First Column IT blog
Tip of the Week: How to Waste Less Time on Your Email
As much as we all rely on emails throughout the workday, they can be an intense pain to manage, which only makes it a hassle to deal with and can actively make it less useful for your users. We want to help you avoid this outcome, so we’re sharing a few tips to make the management of your email that much more effective.
Unsubscribe to Things You Don’t Need
One of the biggest wastes of time in email is the clutter than builds up as the days pass. First, you wind up spending far more time in your inbox than you should, and second, it becomes far more difficult to find the important items you’ve been sent in your email.
It only makes sense to eliminate the extra messages that are left in your inbox. As they come in, consider how important they are for you to receive, and unsubscribe to those feeds as appropriate. This shouldn’t be difficult, as all promotional materials are mandated to give subscribers the capability to opt out.
Sort Emails Automatically
You can also set up your email to automatically sort your messages into the appropriate categories as they come in. These categories will be called different things based on the email solution you’ve chosen to use—in Gmail, they’re referred to as “labels,” while Outlook calls them “folders.” Once you’ve defined the categories you want to use, you can set up filters to automatically sort the emails into the appropriate categories.
This means that your email comes in presorted, or you could take more of a manual route and add it to a category set aside for materials you intend to review later. You can set aside categories for specific contacts, for specific topics, whatever criteria works best for your purposes.
Write Email Templates
How many of your emails basically follow the same format? To help you save time, you can write these emails once and, if you save the copy as a template, only have to customize it a little each time you send it afterwards. Naturally, this small investment of time can make your workflows moving forward much more efficient.
Check Your Email Less, and Only Respond When Needed
Finally, one of the most effective ways to reduce the time you spend managing your email is to simply stop checking it so often. Clicking the “check mail” button can be oddly addictive, so make sure you and the rest of your team are resisting the temptation as much as is practical for each person’s individual role.
On a related note, a lot of time can be wasted by responding to emails that, frankly, don’t require a response. Make sure your team is using their best judgement as they review (and send) their emails, only checking in when needed or requested. It helps to remind your team that not every email that hits their inbox necessarily requires their full attention. Make sure that everyone knows what to look out for and focuses their energies on those messages.
How have you successfully managed your email? Share any tips you may have in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to our blog!