Over the past few months, life has been quite chaotic. Between having our family in town for a month, moving into a new house + launching derivecollective.com – life felt crazy (beautiful + exciting, but crazy). In the midst of this wild time, I felt as if my inbox was piling up over my head and each time I would start diving into my inbox, I’d be hit smack in the face with overwhelm.
Now, this is not to say that I have it all together, or that my inbox is 100% responded to + empty BUT I wanted to share a few tips with you that have helped me get my blogging, consulting + personal inboxes back under control. Organizing your inbox can help with productivity and response time which in turn saves you so much time + headache!
Here’s 5 Tips On How To Organize Your Inbox:
➀ FLAG YOUR EMAILS
And not just *remember to look at this* flagging. I recommend you flag your email by importance, Aaron actually gave me this suggestion about a year ago + this has helped tremendously.
Flag your inbox by importance: i.e. green for most urgent, yellow for mildly urgent and red for least urgent
Also, something I recommend is making sure to flag income driving emails with green.
➁ USE A DESKTOP APPLICATION
Rather than opening your email within Safari or Google Chrome to read your emails, where you can be tempted by the other ten tabs you have open, instead, open your email in a desktop application and quit every other app on your computer.
Isolating your email within a desktop application gives you freedom from the browser (sayonara distractions!) which means you can focus solely on the task at hand. I have been loving Kiwi for Gmail, and as I shared in this Instagram post, it has allowed me to keep as organized as possible while having family in town, launching derivecollective.com + managing our consulting clients! This useful application allows you to utilize Gmail on your desktop without logging onto a browser.
Here are a few things I really like about it:
Filter By Flags: As I shared above, it’s very useful to use flagging to prioritize emails!
One-Click To Access Apps: Making Google Calendar + Google Docs more manageable than ever before
Multiple Windows: Open up multiple emails in multiple windows. As a visual person, it’s helpful for me to open up the top 5 green emails that I need to respond to in separate windows and as I respond, I can exit out of each window; essentially checking each email off my to-do list!
Multiple Accounts: You can use multiple accounts seamlessly – all of your email inboxes in one place. You can switch between them with just one click.
Shortcuts: There are multiple shortcuts within the application but I love the ease of ‘Command + N’ for a new ‘Compose Email’ window.
Send Files Straight from Finder: Just ‘command + click’ on the file you wish to send and off it goes! Also, Kiwi for Gmail enables you to send really large files which is awesome!
Open Recently Closed Docs: If you are working on Google Docs when you get a call or have to step out + return later, this helps you get right back to work without missing a beat!
Kiwi for Gmail is so useful for my everyday life. It makes it easy to organize my blogging, consulting + personal emails all at once while also simplifying the process when I travel! I appreciate any systems + processes that help streamline.
➂ SET ASIDE ONE HOUR A DAY FOR EMAIL
How many times do we ignore our email for a week, all the while it piles up, leaving us with a cluttered, overwhelming inbox full of angry people waiting for a response? I know that’s not just me! It’s so easy for this to happen! When we decide to build a business, no one informs us that a huge chunk of our time will be spent staring at the glowing screen answering emails.
And I mean, a HUGE portion of our time.
So rather than allowing your email to haunt you, schedule out time to answer emails each day.
I recommend having a morning routine that doesn’t involve your email first thing. Make coffee or tea, take time to read or meditate, spend time with a loved one, exercise – do something for yourself THEN dive into your email (where you’re going to spend quite a bit of time doing things for other people. Fill your cup so you can then fill others.
Block out 1 Hour per day to spend in your email. Address your green emails first, then yellow, then red.
Set down your phone (away from you), close other apps + browsers and just focus.
Take this time to honor your business and get shit done!
➃ UNSUBSCRIBE FROM UNWANTED LISTS
This may seem obvious, yet – do any emails come to your mind when you read this?
It’s really hard to focus on important emails when our email subject lines are reading:
SALE! TODAY ONLY!
READ THIS TO IMPROVE YOUR BUSINESS NOW!
50% OFF LIMITED TIME!
So sit down and spend the morning unsubscribing from lists that no longer really interest you or serve you.
Keep the ones that you truly want to stay in tune with and get rid of the rest.
Also, keep your goals in mind when you are clearing this out.
If you are in a money saving period of your life, eliminate retail companies that are tempting you to spend, spend, spend (don’t worry, you can always subscribe again if you really miss them!).
If you are in a focused learning period, refine who you think you want to be learning more from and stay on their list, then eliminate the other people you aren’t interested in learning from.
By being clear with your goals and your desires, you can eliminate clutter and have a clean inbox full of things that need your attention, not distractions that waste time + energy.
➄ SAVE TEMPLATE EMAILS
For all of our client correspondence + contracts, we use Honeybook so that we can streamline our process. On there, we have the opportunity to save our emails as templates which is SO helpful. Once I realized the value of this, I started implementing the exact same idea in my emails! I use Canned Responses in Kiwi for Gmail + love it. It allows you to save templates so that you can send out emails faster. Learn how to set it up here. I recommend having an email template for any emails that you send out frequently, this way you can just make a few tweaks to customize it and not spend so much time writing an email from scratch each time.
Some email templates I would recommend:
Confirmation Emails (For Meetings, Appointments, Calls, etc)
Follow Up Email
Giving information on products and services
Thank You Email
Collaboration Email (Introducing Who You Are + What You Do)
Examine your sent box + see what kinds of emails you’re sending all the time and then create a template for the main emails you’re constantly sending. This will save you time + keep you organized!
These are a few tips that help keep my inbox more organized and save
me time so that I can focus on other aspects of my business.
I hope you found these helpful. If you did, feel free to share with fellow entrepreneurs + bloggers!
What tips do you use to keep your inbox organized +
to feel less overwhelmed with emails? Comment below, I would love to hear!
You also may enjoy HOW TO LOVE LIFE, EVEN WHEN YOU SIT & STARE AT SCREENS ALL DAY.
This post was brought to you by Kiwi For Gmail. All opinions, thoughts + perspectives are my own!