According to a 2012 McKinsey Global Institute report, the average employee receives 147 e-mails per day. Yes, that’s per day! No wonder it’s one of our most daunting organizational tasks!
Here are 4 proven email organization tips from your professional organizer in NYC that will allow you to gain and maintain control over your inbox so that you will be able to more productively manage the constant incoming flow of messages.
Delete without Fear. The quickest way to start clearing out the clutter in your inbox is to delete all those ancient read messages, unread newsletters and other unwanted emails. One of the email organization tips that we give all of our clients who are struggling with overflowing inboxes is to take 5 minutes at the beginning of each day for the next week or more (depending on the number of total messages) and sort the inbox by date or if you prefer then by sender. Scan the list and start deleting chunks of no-longer-needed messages. Though you may worry that you’ll need those junk emails somewhere down the line, our NYC professional organizers promise that eliminating unnecessary messages will provide much relief.
Responses? Done. Another of our favorite email organization tips: respond to those unread messages that can be addressed in under 2 minutes and clear them out of your inbox. Doing this during the set times that you have scheduled for processing emails each day will help keep your inbox under control. Anything that you consider urgent should be responded to within 2-3 hours, regardless of whether it will take 2 minutes or more. Emails that deliver non-urgent tasks should be moved into a to-do folder and the tasks added to your to-do list.
Mirror your Paper Files. I’ve found that everyone has filing system preferences, and what works for our NYC professional organizers may not work for you. This may take a bit of trial and error, so know things may not fall into place instantaneously. Start creating folders (and sub-folders, or even sub-sub-folders) for all of your e-mail messages. Modeling the folder names after your paper folders will make it easier to setup and to manage the filing system. Perhaps you’ll need to create a folder for each of your clients, and even a folder for client’s projects within the main folder. A “Current Projects” or “Priority” folder may also be needed.
Help others with e-mail organization. Apply the golden rule when it comes to being a responsible e-mail sender – always treat others, and the e-mails you send to them, how you (and your in-box) would like to be treated. Not only will this help you look like an e-mail rock star, you’ll also be setting great examples of how others can use e-mail most efficiently and effectively. Here are some email organization tips and general thoughts to help you uses these messages to their full potential:
- Use the phone when a call is the more effective means of communication
- Don’t send argumentative, emotional or controversial emails
- Use an auto signature with your phone number
- Don’t reply unless it is really necessary
- Avoid misunderstandings by crafting clear and concise messages
- State your objective/main point in the first couple of sentences
- Copy only those recipients that really need to be included
- Proofread/ensure the intent of your message is clear
The email organization tips above will help you gain control of your inbox and move forward with effective email habits. Does your inbox need a complete overhaul or are you do you simply need help with overall organization? Contact our professional organizer in NYC. She will give you the necessary guidance to create productive solutions.