Managing my email inbox used to be one of the most difficult aspects of blogging to me. Somehow it always filled up faster than I could contain it. This summer has been a wonderful time for me to fully dive into blogging and in turn have time to properly organize all the behind the scenes aspects of it, with the biggest of those being my gmail account.
If you're anything like me and struggle with email organization then hopefully some of these tips will help you out and motivate you this Monday! And if you ever want to email me then you can do so by adding firstname.lastname@example.org to your email address book.
The first way to scale back your email inbox is to delete those unnecessary emails. You know those 6 J.Crew emails you get in a day? Delete them and any other promotions that don't apply to you. This will help you to clear out those emails that need no response and don't need to take up your valuable space.
Star emails that need a response.
All email operating systems are different. I personally love gmail and have used it for years. In gmail the tool I utilize most frequently is the "star" tool. When I discover that an email needs a response then I star it so that all of those that need responses are in the same location. I see no need to put most of my emails into folders however, if you have this need I would still recommend starring them as well as moving them into their proper folders.
Set aside time each day to respond to your emails.
I think this is where I used to go wrong. I would check my email and star them but a lot of time I would procrastinate my response. I am not sure why I did this but I never prioritized responding as I've found to be useful lately. I take a little bit of time out of my morning and evening to get back to y'all and various companies that may be reaching out to me which in turn saves me more time in the long run since I don't have to take 2 hours at a time due to procrastination in the beginning. Once I head back to school I know sticking to this routine will become more difficult but even just sitting down with a cup of coffee, my breakfast (the best motivation) , and my laptop in the morning will be adequate to get through some emails each day.
Get a lot of emails wondering the same thing? Create a general response and customize per recipient.
A lot of the emails I receive ask about how to start a blog, how to make a blog successful, dorm room questions, and organizational tips. I have since created a template for each of these questions containing my answers and links to useful blog posts on the topics in question. I then go in and personalize the response and send it on its way. It saves me so much time and allows me to write one in depth email on a particular subject without feeling like I am skimping on anything while saving myself some time too!
Unsubscribe from unwanted emails.
So you know those J.Crew emails we were talking about in the first tip? You definitely don't need those taking up valuable space in your email inbox since otherwise you'll be taking time out of your day to delete them. Tons of companies send out emails multiple times a day that unnecessarily clog up your inbox. Go ahead and unsubscribe to them, I promise you'll still be able to find the promo codes and new arrivals that they feel obliged to send out every other hour on their sites!
Check periodically throughout the day and star and delete as needed.
I know some people would disagree with this tip and recommend only checking at one time and then responding right away but I love checking my email too much to do that! As I check periodically I star and delete as I go so that it isn't as time consuming later on. This is also a great strategy for me since I can do this in between classes or as a quick study break.
Be short and sweet with your responses.
This is another part of email responses that gets me! I want to take my time and get the best responses I can to the people I am emailing but in all honesty a few lines answering the question and encouraging them is more beneficial to them then my rambling would be. Remember that short, sweet, and to the point is the best way to go about responding to emails.
If your email has been neglected, work your way up (oldest to newest).
So sometimes I have super busy weeks or am unable to check my email for a few days and then coming back to tackle them can be a real chore. When that is the case I go through the same star and delete routine but instead work my way up to ensure that I am answering my oldest emails soonest since that just seems fair!
Want the quick 8 step low down? Well, here you have it!
Definitely leave any email tips you have below! I am always looking for more tactics to become better at responding as soon as possible!