Tips on How to Stay on Top of Your Emails

Tips on How to Stay on Top of Your Emails

Break it down into three simple categories

Treat your emails in much the same way as you treat the mail that drops through your letterbox.  Think of it in terms of three broad categories: Letters, Information, and Spam.  Aim to empty your inbox daily.  It's much easier to tackle it daily rather than allow it to build up.  Work efficiently within each category:

1. Spam

If you get a lot of spam, it's essential you deal with it daily, or even several times a day.   It's much easier to deal with 15 spam emails than 50, or 150+.  If you do it regularly you will be able to quickly scan down to see that nothing important has been caught up in spam by accident, then select all and click delete.  Done!  If you leave it to build up it's much more difficult to see who it's from at a quick glance and then you will probably put it off.  If you have already let them build up I would suggest you have a quick look at those that have arrived in the last few days to check there's nothing important then delete the lot.

If you know, or think an email is spam then delete it without opening it.  If you open it you could be alerting the sender that your email address is valid and you could be inundated with further spam. If any suspicious mail lands in your inbox send it straight to the spam folder for later deletion

2. Newsletters

My advice for this type of mail, is unsubscribe regularly.  We subscribe to all sorts of newsletters without realising we've done so.  When you register on a site you are often unwittingly giving permission for them to send you emails.  As soon as you receive an email from a company that you don't want to continue receiving mail from, unsubscribe immediately.  Also give yourself permission not to have to read an email just because it's there. 

3. Letters

These could be social emails from friends and family, or work related, or renewal of bills etc.  For these emails 'read it, action it, bin it or file it'.  If it's an email you need to keep as a record then file it straight away.  Most email providers give the option of making folders.  After filing mark it as important if you think you may need to refer to it again.

If there's an attachment you need to keep then either download it to your computer and file it in a folder, or print a copy and file it.  The point is, do it straight away.

If there's an email you can't deal with immediately, mark it as unread so that you can deal with it the next time you go into your mail box.

The main point to take away from this is to deal with emails straight away so that they don't build up ...and what a great feeling when your inbox is empty!

Jane Fern