To get more out of your working day you need to start to manage your emails better. You should take control of your email rather than let it control you. Most of us waste at least one hour a day going through emails, deleting, reporting or moving to junk.

Email is an extremely useful communication tool in business. Less personal than a phone call, email is convenient and fast. It empowers entrepreneurs to run their businesses from just about anywhere.

Email management tips

Inbox Clean Out week runs annually but you don’t need to wait for the next event to clean up your own inbox. Business leaders, CEOs and managers often receive hundreds, if not thousands, of emails a day. Reading and responding to every message can become a drain on time and energy.

Prioritise

Use filters (also called ‘rules’) to help you manage your emails flow. Making quick decisions and pursuing immediate action will help keep your email inbox under control. The idea is to not delay until tomorrow what can be accomplished right away.

Learn to say ‘no’

Hit the delete key and banish them from your inbox to stop them becoming clutter. When you check your messages, browse the inbox for emails that can be immediately deleted such as spam or promotional emails. Then select messages that don’t require a response and delete or archive them. Once you’ve pared down the number of messages in your inbox, you’ll be able to better evaluate which ones are the most critical.

Don’t respond to each and every email 

For every email you send, you’ll more than likely receive one back. Despite what people may think, you don’t need to reply to every mail. No reply after a certain amount of time period can be considered a reply in itself too. Don’t stress too much about replying to every single mail. Reply if it helps, but if the costs of replying don’t outweigh the benefits, then maybe it’s not worth worrying about it. Just let it be and things will sort themselves out through time.

Handle each email once

Adopt the process with each email, either deal, delete, delegate or defer action. If you regularly receive emails such as newsletters, blogs and article feed, you could re-route these to another email address, or use rules so that they’re instantly delivered to a particular folder.

This will help keep your primary inbox clear, and they’ll be in one place, ready to read at a convenient time.

Organise your inbox

Although a majority of emails can be deleted, you’ll most likely want to retain messages related to key aspects of your business. Correspondence between clients, colleagues and employees can help clarify any miscommunications. Most email programs let users mark messages with specific labels or categories.

Prioritise, group, sort and file messages to keep your inbox organised. The better the filing system, the easier it will be to locate specific emails when you need them. Create parent categories for broad subjects such as the following: clients, projects and finances.

Then use subcategories to file emails related to specific clients or projects. Before you file a message, ensure the subject line is search-friendly. If it doesn’t accurately describe the content of the email, edit the subject line before it’s categorized and archived.

Unsubscribe 

Newsletters and advertisements can overwhelm your inbox and bury important messages. Clean out the clutter. Unsubscribe from receiving messages from specific senders if you no longer want to receive their missives or don’t have the time to read them. To make the unsubscribe process quick and painless, search your inbox for the term “unsubscribe.” Review the search results and determine whose emails you would continue to welcome and the missives you would prefer to live without.