Can You Live With No Organized Email Strategy?
If the current state of your inbox is causing you anxiety away from your desk, you definitely need an organized email strategy to keep your inbox in check. If there are more than 100 emails in your inbox, from everything about employee reviews to a softball team schedule that you never asked for, it's time to develop an organized email strategy. Here are five smart tips to get small business owners going in the right direction:
Admit You Have a Problem
Admitting you need to develop an organized email strategy is the first step towards curbing your inbox. Despite your best efforts and intentions, your email might be completely out of control. The first step to an organized email strategy is admitting that our inbox has become completely unmanageable. You need to admit this is the case, turn the page and start an entirely new process. The first step could be tackling anything critical, and then moving email older than one month out of the inbox.
Please Unsubscribe Me
Take a look at what’s left and get started treating your email as something more than a digital analog of a physical inbox on the corner of your desk. Most likely, you’ve barely scratched the surface of what your email program can do to build an organized email strategy. Take a critical look at any marketing lists you're a member of. Some of them are important and others are a complete waste of time. Regarding the time wasters, unsubscribe right now. The 15 seconds you spend doing that results in many, many minutes later deleting those messages or pushing them into a folder you’ll never look into. It can feel mean to reject other companies marketing automation, but they'll appreciate it much more than if you never open, read or click through.
Regarding the email lists you actually need, consider creating a rule in your email system that automatically files incoming message into a folder you can check what ever frequency is appropriate. If anything crosses your inbox that is actually spam, don't feel bad about taking a chop at the company's sender score. Flag the message as junk mail so you’ll never see it again and other people's chances of having to deal with it are also diminished. Minimizing irrelevant marketing automation is an important step towards developing an organized email strategy.
Streamline File Folders
Overusing files in an email account can be just as confusing a not having an organized email strategy. Filing emails by author isn’t useful because most email platforms allow users to perform a simple search or your email by author or date. File folders that group email into projects tend to be more useful towards reaching your organized email strategy.
It Isn't a To-Do List
Drop the idea that email is a to-do list. Whether you’re using Outlook or gMail or something else, most email systems have to-do lists built into them. Use them so you can reach your goal of an organized email strategy. The email stacked in your inbox can’t be prioritized. You can’t see the deadlines. You can’t see how you’re progressing on the project. Repeat after me: My inbox is not my to-do list. Using a designated project management software, calendar or to-do list will be much simpler than trying to use your inbox as a calendar without developing an organized email strategy.
Set Up Alerts
Give yourself permission to walk away from your inbox for at least a few hours each day. When it comes to emails from clients, your manager or important prospects, you can ask your cell phone to notify you of receipt. Have a text message sent to your personal cell when it comes to critical emails, and just walk away from the rest. Alerts are an important part of an organized email strategy and developing a work-life balance.
It's way too easy to let your small business email get completely out of control. Even certain organization attempts, like setting up an folder for each employee, can help more than hurt. Email so easily gets out of hand, but for now it’s all we’ve got so we need to build an organized email strategy to improves productivity.
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