Email – email email! It is an amazing way to communicate and also a never ending energy suck. There are some who maintain a zero unread inbox – good for you! I’m sure that gives you a great deal of satisfaction. I have given up on ever getting to zero, but I do try to keep it under 100. Here are a few tools to help you manage and use your email more effectively.
1) Unsubscribe. We have all signed up for some instant download or online course or free giveaway. I love getting free content. The issue is that its not really free. You have given them your email address which basically means you’ve given them permission to take your TIME. If you are like me – these are the majority of items coming into my inbox on some days! It’s easier to just delete a bunch at a time rather than open them up and hit the unsubscribe button. Solution: Unroll.me. Its a free service (again some may have issues with security, although I have used it for years on multiple inboxes). You simply type in your email, give it permission to scan through your inbox and it will automatically find ALL subscriptions – meaning you gave your email to join a list. It pulls them all up into one list and you can scroll through and check the ones you want to unsubscribe from, or you can roll them up into one daily email or keep them in your inbox. You can unsubscribe from multiple lists in a few seconds. DONE!
2) Signature – make sure your email and phone number is in your signature. I make referrals all the time and always put the persons contact information in the email introduction. I find an email from that person and grab their signature. You would be surprised at how many don’t have the contact information listed in the signature. Make it easy for others to refer you!
3) Templates/Canned Responses: I LOVE this feature. If you have content that you send over and over again to individuals, create a template or in Gmail a canned response. I use these almost everyday for everything from paddle boarding information to how to sign up for my Peer Advisory Boards. Here is a great video on how to set them up in less than 60 seconds. Game Changer!
4) Filters – If you receive emails with the same subject line or from the same email that you are having to move to a folder each time – set up a filter instead to keep them out of your inbox. I have one set up for receipts. Anytime an email comes in with the word Receipt in the subject line (all of the Paypal emails have it) then instead of coming into my inbox, they automatically get marked as read, and moved to the Receipts folder.
- To set this up in Gmail – do a search for Receipts, it will bring up all emails with that word.
- Click on one of them, then go to the three dots in the upper right corner.
- Click Filter Messages Like This – you can choose by email, subject, word, etc.
- Click Create Filter – then set up what you want done – skip inbox, move to folder, add label, etc.
5) Content: Write succinct emails – short to the point and with one clear action for the person to take. Ask yourself – do I really need to send this email (such as a thank you for a thank you) or have I answered the question that was asked? Nothing is more frustrating than spelling everything out in an email, requesting information on multiple points, and getting a response to only one! If the message is too long – consider a phone call instead, then follow up with an email confirming the discussion if you need it in writing.
This week, I encourage you to make time to get your inbox under more control. It will put a bounce in your step!
Stay safe, stay connected and stay grateful!