Category: email


Inbox Invasion


What’s in your inbox? Maybe a question you don’t want to answer, right? Ideally you would want to find correspondence from clients, colleagues, email subscriptions, those you want to learn from and stay connected to, with perhaps an occasional cold call sales proposition. Most find their inboxes overloaded daily and we also find ourselves subjected to being added to lists without signing up, asking to be added or giving our permission. One of my biggest pet peeves.

Recently I found myself in this situation just one-too-many times and followed my usual process by trying to see if I had signed up for their lists and had somehow forgotten. That wasn’t the case. In each instance someone thought it was okay to add me to their list without my permission. One seemed to be shocked about my asking to be removed suggesting that I pass the information along if I didn’t find it to be useful. Seriously?

Okay, so here’s the thing about all that…

Years ago before the “Can SPAM” Act was in place it was commonplace for people building their list to add email addresses of those they met at events to their list. Not that this was ever appropriate at any time mind you, but it was common.

Personally I find this to be quite rude and a poor business practice. This is the virtual equivalent to walking up to someone at an event and shoving your stuff in their face without introducing yourself and having a conversation. Without knowing if they’re your ideal client or even want what you have to offer. Besides being rude, you’re not targeting the people you are a fit for what you do. Is this really how you want to build your business or the reputation you want to create? You’re taking up prime real estate in my sacred space and that’s just not cool.

I prefer to have things worthy of that space in it. Things that will serve me, help me learn and stay connected to those I want to connect with. That’s what your inbox is for. Inbox invasion is just one reason people suffer from email overload. When you clean up your inbox regularly, leave those with poor business etiquette out of the mix, get off the lists that aren’t serving you and keep it that way.

 


Like most people you have an inbox. Tell the truth about it and you’ve got multiple inboxes, right? Hopefully you have multiple virtual mail boxes because it’s your way of separating your business and personal worlds, not because you added them frivolously.

Given the times and the overload of information we each get on a daily basis, people are inundated with email. Most of us receive about 150 emails a day and for many the majority go without being read. This has become the norm and people have come accustomed to being on multiple email lists and part of their regular rhythm is to continue to subscribe to more.

There’s way too much going on that has your inbox (or inboxes) get and stay bogged down and cluttered and this does absolutely nothing for you in regards to staying productive.

  • An average of 150 emails a day
  • Most go unread
  • Staying subscribed to lists that no longer serve you or your interest
  • Missing what you need to have access to

Your inbox deserves better and so do you. Treating your inbox like sacred space means setting a criteria for what is allowed. So now you might be saying, “But where do I start?” because you’ve got 30K emails plus and just can’t see it happening.  You can get there one step at a time and here’s your check list:

  1. Take inventory. What’s there? Emails that haven’t been read, things you kept because of the attachments or other info? If you haven’t read it, delete it and if it’s from a list you subscribed to, get off the list. Chances are you haven’t read much of what they’ve send and won’t. Save any attached documents to your computer, get info into a file and dates into your calendar and delete, delete, delete!
  2. Get off the list. Sort your inbox alphabetically by sender so you can see what you get regularly. You might not even remember who some of those people are, so open one of the emails, scroll to the bottom and unsubscribe from what’s not relevant. If you have a long list of subscriptions, check out Unroll.Me and instantly see all your subscription emails and get rid of what you don’t want. Once you’re done, delete those emails.
  3. Make your list. Now determine the email that you want to allow; what deserves space. Be tough and make sure you can justify why something needs to hit your inbox.
  4. Set up an email tool like SaneBox to keep the order. It will review your email history and habits, keep the unimportant stuff out of your inbox so you can focus on what matters. The unimportant things got to another folder for you to review later. Once you set it up and have a clean inbox, you can clean up the “Sane Later” folder and then do the regular maintenance.
  5. Create supportive habits. Moving forward you need habits to keep your inbox sacred so set times to check email during the day, use folders and filters to send certain emails to designated folders and check them regularly. Download attachments and info you need and delete the email and empty your trash folder daily.

 

Email Overload


E mail concept Modern Laptop andThere are so many people who struggle with inbox woes daily. It’s not uncommon for people to have upwards of 3000 pieces of email in their inbox and a lot of them aren’t even read. Sometimes it seems like there’s just no way to get a handle on it, but I promise you, there is.

Right now, go to your inbox and look to see exactly how many emails are in your inbox. You might cringe, maybe you don’t even want to look, but just go take a peek. You have to know how bad the problem is before you can take steps to resolve it, so go look.

With technology getting better and better and people becoming more reliant upon it and since it’s always readily available, email it seems, is here to stay. So that means that you have to get a grip and gain the upper hand. If you don’t it will be and will stay out of control. An overloaded inbox is a form of electronic clutter and it can get just an out of hand and be just as much of an issue as physical clutter in a space.

So what do you do to start the process of gaining control and eliminating email overload? Go back to your inbox and take inventory. What’s there? Ezines or newsletters you signed up for but haven’t read; emails that you’ve read but kept because they have useful information or attachments that you need?

