Do you find that opening up your emails fills you with dread? Do you waste time every day sifting through an inbox full of messages you should really have deleted months ago to find that elusive email from a customer whose name you can’t quite remember? Clutter, whether physical or digital, can cause anxiety and stress and can even affect your concentration and productivity levels.
Whether your inbox is filled with priority mail, newsletters you’ve been meaning to read, messages from family and friends or spam, keeping on top of your emails is crucial to enable you to stay organised, efficient and stress-free. You might be thinking this kind of admin work will take hours, but rest assured you can clear your inbox in an hour or two with our tips.
2-10 Minutes To Remove Junk And Unnecessary Emails
Assign yourself ten minutes to begin mass deleting emails that you don’t need, such as the messages your email client (Gmail, Outlook, Mail etc) has identified as junk, notifications from your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts that you will never need again, newsletters you’ve already read, messages with offers from shopping websites that have expired and more. By deleting or archiving these, you will make your inbox a lot clearer and possibly even help it load faster while also making it easier for your Virtual Assistant to manage too.
30-40 Minutes To Create Folders & Labels
With the emails that are left after deleting the junk, it’s time to determine how and where to store them so that you can easily access the messages you need quickly and easily. Creating a folder per customer, for purchases, for product orders, to hold invoices to be paid, to store receipts for tax filing, to pop newsletters you’d like to read later, to store your to’do list emails*, or keep emails you want to unsubscribe from in one place and even create a folder where you pop all of your unsorted mail ready for when you have five or 10 minutes to file it properly etc will really help organise your inbox.
10 Minutes To Take Action or Create a To-Do List
You will now be left with emails that need action. If you can take care of the action within two minutes then you can spend time doing this immediately. If the response will take longer than two minutes, you should look to add the email to a to-do list* folder or ask your VA to manage your to-do list for you. You can also use colour coded flags or labels to further filter down your inbox for example using a red flag for emails that need urgent attention, orange flags for emails that are important to respond to within the next couple of days and green flags for emails that are not important and that can be answered at your leisure.
The Importance Of Archiving Emails For Businesses
For businesses, it is often crucial that work emails are archived and not deleted. Communications often need to be kept for a number of years to comply with statutory regulations. For example, in the UK organisations are expected to keep business emails for six years. If these were to be stored on the employee’s computer hard drive it is likely their systems would get overloaded and slow. That’s why many businesses archive their emails and email attachments so that they can be easily searched and accessed when required. Some companies choose to archive their emails in the cloud while others use the archive feature in their computer’s email client.
An email clean-up is a great way to get on top of your inbox and it is also a great opportunity to unclutter your mind and work smarter and more efficiently.
Do you need help to organise your inbox or are you looking for flexible business support and want to make savings by hiring a VA? Get in touch!
qVirtual – Virtual Assistant Solutions