For those of you who don’t know much about me, my name is Denise and I run Twirls + Pearls, a jewelry business, as well as work as a nonprofit fundraiser. Oh, and I guess I forgot to mention I’m in grad school full-time and I am planning an August 2016 wedding. The point I’m trying to make here is that I have a lot of email accounts, all of which I have successfully managed to wrangle to alleviate some stress in my life.
You don’t have to be an organizational queen or the definition of Type A to tame your inbox…here are some of my favorite tips and tricks that I rely on to keep my emails organized and efficient. All of these tricks you’re able to do from your phone, so you can keep on top of your email no matter where you are!
Create Folders To Keep You Organized.
The first thing I suggest to spare your sanity is to create folders within your email account. You don’t have to have a folder for everything, but enough to cover the basics will do! My wedding email address is broken down by aspects of the wedding. I have any contact with photographers, DJs, transportation, rental companies, venues, florists, etc. in a designated folder. As I have narrowed down my choices and selected specific vendors, I’ve gone in and deleted what’s not important in each category--much easier than going through an entire inbox.
My personal email is broken up by shopping (where I move shipping info, coupons, etc. to once they come to my email), family, cute emails my fiancé sends me, and travel. Rather than having a bunch of emails hanging out in my inbox about an upcoming trip or some goodies I ordered offline, I move them into the correct folder so I know just how to find them! Every week or so, I’ll go through and delete any coupons that have probably expired or shipping confirmations of items that have already been delivered.
Unsubscribe From Emails You Don’t Want.
For a while, i was waking up with 20+ emails from retail stores, newsletters, and other junk that I was not interested in at all. As easy as it is to simply delete these emails without reading them, they will keep coming. Make the time to unsubscribe from emails that you’re no longer interested in and your inbox will thank you! I use the RetailMeNot to check for coupons of stores I shop at occasionally but am not interested in getting emails from daily. This has also helped me save a lot more money since I am not tempted by sales and deals every day!
Stay On Top Of Emails That Need Responses.
I keep emails marked as unread until I have the time to respond to it appropriately. I currently have one unread email in my Twirls + Pearls email because I have not had the chance to send the order out. The unread email is a constant reminder on the home screen of my phone that I need to ship the items out. The same is true for projects I’m working on at work or wedding vendors that I need to get in touch with.
At any given time, there’s more than one project I’m working on at work. It would be nearly impossible to have a completely empty and sorted email inbox at the end of each day, but I set aside some time before I leave each afternoon to clear the things that can get sorted into their designated folders. My work email is through Outlook on my computer, and I’ve managed to learn a lot about creating rules for folders in the pursuit of Inbox Zero. All receipts of donations to my organization come to me, and rather than arriving to work with 90 unread emails of donation receipts, I created a rule to send all receipts to my “Donations” folder and I can look at a relatively normal inbox each morning without having to factor in people’s overwhelming generosity toward my organization!
At the end of the night, I can definitely sleep with emails in my inbox. As much as it drives me nuts to have notifications on my phone, at the end of the night if there are 4 emails, a Snapchat and a few Instagram notifications left to look at, I save them for the morning over breakfast. As I write this, I have a couple of unsorted emails in each inbox…and that’s okay! The important thing is that there’s some semblance of organization, you’re able to find what you need, and you’re able to communicate with people effectively.