tips to better manage email

9 Tips Manage your Email Better

Incredibly Easy Tips That Will Help You Manage Your Email Better

How do you know you have to find a strategy to manage emails better? The moment it starts feeling like a struggle because you have too much email at work. Is your inbox page long? 

Does this scenario seem familiar? You decide one day that you will read your emails and reply to the important ones. Now you notice that you have been reading for over an hour and you are still not done. Then, your email is killing your productivity, you want to read and reply to your important emails, but it’s taking too much of your time.

Have you run out of memory space on your email? Then you need to delete something. How do you find the emails to delete? You need to read too many emails to sort the important ones from unimportant ones. How are you going to read the emails enough to sort when it’s over a thousand new emails in your inbox? This can be such a burden, as it affects your productivity. That’s why we have put together some amazing and easy email tips that will help you manage your email better:

1. Delete Promotional Sales Messages

This is one of the most important things to note when it comes to managing your email effectively. You can start by deleting the promotional messages without leaving your inbox, and it is not enough to drag them into the promotional tab.

Your inbox should only contain contents that are important to you, like your work information.

Usually, sales messages will only take your attention from the important content on your page.

2. Unsubscribe From Newsletters That You Don’t Read

If you are fond of subscribing to newsletters, you need to start looking at those newsletters you might have subscribed to. Check if you still need it; if you have not read the last two or three editions, there’s a possibility that you don’t need it again.

Newsletters can be a major contributor to too much email at work.

You are probably not getting any value; consider unsubscribing from such a newsletter.

Ask to be taken out of groups that don’t relate to you. You don’t need messages coming from a group you don’t need. You don’t need messages like that, you shouldn’t be in such groups, they will clutter your inbox.

Good practice means most newsletter systems have an unsubscribe button or hyperlinked text. Often located at the bottom of the email.

Use it!

If you find you have more time in future, you can always re-subscribe.

3. Write Short Messages to Manage Email Better

Don’t type long messages in your email. Be clear and brief.

Why should you write short emails? So the reader of your messages can get to the bottom of the message fast. They quickly read and get the information you are trying to pass without forfeiting too much of their time. They will usually similarly reply to your message, short and straight to the point, which is good for you too.

Although, there are times when you have to write a complete sentence and even a formal language. 

I know if I receive a long email, I am much more likely to write a long reply.

This is because:

  • either there are many points to respond to, or
  • I feel like the sender has the time to write – and read – such long emails.

On the other hand, a short succinct email makes me know this person has things clear in their mind and their professional approach makes me focus. I had better not waste their time!

Be sure to realize that when you write a long email, you might be subconsciously telling the readers it is okay to write a long reply.

Do the opposite and let them know to be brief and to the point when they deal with you. To write short messages can take practice, but it is worth it.

4. Create As Many Folders As You Need

Create a folder for each different type of content on your page. You could create a folder for all of your travels or a folder for your purchase receipts (online purchases). In each folder, you put contents based on the description of that folder.

To create a folder on Gmail:

  1. open your inbox;
  2. in the left side menu bar, under categories, scroll down
  3. you will see a command, select “manage labels,”
  4. then create a label. 

5. Set Up Filters to Help with Too Much Email

Set filters on your email, so emails can go straight to designated folders or to trash.

gmail filter too much email

You can set up filters in most email apps to filter out too much email. Here’s how to access filters in Gmail.

To create a filter on Gmail:

  1. when you open it, click the down arrow at the right side of the ” search” area.
  2. Enter search criteria in the boxes provided on the page.
  3. Enter email senders, subject lines, keywords, email respondents, and so on, depending on what you want to filter.
  4. Now select create filter within this search.
Filter on search in Gmail

How to filter a search in Gmail.

You can easily direct the filtered messages to the folder and Trash.

6. Archive Emails That You Are Not Ready To Delete

If you are through reading an email or using it, but you are not sure if you want to delete it, consider archiving it. Instead of deleting it, you can archive it.

There’s a big possibility you won’t need it again, but you can do that to fulfill all righteousness. 

7. Empty Trash Occasionally

Delete the Trash (or deleted items) occasionally. You can create more space when you delete Trash.

