In the world of technology and our work, few things can feel more overwhelming than email. We can’t control when it comes in, we can’t control how much of it comes in and we can’t control what people are asking us to do in it. So we need strategies and techniques that we can use to help put us back in the drivers seat of managing our email.
All email programs allow you to create either folders or labels which can help sort and separate your email. The first thing that we want to do is take care of the actions that are required in our inbox. And if we set up a hot file system, we can actually sort and separate our emails into action categories that will make it easier or us to take the actions that each email represents. You should create a series of hot folders that mirror those that you created for your filing system. That way you can sort all the calls that need to be made based on the emails into a ‘calls’ folder; all of the e-bills could go into another folder; a third folder could be for things you need to research online. Try to create category names in both places that are as similar as possible, and this will help streamline things as you move from one system to the other, from paper to electronic.
One really great folder to create or label to create, depending on your email system, is something for newsletters. Many of us receive email newsletters. They might contain entertaining, useful, helpful or just plain funny info. All of those are great. But we probably don’t want to read them right when they pop into our inbox. Instead we want to read them at our leisure, when we have time. And that could be a while from now. They need a place to go until we actually have time to read them.Create a folder or label for these types of emails. Once you do that you can use a tool called filters or rules to automatically sort your email for you. This can be a huge productivity booster. How this works is this: you set up a folder or a label in your email programme. Then once you have an email that you don’t want to see in your inbox, you create a filter or a rule for it. Essentially you tell your email program, ‘whenever a message comes in from this particular sender please forward it into this folder. Bypass my inbox. I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to read it until I have time to deal with it.’ That way as new messages come in you can skip past those messages. They will be in a special folder waiting for you. And you will know that there are messages waiting for you because that folder name in the list will be bolded.
Interested in learning more about controlling your email and organizing your virtual folders? Learn more at www.profitableproductivitysystem.com.