Are you looking for the best email management tips to boost productivity? Follow these effective ways to manage your emails and finish your work efficiently.
According to Front, an average person receives 124 emails every day.
That’s 568 hours spent on checking, reading, and responding to emails per year, which translates to around 479 hours of work productivity lost on an everyday basis.
It’s also the amount of time you’d need to climb Mount Everest – twice.
For about five decades now, people from all walks of life, professionals as well as students, employed and unemployed, have been using email to communicate.
It’s no wonder email is still here – it’s fast and convenient, available anytime and anywhere, and less obtrusive than a phone call. But let’s be honest, email is not perfect. If poorly managed, it can be a huge distraction.
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Follow these ways to manage your emails and it will never again threaten to lower your productivity. On the contrary, the following tips will help you finish your work efficiently.
Train Your Email Platform
Most email platforms are surprisingly clever. Train them right and they’ll learn to organize your emails into categories.
This will not only help you stay on top of important correspondence after it’s been archived but will also prioritize incoming messages as soon as they appear in your inbox.
But in order to teach your email platform to do this, you first need to develop a smart filing system.
For this, most platforms offer convenient tools such as color-coding and automatic labeling that allow you to prioritize group, and sort emails.
In time, your platform will learn to recognize different types of email addresses and subject lines that clutter your inbox and sort them out into suitable categories.
One more thing you’ll need to do is set up alerts for ASAP emails and turn off distracting notifications for everything less important than that, which brings us to our second email management trick – discerning what’s urgent from what’s not.
Set Up an Email Schedule
A few of the emails you receive during the day require immediate attention. Everything else can be moved to a dedicated time slot for maintaining inbox zero.
It will help you to look at this email management technique as another time-limited task on your to-do list. Another pro tip – schedule it for the least productive hour of your day.
Most people read and answer new emails first thing in the morning, after lunch, and before they leave the office. Figure out which time slots work for you.
Whatever they are, stick to the deadline.
This is exactly what notifications for urgent emails are for – take action if something can’t wait for later, but then return to your task in progress immediately after.
Organize All Subscriptions
If you’re not careful, email ads and newsletters can take command of your inbox.
This is where your clever email platform can be of great help too after it learns to recognize promotional and social media messages you never read and automatically mark them as spam.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to train it for this as well.
Schedule additional inbox zero time slot for every first of the month and go through spam messages to separate helpful ads from obtrusive useless ones. And then, start unsubscribing.
If spam still rocks your cage, consider opening a separate email account and rerouting all your newsletters and blog and article feeds to a whole other address.
Automate What You Can
Depending on the platform you use, you may be able to automate a number of other tasks.
For instance, if you don’t want to reply to urgent emails while working on an important project, you can write a template message that the platform will automatically send out.
Such a message can politely explain what is keeping you busy and why:
It’s workload time, so I’m currently checking and responding to emails at 11:00 am and 4:00 pm. Please contact me then or text me in case of an emergency.
Similar automatic messages can be used for other types of responses as well, which is especially helpful if you’re the one sending bulk emails.
If you’re in charge of collecting employee/customer feedback, for example, you can circumvent your email platform altogether and automate this task by using an online quiz creator.
The same goes for professors who are in charge of exams.
Online exam software allows you to make a quiz in under a few minutes and send it via email to a large group of recipients. And you won’t need to read the responses one by one.
The tool will collect and analyze feedback instead of you.
Establish Team Etiquette’s
Here’s another neat trick that includes an online quiz creator:
As a team manager, you can make a quiz that will help you learn more about your employee’s email reading and answering habits and then establish some universal inbox zero rules.
For instance, your entire team would benefit from a clear definition of what urgent means or from a set of subject line keywords that would help your email platform sort and archive emails.
That way, you can create a team-wide email etiquette.
With some email platforms, let’s add, you can share messages and collaborate via @mentions and comments without having to read entire threads and reply to each email.
Zero inbox is not an unachievable myth.
It’s true that a great portion of your email managing tasks depends on other people, and it’s even more problematic that most people don’t realize they’re being disrespectful of your time.
But with a smart email platform, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Establish a schedule, keep your inbox tidy, and leave the rest to automation.
Author Bio: Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing for the consumer market in the areas of product research and marketing using quizzes and surveys. Having a knack for writing and an editorial mindset, He is an expert researcher at a brand that’s known for creating delightfully smart tools such as ProProfs Quiz Maker.
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