are receiving are relevant to you.