“I get mail; therefore I am.” ~ Scott Adams
My inbox explodes every time I am away either for a conference, a speaking gig or just some ‘me’ time! Recently, when I came back to my office after attending a personal event on the weekend and then a two day conference, I found my inbox hit the 1500+ mark. Enough!
I declared “Inbox Detox” and that I would have a zero inbox. Easily said, not easily done.
Here’s what I did.
1. I Unsubscribed.
This was a little scary at first. What if I miss something? I created an excel spreadsheet of my interests. Now if I want to see what’s happening in the world of gardening, sales, TR6’s – I just go to that file. Yaara Lancet lists some tools you can use in her post “Clear Out Your Inbox: Quickly Unsubscribe From Multiple Newsletters With These Tools”
2. Filters Rock!
I already have folders for my emails, what I didn’t have was filters. Filters automatically sort incoming email and based on the criteria you set, those emails will automatically go into your designated folders. Woohoo!
You can set your filters for anything . . . personal vs. business; website inquiries, your mother-in-law … you get the picture.
3. Read it, Delete it.
I began deleting with a vengeance! If there was any doubt about it – Delete. Didn’t know the sender – Delete. . My thinking is, if it’s really, really important, that person will follow up with me.
4. I stopped using my inbox as my task manager.
You do it too – flag the action items and leave them in your inbox. It’s too easy to do. I adopted the policy that I use with hard copy filing – you touch it you deal with it
TIP: Hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) to help manage your email. A good VA can clean up your inbox before you even log in for the day and leave only the emails that need to be handled by you.
So, have I achieved Inbox Zero? No, but my email is so much more manageable.
Now Go Get Connected!
Cathy is recognized across Canada for her in-house and public seminars on “All Things Small Biz” and is a popular guest speaker at national and international seminars, retreats and conferences.
Named one of the Top Ten Mentors in Canada, Cathy is the Founder of The Connected Woman Association, Author of “Are You a Collector or a Connector?”; “I’m on the Phone!”; and the internationally known “Daily Espressos – caffeine for the Mind.”