Ahh emails, it’s a love-hate relationship, isn’t it? It’s convenient for dishing out invoices quickly and coordinating with people in different time zones; but for all its convenience, it is also one of the BIGGEST TIME SUCKERS for small businesses.
The inbox zero system below will save you time every day. And while we’re on the topic of improving inbox productivity, I have thrown in some bonus tips to reduce the spam that you get too!
Which inbox is yours?
I am 100% type one! I can’t stand clutter or disorganisation in anything, not my house, my pantry, my wardrobe and definitely not my workspace. Which includes my computer and especially my email inbox.
I have always worked on an inbox zero style; aiming to get all emails out of the inbox as fast as possible, and definitely not leaving anything marked ‘unread’ in there. However, my inbox also doubles as a ‘to do’ list of sorts, so it is never completely empty.
INBOX ZERO. Tips to avoid inbox overwhelm and save time!
- Practice working with the inbox zero system every day, and allocate blocks of time to emails, then shut the program down in between (if you can).
- Spend some time upfront unsubscribing from lists you don’t actually read. It’s a pain, I know, but your future self will thank you for it! Be ruthless, any email list you delete the messages from without reading them; unsubscribe my friend!
- Set your social media notification preferences to NO emails. You won’t miss anything, that’s what the notifications on mobile apps are for. No need to clog up your email inbox (and distract you while trying to work!). Repeat this on all social media accounts you have. Or better yet, use gmail, hotmail or yahoo to create a free email to use just for social media profiles. Then you wont get any pesky notifications interrupting your work flow!
Bonus email account health checks to prevent SPAM!
While you’re at it, consider these steps to tighten up security, prevent spam and boost your email productivity.
- Change your email account passwords, to something COMPLICATED and use a system like LastPass to remember it for you.
- If your email accounts are a few years old, especially personal accounts, consider searching your email to see if your personal information has been compromised on Have I been pwned.
- If you get a lot of spam, check with your domain provider and make sure you have domain privacy on your account. Without this, your email account is accessible to anyone that searches your domain on the WHOIS database.
- Check with your website design to ensure that your website has reCAPTCHA installed on all contact forms; which will dramatically reduce the SPAM that gets to you from there.
- Avoid displaying your email accounts anywhere online; on your website, social media profiles, google my business… Instead, offer a link to a contact form (with the reCAPTCHA) mentioned above.
- Don’t subscribe to a list, or give your email address to any website you don’t trust. On quote or comparison websites, it is commonplace for them to SELL your information to marketing companies. Health Engine (an online booking system for doctors/health clinics) appeared in court for such misuse of patient information earlier this year!
And there you have it; my top tips for conquering an overwhelming inbox and reducing spam.
Do you have any other tips you can add to this list? I’d love to hear them!
Here’s to a more productive email inbox!