Email Management is Hard: How to Make it Easier


Does your profession require you to use a computer everyday? It is safe to say that most jobs require you to have a work email or use a personal email for work related tasks. If you are reading this article there is a high chance you have heard of the term email management. Email management is a tool used to create a digital organization system that helps you optimize your productivity. Email management is great because it can help alleviate stress throughout the workday. There are dozens of articles and entrepreneurs promoting lots of advice on the best way to manage your inbox. The advice can be complicated and confusing. Email management is a hard job in itself, but if you find the right system for you it can be much easier than you may think! In this article we will discuss some tips to help you make email management easier!

One of the first steps you can do is create separate email accounts. You should have one personal email and one professional email. It is important for everyone to have a work/life balance. This rule also applies to your inbox. If you already have two inboxes make sure you do not gove out your work email to people who are not within your professional life. This means do not let family or friends send you emails regarding vacations, weekend plans, birthday parties, etc. to your work email. Mixing high priority work emails with emails regarding weekend plans will keep you unorganized. By creating a personal email you will be able to keep both your work life and personal life organized giving you the balance you need throughout the workday.

Another immediate step you can take is unsubscribing from any unwanted emails. Unsubscribe to any company that no longer serves you. Over time your inbox is most likely flooded with promotional emails from various companies. To help limit the amount of emails coming in go through these promotional emails. Instead of simply deleting these unwanted emails without opening them, take the extra time to fully unsubscribe from them. Unsubscribing from every and any unnecessary emails will benefit you in the long run! Whatever does not serve you, unsubscribe from them. It is also important to note that if you still want to receive certain emails simply subscribe from your personal email instead of your work email.

There are many recommended methods to organizing your inbox. My personal favorite and the one I would recommend to you  is the FAST method. FAST stands for: file it, assign it to someone else, store it, and trash it. Filing an email refers to dealing with it and filing the task away. Assigning it means taking the given task that is not a high priority for you and assigning it to someone who can deal with it, such as an executive assistant. This step allows you to focus on top priority tasks. Storing an email refers to saving it for later. These are tasks that are not high priority but something you yourself must take care of. Finally, trashing it is the most basic step. If an email comes in that you certainly do not need you can delete the email. Deleting emails you do not need will help keep your inbox decluttered. I like this method because it is so straight forward. Following these four basic steps everyday makes email management easy and bearable.

Another trick you can try is see if you like automating your inbox. Popular programs such as Gmail and Outlook have features available to help keep you organized. For example, Gmail users should take advantage of their labeling feature. Let’s say you always want emails from your boss to be high priority and answered quickly. You can label any email sent by your boss into an “urgent” folder. Outlook users can use their Quick Steps feature. If you are comfortable with trying this step it could save you even more time! Automating your inbox will help you too if you decide to try the FAST method since you could use it to filter through high priority emails.

Lastly, I would recommend creating a morning and night routine. Any kind of routine makes daily tasks easier with time. You should not be checking your inbox constantly throughout the day. Instead you should create dedicated times to check and sort your inbox. The two most important times to practice email management are one long session in the morning at the start of your workday and a quick revision of your inbox before logging off for the day. Those who spend the first hour of their work day dedicated to their inboxes can feel more productive during the day because they will not waste time organizing their tasks throughout the day. If you decide to adopt the FAST method make sure you check your store folder at the end of the day to make sure you did not miss anything crucial. Checking your inbox before logging off will make your following morning routine even easier! While email management can be stressful, if you implement tips and tricks that work for your job you will see a huge improvement in your overall productivity!