Inbox FULL: 5 Tips to Effectively Manage Your Email

Posted by on December 12, 2012

Being an online student can be great in a number of ways; however, the amount of emails you receive can often times seem overwhelming for you AND your inbox.  If you find yourself swimming in useless emails, unintentionally deleting emails, or missing important emails all together, this is for you. Check out these 5 tips on how to manage your email inbox:

1.       PRIORITIZE

It may seem easy enough to prioritize your emails; however, there is actually a method to the madness. The first rule in prioritization is to weed out the spam or special offers emails from your actual inbox. This can be done by creating a folder or “rule” that will direct all incoming emails to a specific folder, allowing you to access that information when you have time. This saves you from feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of emails in your inbox when you log in.

2.       IMPLEMENT THE 1 MINUTE RULE

The 1 minute rule is an easy guideline to follow when surfing through your inbox. Simply determine whether a specific email will require a response that will take longer than 1 minute. If you can respond in less than 1 minute, do it immediately. If the response requires some research or thought, flag it and come back to it once you’ve decided on an appropriate response.

3.       UNSUBSCRIBE

There are a million tempting offers on the internet that simply require you to input your email address. This means even if you don’t win that 55” TV, you will still receive updates from the company/manufacturer that you submitted your email address to.  An easy solution to ridding yourself of these emails is to unsubscribe from the mailing list. Typically in the body of the email (usually at the bottom in small print) there will be a link showing recipients how to unsubscribe from the company’s list.

4.       SET ASIDE TIME FOR EMAIL

Experts say one of the most effective skills to inbox management is to fully process your email once a day. Setting aside 30 minutes in the morning or evening to sort, read and respond to emails is essential to keeping a clean and organized inbox.

5.       DON’T BE AFRAID TO DELETE

This tip is pretty self-explanatory, but there are email hoarders out there! You know the ones who keep every email until they receive the “inbox full” notification, at which point they only delete enough to keep from getting another notification. It can be tough sometimes to determine whether or not you’ll need to reference an email,  but you can always save the document to your computer and then you’ll have unlimited access to it without cluttering up your inbox.


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