If there are lists you subscribed to because you wanted particular information and you got it and used it, or didn’t, it’s time to unsubscribe from those lists. If the information is still of value to you, meaning that you can and will use it, save it in a document, bookmark the link or if you use Evernote save it there and keep it moving. Same thing goes for those precious attachments you’ve been holding onto via email. Download them to an appropriate folder and delete the email.

Once those things are gone, look to see what else is there and more importantly WHY it’s there. Get rid of the obsolete things and if there are emails you need to archive, create folders for them and start the drag and drop process. Keep it up until you’ve cleaned it up.

Once you’ve cleaned up your inbox, create some rules for yourself and some new habits. When you check email read, reply, download, archive and delete. Set up filters and related folders for email from lists you want to stay subscribed to so those emails go directly to their designated folders. You can do the same for emails related to particular clients or projects you’re working on. If your inbox is really overloaded it might take a few weeks to get things under control, but it can be done.

 


SaneBoxIf you’re like most, email might be a bit out of control with hundreds or maybe even thousands of emails, most of them unopened. You have lists you’ve subscribed to sending email and probably some unsolicited items too. They’re coming in so fast you just can’t handle it. You’ve tried hitting your inbox to remedy the overgrown number, but to no avail and if you do get the number down, they come right back at you with what seems to be even more determination.

If you can relate to this, you might want to consider using SaneBox. It’s an add on tool that works with your current email client to keep your inbox from being out of control. You set the rules and it follows them. Gotta love that! It organizes your email and makes sure that you get the important stuff by prioritizing important emails and summarizing the rest. There’s nothing to download and nothing new to learn.

It uses smart filtering and other productivity features live One Click Unsubscribe that lets you drag an email into the “SaneBlackHole” folder, and you’ll never hear from that sender again. To add to the productivity mix, SaneBox notifies you when an email you sent isn’t replied to by a certain time, so you can follow up. Additionally, it allows you to place an email in a Snooze Folder and then SaneBox will place it back in your Inbox when it’s convenient for you. With all these great features, it’s a great solution for ending your inbox insanity. Get more details at the SaneBox website.

 

 

Email Overload


Today we’re all wearing multiple hats and there’s so much to do, including managing email overload.  It may seem at times that your inbox is out of control and has a life of its own.  Believe it or not, you can get a handle on it and manage it effectively.

An overloaded inbox is a form of electronic clutter.  One thing I always tell people is to not check email first thing in the morning.  It’s one of the worst things you can do when it comes to being productive.   Instead, check your email 1.5 to 2 hours after you start your day.  This gives you time to tackle one of your top priority tasks instead, which will have you off to a great start and on your way to a productive day.

There’s more to it than not checking your email as soon as you get to your computer—or your phone or tablet.  To add to my first email tip of not checking email first thing in the morning, have a plan when it comes to checking email.  For most of us checking email once a day isn’t productive.  It can leave too many things hanging.  In addition to checking email 1.5 to 2 hours into your day choose one to two other times during the day to check and reply to email, and turn off your email notifications so that you’re not distracted by it and if that doesn’t work, then close your email altogether.  Set reminders and stay on schedule.   This will ensure that you’re responding to requests in a timely manner, getting things done, and not getting caught up in email overload.

Additionally, take the steps to organize your email.  Create email sub folders within your email account to sort your emails by category. Label the sub folders with categories that will make it easy for you to distinguish.   For example, use different subjects, projects, client or coworker names for naming your email sub folders. This makes it easy to choose a category of email to check at a particular time.  Once those are set up put your flags and filters to use.  Flagging helps you recognize particular types of email faster.  For example, you can flag emails that you have read and are your priority to reply with one color so that they are visually separated for your preference the next time you open your email.

Use filters to help enhance the use of the sub folders that you set up.  Filters allow you to create “rules” for sending emails to designated folders when they come into your inbox.  This is a nice feature to use to help get email to the appropriate folder.  You might set up particular rules for any email with a particular phrase in the subject line to go to a certain folder.  Let’s say you have a marketing project you’re working on.  Ask that those sending related emails contain the name of the project in the subject line, and then set up the related filter rule so that those emails go into the designated folder.  You can do the same to filter email from particular people.  When it comes time to work on that project, you can go directly to that folder instead of searching through the email in your inbox to find all of the email related to that project.  When it comes to filters don’t forget to set something up to corral those ezines and all of the other things that hit your inbox as a result of the lists that you’re subscribed to.  They can fill up your inbox pretty quickly.

The final thing is that you want to get rid of all of the unwanted email that’s coming your way.  There will be people who add you to lists that you didn’t subscribe to, lists that you’ve outgrown or just don’t want information from any longer.  Do yourself a favor and scroll to the bottom of those emails and click the unsubscribe button and get off of those lists.  Make that last step and the others things that you do on a regular basis.  Purge your inbox on a regular basis, continue to create and also delete filters and folders that you need and keep yourself off of lists that aren’t relevant. When you need to save email content or attachments, don’t save them in your inbox.  Use these tools to help you avoid email overload.

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