Email management is one of the most popular “asks” of our ChatterBoss assistants and it's easy to see why.
All of us are familiar with the "notification fatigue" you get from a barrage of dings and buzzes coming from your various email accounts. It's easy to get overwhelmed fast!
Since we've put in over 10,000 hours cleaning up inboxes, we've compiled some of our best email management strategies for keeping your inbox stress-free. These are 4 of our tried-and-true methods to save your sanity.
1). Prioritize 20% of your emails and derfer 80%
Using the 80/20 rule (20% input to gain 80% output), your focus should be on the emails that will give you the maximum amount of output. For example, make the 20% of emails you do respond to the ones that are going to lead to the next big breakthrough in your business or expand your client list. Set the rest aside and deal with them later... or not at all!
2). Create designated email replay days
Choose a few days of the week that you want to focus on emails, preferably no more than three. Then, unless it’s urgent, only reply to emails on your designated days. That way you won’t feel pressured to respond right away. You can even make a “reply by (date)” folder and move emails there so they don’t clog up your inbox.
3). Create templates
If you find yourself sending the same emails over and over this tip will save you a lot of time. By slightly customizing email templates to fit with a particular recipient, you’ll save time and increase your effectiveness. No more crafting the same emails again and again from scratch.
4). Use Designated Categories
Create folders or labels for all the major areas of your business that you need to keep separated, such as “Clients” “Projects” “Accounting” etc. Then use a hierarchy system to divide your inbox into folders based on your business priorities. Within those folders create levels. Level 1 for most important/immediate, level 2 and level 3 as subcategories under that.
For example: Bookkeeping>Receipts>Level 1:Processed/To Be Processed
These will help you automatically sort your mail into your designated categories, saving you from having to spend precious time manually processing everything that comes into your inbox. For example, anything that comes in from your Bookkeeper can immediately be sent to an “accounting folder.” Don’t be afraid to create as many as you need! You want as little mail remaining in your inbox as possible.
Of course, if you're ready to end the overwhelm altogether, you can hire a ChatterBoss dedicated virtual assistant to handle your email for you. And don't worry if that little red number is in the thousands (or even tens of thousands)--we've seen it all before, and we're here to help. Book a complimentary consultation and we’ll talk through your needs.