In a modern world where digital communication is more common than human interaction, there are few things more frustrating than a cluttered inbox. An unorganized inbox can be distracting and more time-consuming to navigate than it is helpful. Here is what you need to know in successfully managing your inbox.
- Understand the difference between reference information and action information – organize accordingly. Reference information does not require an action to be taken, but is kept in case it’s needed later. Store these messages in an appropriately titled reference folder. Action information contains information required to complete an action. These messages should be kept with the scheduled action, either on your to-do list or your calendar.
- Reply quickly. If a message requires a response, make it your goal to reply the same day if not right away. This not only eliminates clutter in your inbox but saves time later and is courteous toward colleagues, allowing you to cultivate stronger relationships in your community,
- Don’t be afraid to delete. If you’re confident you won’t need the information or the subject won’t resurface again, go ahead and delete it. Otherwise it is not only a waste of physical inbox space, but a waste of your own mental space.
- Tying in with our recent Email Etiquette post, be sure to make your subject lines clear and concise. This simplifies the process of looking for information and makes later organization less daunting.
- Set aside uninterrupted time to process and organize email messages each day. During this scheduled time, consider yourself busy to make sure you maintain focus. Emails often require decisions so it is important to give this time undivided attention. Also use this time to create folder categories, delete old messages and organize contact names and information.
The benefits of inbox organization are numerous: simplifying your workday and becoming a reliable member of your work community being two of the most notable. Sendio makes these objectives even more attainable by eliminating spam and bulk email, giving you more time to spend on what matters. We maximize work efficiency by canceling the noise – ensuring every message you receive is valuable, worth your time and attention.