Keeping track of your emails can be overwhelming, time-consuming, and tedious. It is not difficult to collect a large number of unread emails. For this reason, it is easy to check your constant flow of messages – at the expense of other tasks.
I have multiple email accounts and am having trouble keeping this unread number down. So I did some research and put together advice on how to better manage my inbox. Here are some helpful tips I've found to make it easier to manage your inbox, spend less time on email, and make sure you don't forget to reply to an important message.
Don't check all of your emails as soon as they arrive
With email going to your inbox all day, it's easy to get distracted by it, even when you're in the middle of something important. Instead of reading everyone as soon as you receive them, take some time each day to go through your emails and reply. If you don't need to be on the lookout for important emails or announcements, plan to check your emails in a few short periods during the day. Otherwise, stay out of your inbox.
It is also a good idea to schedule a longer period once a week or every few days to do a stronger inbox organization, e.g. For example, creating and using folders and labels, and sending those longer emails.
If you're still switching to your email app, you may also want to turn off email notifications, keep that email app closed, and make sure your inbox isn't open in another tab.
You don't have to answer all of them immediately
When you do one of your regular inbox checks, you only edit the emails that can be processed quickly. If an email needs a quick reply, open it and reply to it as you go through your messages. However, if it takes more time, take the time to answer it later. You can label these emails, put them in a specific folder, or use the snooze feature to get the email at a cheaper time.
Create multiple sections or folders in your inbox
Use different folders to store your emails. These can be based on the importance, urgency, duration of processing or the measures required. The standard tabbed layout in Gmail and Outlook’s focused inbox can help filter out spam and promotional emails and make it easier to find and review important emails. In Gmail, you can also change the layout so that your emails are organized into different sections, and you can choose which sections they are. You can also organize your emails in user-defined groups in Outlook.
Use filters, rules and labels
Filters and rules route incoming emails to specific folders. They can save you time and ensure that your attention is focused on the most important emails. Captions can also be a great way to organize your email and keep track of things by sorting your messages with different tags instead of using folders.
Sometimes you send similar emails repeatedly. To simplify matters, you can set up email templates and use them to send emails so that you don't have to write the same message over and over again. You can also use tools like Gmail's Smart Compose and Smart Reply to write email faster.
Unsubscribe from mailing lists and promotional emails. Look at your newsletters and make sure you are only signed up for those who have actually read them. Delete all newsletters that you have not read recently. Also make sure to unsubscribe from any unnecessary social media notifications. (You may need to go to your social media account settings to disable this.) Alternatively, you can use a separate email account for promotional emails and keep your important emails in your main account.
Mute group emails you don't need
If you get CC in a conversation that you don't really need to update, or if you're in an email thread with all the replies, you can mute that thread to avoid getting all the replies. To do this, open any message in the thread, click on the three dots in the top right corner of the screen (above the subject line) and select "Mute" from the dropdown options in Gmail or "Ignore" if you do I am using Outlook.
Don't make your inbox your to-do list
Marking an email as "unread" to remind you to reply to it (it's definitely my fault) or because it contains a task you need to do can be tempting, but this can also overload your inbox . Keep a separate task list (there are many apps available for this, or you can use an app for basic or sticky notes) or put it in a specific folder. If you're using Gmail, you can use the Google Task app next to your inbox. Simply click on the tiny arrow "Show Page Area" in the lower right corner of the screen and select the "Tasks" icon there.
It's a good idea to run separate lists that you can update with items from your emails. For example, if your emails contain links to articles that you want to read when you have more time, create a reading list. Just don't keep them in your inbox.