Let’s face it, not everybody organizes their email inbox. Some people will even wait until they have thousands of messages before they finally decide to clean up their email. They might also be forced to clean it up when they need something really important that was sent several weeks ago.
The problem is that they can’t find what they need because of the junk that is piling up.
This will result in more wasted time looking for messages instead of working on other tasks. A disorganized inbox can lead to unproductive work days.
Steps for Inbox Organization
There are some simple ways to keep your email inbox organized and be more productive:
1. Delete, delete, delete.
First thing you have to do is get rid of junk email. Delete all emails that are not important.
2. File important and done mail.
After you have deleted the emails that are not important, file the emails that are important and those that have already been addressed. Use folders in your inbox to sort these messages. You can do it by month, project, or task. Pick one plan that makes sense for your work and go with it. This way you will always know where to look for messages even if they were sent weeks ago.
3. Use color coding to set up priorities.
After you have filed the important and done emails, the ones left in your inbox should be the ones that need action or follow up. Color code the remaining mail to determine which ones are top priority. Many inboxes have systems with stars and flags to denote different meanings. In this way when you open your inbox, you will be reminded that you have a task to do or email to work on.
4. Set up Reminders.
You can set up reminders on your phone or your computer to remind you at a certain time of the day to open your mail and work on the pending tasks that are left in your inbox. Using reminders ensures that a day won’t pass without you clearing your inbox and finishing up tasks there.
4. Your email is not a storage box.
You have to realize that your email inbox is not a storage box. If you don’t need it, delete or archive it, because storing it in your email inbox just piles up the junk and might make you forget or bypass emails that are more important.
5. Go back to step 1.
After you have cleaned your email, every time a message comes, you have to make sure to repeat all the steps. Keep it simple: delete it if it is not important, respond, take action, file it or categorize it. In this way you can make sure that your mail will be organized and you will be more productive.
Stay tuned to the What is Workplace Wellness blog for more advice on staying well on the job. We’ll share news and advice for keeping your workforce healthy and encouraging screenings to monitor your health.