Ugly monster lurking in your email inbox?

Are you still reading? Just hearing the word ’email’ or ‘inbox’ will often make even the most tech savvy person cringe with embarrassment. Do you have an ugly monster lurking just inside that app you only open if you have to? (Your email inbox). So, what is the secret app to solve all your email issues? Get ready for it…There isn’t one. The secret starts with you and your approach to email.

Treat email like milk, not precious heirlooms

Here is a great start:
Treat email like milk, not precious heirlooms

Remember, step one is cleaning up your email inbox. This may take time, but will be worth all the effort if you commit to step two. Step two is deciding to deal with your inbox in a way that never allows it to get out of hand. It can be done. How?

Here are a few ideas that work for me:

  • If possible, deal with an email when you first open it. Does it need a reply? Can you reply now and archive or delete it straight away?
  • If you are not able to reply when you first open the email, can you resolve to reply or deal with the email before the workday ends?
  • Do you have a “pending” email mechanism? It might be as simple as a folder that you move any email to that can’t be dealt with today. Get it out of your inbox at least. In the Google/GMail new Inbox app, you have the option of using the snooze feature. See more about Google/GMail inbox here: www.google.com.au/inbox
  • Consider setting up simple filters that move less important (but still emails you want) to a folder outside of the inbox. GMail or Google Inbox both have features that do this automatically. I use these features extensively. See: Gmail and Google Inbox
  • Keep in mind that not dealing with an email today, means that your inbox is likely to get out of control again. Once an email is no longer “new” or at the top of your inbox, you are less likely to give it the attention you would have when it first arrived.

Inbox zero is possible

By changing your approach to your inbox and working to keep it in order, rather than viewing it as an ugly monster you need to set aside hours of time to defeat, you can reach inbox zero. Doing so will leave you feeling satisfied at the end of the day and more productive overall. Don’t let your inbox defeat you, get it under control and keep it that way. Do it today, and you’ll enjoy the benefits!

comments, feedback & questions