We all feel overloaded by digital clutter—our in-boxes fill with Spam, Newsletters, Bills, Requests and Important Announcements, as well as emails from clients, colleagues, friends and family. I suggest having a separate email that you give out to friends and family, and keep the company email strictly for business-related correspondence.
You have more important things to achieve each day than answering emails and you should not let them bog you down! Have a digital or hard copy calendar close by where you can add any important dates or deadlines to get them out of the digital clutter and into a plan that makes sense for you.
The following strategies have helped me to stay organized and clutter free:
1) Schedule a time each day to review emails and scan over the days emails quickly, replying to time sensitive emails that require immediate response, then:
a) Move emails to separate folders for clients/colleagues/invoices to be paid
b) Flag important emails that require a response later (if it helps, begin a reply then save to ‘Drafts’ folder to complete later
c) Add deadlines and events to calendar immediately
d) Save attachments to appropriate folders so they are not lost
e) Block spam emails
f) Delete any emails you do not need to respond to
2) Schedule a time each week to review folders:
a) Emails that require a response that you’d flagged earlier
b) Clean out your Deleted/Spam folders
c) Review any newsletters or notification type emails that you had signed up for and ‘Unsubscribe’ if you find they do not contain helpful tips or links.
d) Pay bills in ‘Invoices to be Paid’ and move them to the ‘Paid’ folder—doesn’t that feel good?
I’ve found that printing out really important emails and pinning them to a bulletin board help me remember to respond to them, and I can jot down points and notes or ideas as they come to me.
Check back with me for more great tips and tricks, and if you have any helpful strategies on how to deal with the onslaught of digital clutter that we deal with in our daily lives, make sure to comment below!