I 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!