Inbox Zero – 5 Tips and Tricks to Manage Your Inbox

Inbox-Zero-by-hyperdashery-635x357

Remember back in the day where the sound, “You’ve Got Mail” was exciting? You thought to yourself, “Ooh! Who sent me an email?!”

Nowadays, it seems like all we want to do is race to the bottom of the inbox. We seem to spend more and more time wading through inordinate amounts of email – lots of it spam.

Email is one of those inevitable things we all use, but how can you be more efficient managing your email? And how can you get to the elusive ‘inbox zero?’ Here are a few of my favorite tips:

  1. Forget about inbox zero. Trying to get to zero emails everyday is pretty darn near impossible, so I try every day to get to ‘inbox 30.’  If I can keep my inbox to a manageable number then it’s not so overwhelming.
  2. Deal with email once. When I receive an email, I either delete it, respond, file it into a label on Gmail (folders on Outlook is the same idea) or flag it. I very rarely look at email only to look at it a few hours later to decide what to do with it. Just like snail mail – handle it once!
  3. Some response is better than no response. Stop worrying that every email response has to be perfect. Sometimes I’m guilty of reading an email only to think, ‘I’ll respond to that later’ when I probably could have easily responded right away. At Facebook headquarters, they have a sign displayed that says, “Done is better then perfect.” And when it comes to email I could not agree more.
  4. Utilize apps to help make email easier to handle. I love using Rapportive, Yesware and Boomerang – all Gmail plugins that make handling and dealing with email more productive. My favorite out of those three is Rapportive, because with each email I send, I can see the social profile of whom I’m emailing. It’s a great way to take an email relationship to social.
  5. File, file, file. I have tons of labels and so my inbox hovers around 30. Once a conversation is complete, I file the email into the right label on Gmail. This way it is out of my inbox and in a space I can get to if I need it.

Those are just a few quick and simple things I do to manage email, but I’d love to hear from you. Post a comment below and let me know how you are managing email!