How to Manage Your Email and Save Time

email_slingshotI know for me email has always been kind of a time sink. I spend time checking my 5 email addresses, filtering through everything, reading tons of emails, and then finally responding to the ones that are important. It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t feel like as soon as I finished with the 5th email it was time to go back to the first.

I’ve finally gotten my email issue under control and I want to share how I did it. It took a little bit of time to get set up and I still need to check 2-3 times a day because I hate leaving you guys hanging when you email me, but it’s a much simpler process than it once once.

Step 1: Clean out your inbox.

The first thing you need to do is declutter those inboxes. What I did was set up an “Archive” folder and I just put everything in there so I could use the search function to find it later. The only emails I leave in my inbox are ones that still need to be replied to. You could also set up an “Important Emails” folder where you put emails with important links or attachments.

Step 2: Forward all of your email addresses.

One of the big reasons it took me so long to deal with my email is that I have email addresses attached to different parts of my business as well as my personal email. I downloaded this handy (and free) program called Thunderbird. It’s an alternative to Microsoft’s Outlook Express and it’s very easy to use. There are also a lot of add-ons you can get for it but I didn’t really bother with any of them since the program already did everything I wanted it to.

When you install it you just follow the prompts and select “use my own email.” After that select the “Email” under “Create New Account” and add all of your other email addresses.

There you go! All of your emails will be in one place.

Step 3: Manage Your Inbox Now That It’s Organized

So, here is what really counts… don’t let the time and effort to go waste. When email comes in, start unsubscribing from those lists that you don’t care about. Delete email you don’t plan on reading. It takes a little longer to start since but I’m down to getting nearly no spam only about a week into managing my email like this.

The biggest advantage is having all of my email in one place. I open it up during my coffee breaks and it doesn’t take long to get it all sorted out.

If you’d prefer you an also leave ThunderBird open and it’ll ping you when you get a new email but honestly that just left me super distracted.

Share your email tips in the comments!

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Comments

  1. Email box is at it’s max and your time is about to run out. That sounds like a typical day for a writer, internet marketer or freelancer. These are some great tips that can really enhance the way you use your time. I can tell that time management is a skill set that everyone needs. I know that was a lesson I had to learn real quick.
    Vincent Paul recently posted..4 Rules Of Professionalism Every Freelance Writer Should KnowMy Profile

  2. With more than 20 websites and emails to match, combining email accounts into one single g-mail account is something I did many moons ago. ::)

    I still struggle with trying to keep all the email filtered, but that’s because my email box fills up faster as I gain more popularity. Trust me, it doesn’t take long for this to happen!

    The problem with filtering email to other “boxes” is that I would never take the time to visit the other boxes. LOL I can certainly understand why some marketers go to a help desk system and hire others to handle the email load.

    I’ve unsubscribed from most lists already. Just a handful left and when I read those, I delete them afterwards.
    Bonnie Gean recently posted..How to Setup an Affiliate Marketing Business – Part 1/7My Profile

    • Ya, I don’t really do any filtering. I just let it all go into the different inboxes and get it out of there as soon as possible.

      I tried doing the all in one gmail thing but I like ThunderBird better simply because everything is still in it’s own inbox and it just feels simple for me to switch between them.

  3. I do this periodically too, Amanda. Funnily enough I rarely get back to clean out the ‘dump’ file and after a while when time permits I can just grab the important stuff out and delete the rest!

    You’ve got to watch #2 though – double check which email address you’re sending from so they don”t get mixed up.
    Mel recently posted..How To Be Productive in an Online BusinessMy Profile

  4. I’ve been wanting to do this for some time now – was going to use the gmail tool as I have a number of gmail accounts, but this may be better ……… 🙂
    Tamsin recently posted..Do You Want To Improve Your Productivity?My Profile

  5. I love the idea of clearing out my email inbox. The Archiving thing is something I want to try.

    Thunderbird sounds good but that is only based on your on computer. Can’t use it elsewhere (like at work) or can I?
    Victoria Virgo recently posted..Catching Up with News and StuffMy Profile

  6. Email is my biggest problem when it comes to time management, its not only the checking but its also the replying to emails! I get lost for what feels like hours at a time crafting the perfect responses to people.

    I’ve found forwarding to very useful (relying just on Gmail forward settings) that allows me collect all my emails from multiple online persona in a single place. Gmail even lets you reply to each email with the email it was actually addressed to, so that has been my recommendation to others.

  7. I enjoy using Thunderbird too–much easier keeping track of everything.

    I need to unsubscribe from a bunch of lists that I don’t have time to read anymore too. Those clog up the inbox FAST.
    Becky recently posted..Love Is In The AirMy Profile

  8. How do you access your G+ account with Thunderbird?
    Tamsin recently posted..Success Summary 22 December 2013My Profile

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