Inbox organization. Is there really such a thing???
A tremendous amount of an entrepreneur’s time and energy nowadays goes into sifting through and reading email messages. Inbox organization has never been more important.
Between Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram, never mind regular old email, most business owners receive hundreds of notifications each day.
Today I’m sharing my best inbox organization tips
Once upon a time, we could easily search through emails to bring up an important message. Now, I don’t know about you, but with the barrage of email I get on a daily basis, it has never been more important to have a good organization system in place. Especially if you’re in the business of online sales.
Email inbox organization tips
When it comes to email, there are two types of people: Those who file and those who don’t. If you’re not a filer, perhaps you should consider becoming one.
- Create folders for each client, one for leads, one for finances, and so on and so forth
- Unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t read (use an app like unroll.me to unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters and lists)
- Delete unnecessary messages as soon as you receive them
- When an email has been read, you should either deal with it, delete it, and/or file it
- Reserve your inbox for unread messages that are important, so you don’t have to sift through other stuff to get to things that need your attention
- Check email at scheduled times throughout your day so you can take the time needed to read through them and organize/deal with accordingly. If you stop what you’re doing every time you receive an email, you’re a) wasting time and b) increasing the likelihood of forgetting to deal with something important.
- Write a to-do list for emails you need to deal with at a later time, so you don’t forget about them. Create a folder for these types of emails, and go through it at the end of each day.
Social Media inbox organization tips
Basically, there’s only one rule with these inboxes, and that is to delete messages once you deal with them. Facebook Pages has a cleaned up, new inbox where you can mark messages as “Done” or “Follow Up.” You can now also import your Instagram inbox into your Facebook Pages mailbox. The to-do list I mention in the above tip? That should also apply to social media private messages. After the initial contact someone makes with you via social media channels, I STRONGLY suggest you take the conversation to email where you’ll have an easier time organizing communication. In an effort to be transparent about my habits when it comes to social media messages, I’ll be perfectly honest and let you know I’ve turned off the message feature on my Facebook page. I will still correspond with people via Facebook Messenger, but the messages I received on my business page were few and far between; and for the most part, not messages that warranted a response. And Instagram or Twitter? I don’t check them. Most (if not all) of them are spam, and there are far too many other ways people can connect with me.
If you really want to simplify your life, try using a program like Basecamp, Teamwork, Slack or Asana to consolidate team messages. We use Basecamp to communicate with both the team and our clients. Using a project management system or messaging system like one of the above will drastically reduce any business-related email, as well as keep everything sorted and organized in a way that’s easy to navigate.
Even better? Hire someone to keep on top of inbox organization for you.
Do you have some tried and true inbox organization tips to share? We’d all love to hear them!
Also published on Medium.