Ten Ways To Reduce Your Email Inbox
You can soon get overwhelmed with the number of emails that land in your inbox. Just when you think you’re on top of them, they start stacking up again. You may wonder how you’re going to find time to deal with them all. Or you might worry about missing important messages.
We’ve looked at Three Simple Ways to Take Control of Your Email Inbox – straightforward strategies that’ll result in you feeling more in control.
Another way to make your inbox more manageable is to reduce the number of emails that actually appear there.
Let’s take a look at ten ways in which you can do this:
1. Hit that unsubscribe link.
Unwanted newsletters and promotional emails will quickly clog up your inbox.
If you receive these, but just delete them, nothing will change.
Why not hit the unsubscribe link within the message and free your mailbox from clutter.
This is an easy way to reduce your emails.
Less chance of missing the important messages that need your attention.
2. Think before signing up to emails.
So, you’ve unsubscribed from those unwanted newsletters and your inbox is looking sparkling.
You’ll want to keep it that way.
It’s easy to tick the box when placing an online order, but it’s worth considering whether you want regular emails from that company. If you’re not sure, why not opt out of the messages – you can always sign up to them later.
3. Do you need those social media notifications?
Do you receive email notifications to alert you to social media activity, e.g. when you’re tagged or mentioned within a post?
Are they useful to you?
You might already be aware of the activity, as you’ve got an app on your phone. Perhaps you’re happy to find out about the activity when you next log in, rather than being bombarded with alerts at any time of day.
If the emails that you’re receiving are not helpful to you, why not edit your settings so you no longer receive them.
4. Let the technology help you organise your emails
When you receive emails, it can be helpful to filter them into specific folders.
Why not allow the technology to help with this?
The inbox is great for emails that need your attention.
But for certain less important emails that don’t need immediate action, why not set up a rule so they get auto-filed into a specific folder. They’ll be stored safely until you’re ready to process them.
This is a simple way of filtering your incoming emails without having to lift a finger.
5. Avoid email conversations
Email is a great method of communication but it’s not always the most efficient.
If you use email to have a conversation, messages soon mount up – is there a better option?
It can be easier to have a quick phone conversation. Or, you could schedule a video call where you can even share your screen – great for collaborative working. Both of which can be recorded.
Email can be a great way of recording outcomes of conversations, so you can still do this – why not have one useful summary email as opposed to many emails that can be hard to follow when referring back to them.
6. Consider other ways to message people.
To reduce the number of emails you’re sending and receiving, why not think of other ways in which you can quickly message someone.
Messaging apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, or those integrated within social media platforms, can be the perfect way to send a quick message.
It’s a much quicker and secure way of having a conversation with someone, whilst also having a record of it.
They also work really well for group conversations and it can be easier to follow the thread.
7. Send clear emails – put yourself in the recipient’s shoes.
When you send an email, it’s always worth putting yourself in the recipient’s shoes, making it easy for them to engage with it.
If it’s not clear to understand, you may receive further emails seeking clarification. You might find that you don’t receive a prompt response as they found it difficult to engage with, resulting in you sending follow-up chase emails.
Have a clear and concise structure to your email. Make good use of the subject line and formatting. Consider putting details of actions at the start of your message, so they don’t get missed.
8. Only copy people into emails when you need to.
Do you find you are copied into emails when you don’t need to be?
And then when people hit ‘reply to all’, they end up multiplying before your very eyes.
Yes, there will be times when you need emails for information but encouraging people to only copy you in when necessary can help keep you inbox tidy.
Why not take it a step further and set up a rule so your c.c. emails automatically go into their own folder.
9. Respond promptly to emails
When you have a clean inbox, it makes it much easier for you to focus on the emails that need your attention.
It’s always good to respond to emails as quickly as you can, even if it’s an acknowledgement/holding email, advising when you’ll action it.
When you don’t respond in a timely manner, you can end up receiving reminder emails – your inbox then has not one, but two emails about the same matter. This can also increase your stress levels – deal with emails as soon as you can.
10. Have regular one-to-one (or group) meetings
Do you find that there are certain people that you frequently email?
If you do, it could be worth instead scheduling regular 1:1 calls/meetings with them instead.
Why not collect up the items to discuss so you can have a clear agenda for your catch up meetings.
This could result in a 1-hour meeting where you get everything discussed and boxed off.
It’s definitely worth taking a step back and thinking about how to reduce your email inbox.
When your emails are reduced, you’ll have much better focus on your work, your productivity will be given a boost, and you’ll feel much calmer and in control.
Why not try out some of these ways to see how many emails you can effortlessly deflect from your inbox.