You can even put it as part of your settings to automatically clear Trash when you quit the app. 

However, you shouldn’t empty the Trash more than one time a month or twice in a quarter. If you delete your Trash more frequently, you might end up deleting the content you need permanently. 

8. Check Your Email More

We admit some people are surprised at this recommendation. It works best when you apply several email tips from this list to manage email better.

In this way, it beats ‘batching’.

Batching is piling up all similar tasks to do at the same time. Batching works for many processes, but it won’t solve too much email.

Make it a habit to check your email often during the day.

If you check your email more, you can easily attend to unread messages. You can decide if you want to delete them, archive them or respond immediately.

If it would take a minute of your time to respond to the contents of an email, then don’t let it pile up. Follow the “one-minute rule,” respond to such email immediately.

Set reminders for things you need to follow up on. Use “Sortd” to set reminders for the things that you want to follow, and the mails you want to get back to.

You should also set a particular time to check your email. The time set will have you check your email regularly at the set time. 

If you only need to forward an email to another user, do that immediately. Delete afterward if you don’t need the mail.

9. Download Similar Apps That Allow You Attend To Your Emails

Download apps that let you respond to your emails on the go. Apps that you can use when you are sitting in front of your computer, mobile apps.

This will help you manage your emails effectively.

Apps help manage email at work

Email apps on your phone can help you manage your email better.

Bonus Way to Manage Email Better For Too Much Email

This way to manage email better might be contentious.

It can be worth it if you have too much email at work.

Choose who to ignore.

Yes, it sounds obscene doesn’t it? When you are suffering too much email, this can be important for self-preservation at work.

  • If your boss tells you that you need to focus on subject matter ‘X’, then they are effectively saying don’t do other things.
  • If you are your own boss, then you will know not everyone who wants your time deserves it nor will they get you to your goals quickest.

There is a good chance there is a group or individual who needs you much more than they should. Much more than you need them.

These people are not in your work team and not on your side.

It is time to train them!

Do this: Ignore them!

We don’t mean be impolite. That won’t help at work! Rather, we mean ignore their emails.

If they follow up with more emails or reminders, you should ignore those too.

This can give them time to find an alternative way to deal with their issues. At some point, their need will expire.

  • Either their email was unimportant, or
  • if it is important to them, they will find an alternative way to get what they need.

So what did we mean by ‘train them’?

This process over time trains them it is wasting their own time to write to you. They can learn there is a better way: to ask someone else, or find a way to get what they need themselves.

Either way, they learn their solution does not involve you.

Perhaps you have been too helpful. Some people feel a reward for helping others. This is natural. When you are overloaded it is time to take back control.

If their emails are typically social chit-chat, perhaps they will learn that you don’t reply and that it is not so much fun to have a one-way conversation.

There is a way to boost this one, but it can take a little extra effort at first to make the gain.

Tell them you will ignore them!

Not in so many words!

Read enough to find out when they need the information by, or call them if it is not included in their email. Don’t ask them in an email reply because it could look like you are interested in their topic!

Reply briefly or take the opportunity while you have them on the phone, to ensure they know you will not be able to help them in time and they’ll need to find another way.

If necessary, explain that your boss has asked you to focus on subject matter ‘X’ (the top priority from your boss remember?).

If they ever complain through channels that matter (eg. Their boss talks to yours) and your boss asks you about it, you can simply remind your boss that we agreed to prioritize ‘X’.

To wrap up this bonus tip, remember you can simply say ‘sorry I really can’t right now’. Giving less information is best. Giving more information just invites further probing and time wasting.

If you do use email apps on your iPhone, TheTechMentor has more tips like how to delete to the right using only your keyboard, or easily move your cursor in the text editor. See these and more practical iPhone tips here.

Apply some or all the above tips to manage email better. Too much email means you need to manage your emails effectively so as not to suffer symptoms like a cramped up inbox page. We suggest that you don’t only prioritize emails and responses, which would take so much of your time if you decide to respond to them all. If these tips are properly applied, they will get your email from cluttered to clean and non-time-consuming.

About The Author

Jeff

Jeff (Surname withheld for family privacy) is an engineer with over 26 years experience. He first learned to program in Fortran 77! See the 'About Us' for more.

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