Email. No matter who you are it likely plays a big role in your life. But
managing email properly takes effort. And you're busy. Very busy.
Let's be honest. Managing your email is cutting into your productivity. Dealing with your email inbox is taking up a lot of your valuable time—time you really need to be spending on other things.
So what can you do? Your email inbox is a total mess. You have hundreds (maybe thousands) of email messages stored and you don't really know what to do with them all. They're taking up a lot of space and you worry that really important messages are buried in there, somewhere.
Enter Inbox Zero techniques:
- They will help you learn how to manage your email properly so it doesn't take up such a huge chunk of your life.
- Free up your time so you can tackle everything else you need to do without worrying so much about email—while keeping your inbox organized efficiently.
Envato Tuts+ has just released The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery, a free ebook based on the principles of Merlin Mann's action-based Inbox Zero strategies. It's yours free when you sign up for our Envato Tuts+ Business email newsletter.
Still not sure if Inbox Zero techniques could help you with your email management problems? That's okay.
We're sharing six quick email management tips in this article to give you a taste of Inbox Zero and to help you get control of your email inbox quickly. Let's look at how to manage your email inbox better:
Tip 1. Be Careful About Who Has Your Email Address
Most people are careless about who has their email address. They don't think twice about giving it out for the slightest of reasons.
While you don't necessarily need to be paranoid about who gets your email address, you do need to think carefully before you give it out.
Each time you provide your email, you're potentially agreeing to receive dozens of marketing emails. The more you give out your email address...the more email you'll receive. If you give out your email address too often, your inbox will become really cluttered—really fast.
In our Inbox Zero ebook, we go into more specifics about what types of services tend to contribute to the inbox clutter. We also provide you with some specifics of how to reduce the number of unnecessary messages in your inbox.
But for now, just remember to be careful about who has your email address.
Tip 2. Don't Keep Your Emails Forever
Do you have a habit of keeping email messages around "just in case." If you rarely delete an email message, you're keeping your messages too long.
While a few email messages truly are important and need to be saved, most are not. Saving unnecessary messages fills up your email box. It may also slow your email system down, and make it harder for you to find the important messages you really need.
The easiest time to delete an email is when you first get it, before it becomes part of your inbox clutter. So, don't hesitate. If you don't need a message, don't keep it. Trash it.
Getting rid of unneeded messages quickly is just one way to keep your email inbox clean. We'll provide more details on how to make your inbox clutter go away in the ebook.
Tip 3. Limit Your Number of Email Addresses
How many email addresses do you have? Five, ten, or more. You probably have more email inboxes than you realize.
Maybe you still have the email address you had growing up. Many colleges and universities provide alumni with an email address. Services such as Apple iCloud provide an email address. Maybe you have a special email for family members. The list goes on.
Don't be embarrassed if you can claim a fairly high number of active email addresses. You're not alone. These days it's not unusual for people to have multiple personal and business email addresses.
The trouble with having all of these different email addresses is that it takes time to manage them all. And you'll likely let one or more of them slip through the cracks.
In this new ebook, you'll learn how to get set up for Inbox Zero—including a strategy for dealing with multiple inboxes efficiently.
Tip 4. Don't Overthink What to Do With Each Email
One of the reasons our email inboxes get so out of control is that most of us tend to put off deciding what to do about each message. We tell ourselves "I'll deal with that later," but later never comes.
Before we know it, our email inbox is totally cluttered and out of control. The more cluttered an inbox becomes, the harder it becomes to deal with. Even worse, a cluttered email inbox can contribute to stress and frustration.
Can you relate?
Escape the frustration of inbox clutter by deciding quickly what to do with each individual email message. We outline how to deal with each email quickly in our new ebook. We also describe additional regular inbox habits to keep your email inbox healthy.
Tip 5. Don't Agonize Over Each Response
Do you hesitate each time you have to write a reply to an email? It's not surprising. Most people hate to write business correspondence, and email replies fall neatly into that category.
You don't have to agonize over each email response, however. A quick email response can be just as professional as a long one if it's well-written and to the point.
If you dread writing email replies, try answering messages with short replies instead of the longer email you would usually write. You'll save time and your recipient will appreciate your conciseness.
There are several other shortcuts that make responding to email easier and also save you time. In the Inbox Zero ebook, we'll discuss how to do each of them.
Tip 6. Adopt Inbox Zero Best Practices
Here's a little secret. Before I wrote this ebook, I thought Inbox Zero practices weren't for me. I thought they would be complicated and take a lot of time to learn.
I was wrong.
Using the research I did for the ebook, I was able to get started with Inbox Zero principles right away. In less than a week, I had adapted the system to work for me.
Sure, I spend less time processing email now. But best of all, at least for me, the stress from all that email clutter that I had been putting off dealing with is gone.
You can do the same thing. You can make Inbox Zero work for you. Sign up for the Tuts+ Business newsletter and get the free Inbox Zero ebook now.
Take Control of Your Inbox Now!
We've just shared six quick email management tips to help you tame your inbox. Hopefully you've found them helpful. These tips are just a start, though. You can do more with Inbox Zero.
Do Inbox Zero techniques sound like just what you need to jumpstart your email productivity? Learn more about email management. Stop stressing over your inbox. And get your email inbox under control.
Sign up for our email list today and grab your free copy of The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery.