A Virtual Assistant’s Eleven Steps to Inbox Heaven
11th November 2010
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Finding it difficult to keep your emails in your inbox under control? Here are eleven of the best productivity tips for managing your emails to achieve inbox zero.

Group all your email tasks together: reading, responding, filing, deleting. And, schedule time in your diary to tackle your inbox. Once or twice in the morning then again in the afternoon.

Action your emails immediately to keep your inbox at zero or as clear as possible. Even if it’s filing the emails away in another folder to action later.

Deal with the most important messages first – prioritise these before moving on to the less important emails.
Unsubscribe to newsletters you don’t read and report unsolicited emails as spam.

Set up automated rules to apply actions to specific emails when they hit your inbox. For instance, Client A emails are automatically filed into the Client A folder.

If you use social media to market your business, change your notification settings so you aren’t swamped with alerts. Or set up a rule so all your LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook notifications are redirected to separate folders for checking later.

Create folders or labels to file your emails relating to project, client, back office tasks (IT, accounts, admin etc) and file as you go.

Use flags, brought forward reminders and colour coding for emails – particularly important or time sensitive ones.

Create a custom signature that includes a sign off, your name and contact details. Your signature will automatically be included in each email – you won’t have to insert it each time, and by including your contact information you will fend off any ‘how do I contact you?’ queries. Plus, it’s a really good marketing tool!

If you have a smart phone, sync your emails to receive them on the move. Use dead time in supermarket queues and train journeys to deal with your inbox.

Spell check and re-read your emails before sending. Look for typos and missing information. Have you included attachments? Copied the relevant people in? If you need to re-send the message or follow up because you’ve forgotten something, you’re wasting time so make sure you get it right the first time.

I hope you find these tips useful. If you have any ideas to add please do so using the comments section below.

About the Author

Tamsin F

Member since: 27th July 2011

Marketing Mentor, speaker, trainer and published writer. Happy to be a business member of The Best Of as well as a personal member.

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