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3 Ways to Take Control of Your Inbox

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If your Lubbock business is like mine, you get hundreds of emails a day–literally. Having a system in place for sorting, prioritizing, and otherwise managing your email is a must. Here are 3 ways I help make my email work for me:

1. Disable Notifications

Email notifications that disrupt or distract you from what you are doing may seem harmless, but they are taking away from your thought process and the momentum from the task at hand.

Schedule time to check your emails throughout the day and stick to the plan. Unless your Lubbock Business is structured in a way that requires an immediate response, you should schedule set times throughout your day to visit your inbox–preferably for finite periods of time.

2. Learn how to search your inbox

Several colleagues I know have 30-50 folders set up to organize their email. While this may seem like a great way to stay organized, the benefit may not be so clear. That is because even if you have your inbox set to manually sort your incoming messages (most people don’t) you are slowing your process of finding the mail in the future. Moreover, if you ever need to pause and think which folder an email should belong, you are likely decreasing your productivity.

This study by IBM found that organizing your email like a filing cabinet negatively effects your overall productivity. “People who create complex folders indeed rely on these for retrieval, but these preparatory behaviors are inefficient and do not improve retrieval success. In contrast, both search and threading promote more effective finding,” the study concluded.

“…organizing your email like a filing cabinet negatively effects your overall productivity.”

So to increase your productivity, learn how to effectively search your inbox. My email has two folders: one for emails specifically addressed to me, and another for emails sent to my team–both “folders” are automatically sorted. If I ever need to find an email, which I do daily, I simply utilize my email’s search function. By searching using keywords and narrowing searches by sender, attachments, date ranges, and more, I am able to find the emails I need in seconds without wasting any time sorting.

3. Schedule & Automate

atSometimes your best time to write an email isn’t always the best time to send one, and that’s okay. An email scheduling application can help you deliver your messages at exactly the right time, no matter when you write them.

I prefer Boomerang for Gmail to help me manage my in box. This Gmail integration is designed to help you schedule your messages for just the right delivery, remove messages from your inbox when you don’t need them, bring messages back to the top of your inbox when you do need them, send automatic follow up emails of your choice, and more!

Your email is designed to be a resource for your Lubbock business to effectively communicate, not a nuisance. These tips are designed to help minimize the time spent on your messages and make more time available for more pressing matters.

These are my favorite ways of keeping my inbox tidy, what are yours?

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