There’s nothing more stress-inducing than checking your email every five minutes. Or worse, not checking your email and watching all those potential replies pile up.
But what if there was a better way? One that splits the difference between these two approaches? Well, lucky for you, we’ve got you covered. Here are four tips for foolproof email management.
Create whitelists and blacklists
Everyone’s inbox is chock full of emails that either have no business being there or are too risky to open. Typical spam filters offer some relief, but often not enough.
Almost all email providers have the capability to create white and black lists for emails. By whitelisting safe senders, you can ensure their emails make it to the top of your inbox.
Conversely, by blacklisting dangerous or unimportant senders, you can effectively ban them from your inbox for good. It’s a simple way to improve your email management with minimal effort.
Create templates for replies
We’ve all got those emails that require less than a two-sentence response. And often, those responses are similar enough to warrant a template.
Taking the time up front to create pre-defined templates for common email responses makes it easier to comb through dozens of emails in lightning-fast fashion.
This minimizes effort while maximizing response and revolutionizing the way you handle your inbox.
Use labels and folders to organize and categorize
Organization is key to any streamlining process. That’s where labels come into play. By creating labels and folders that are associated with projects or other categories, you can organize your focus and save a lot of time and energy.
Got emails from multiple sources related to the same subject or project? Label. Need to be able to find a set of emails on an important topic later? Folder. Labels and folders will organize your inbox like never before.
Batch and process rather than intermittent checking
Checking your email over and over throughout the day not only leads to added stress and distraction, it also wastes time and productivity. To solve this, establish two or three times per day to handle your email responses.
By using this batching technique to knock out responses — combined with the whitelisting and labeling processes above — you can save time and handle emails on a priority basis.
Obviously, email is a powerful business tool that will be around for a long time. By taking these tips into account, you should be able to minimize the time spent in your inbox and prioritize emails with almost effortless precision. Given that time is money in business, we’ll let you make the obvious connection.
So what will you do with your newfound free time?
Related: What is unified communications?