What is that huge, never-ending, bottomless corner of the internet that must be checked every day (read: sometimes)? It's the tower of content that grows unchecked and before you know it - there's no more space left.
Yes you guessed it, its your email inbox......
Keeping on top of your inbox is a relatively simple process, the difficulties lie when your attention becomes diverted elsewhere and your emails slowly start to pile up. The next time you log in to check your emails you seem to have acquired a ton of them overnight (mostly junk mail) and its a struggle to find that important receipt or the email received only yesterday that you MUST reply to! Fortunately, as mentioned, there are steps you can take to help you keep your inbox well organised. A well organised inbox and mail system saves a lot of work further down the line as you can dig out specific emails as and when you need them. Please read on for a few hints and tips to help you get started: -
Plus Addressing: - First up we have 'Plus Addressing', this one goes to the top of the list as we feel that this alone can have such a great impact on your inbox. An example of how Plus Addressing looks would be something like this 'firstname.lastname@example.org'. When an email is sent to us using this email address we would receive the email as usual. Instead of receiving this mail into our inbox it would be diverted into a folder which we had setup previously named 'receipts' (if this folder didn't exist it would be created automatically to accommodate this email). The Plus Addressing system operates by firstly reading the recipient section of the email and ignoring the section after the '+'. This function makes sure that the item is sent to the correct email address. The Plus Addressing system would then look at the section from the '+' on to '@', if a folder existed within our inbox that corresponded with the folder stated after the '+' the mail item would be sent to the named folder rather than our inbox. This system is very useful if you are running a busy website and need to compartmentalise emails to various areas/departments. This can save valuable time further down the line as you can head straight to a folder rather than trawling through your inbox. Plus Addressing also has the knock on effect of reducing the amount of mail that is captured by your general inbox, with less mail in your inbox its much easier to search through general mail that isn't re-directed to a folder.
Don't Horde!:- We are all guilty of this one (even us here at Peters Web!). Delete unnecessary emails once you have opened them, an active inbox can gather mail quickly so its important to ensure that only important older emails and newly arrived emails take precedent. This process can become a lot more difficult if you are rushed and are short on time which leads us onto our next tip......
Create an 'email hour':- Put aside an hour every day (or every few days depending on the frequency of mail you receive) and dedicate it to solely checking your inbox, this helps to establish a routine and allows you to check your emails more thoroughly. Once you have carried out your actions (replying etc) delete any emails that have been dealt with.
Use 'Boomerang' email scheduler:- Boomerang is a plugin that can be used in conjunction with your gmail email account. Boomerang operates as an email scheduler and will send out predetermined responses at set times during the day. This is of great use if you are on the go and need to regularly respond. There is also an email tracker function incorporated into the software that will remind you regularly about emails you have sent out that haven;'t been responded to. Follow this link (http://www.boomeranggmail.com/l/email-follow-up-software.html to read more and to download the software.
Answer 'tough' emails first:- This seems an odd statement doesn't it? What constitutes a 'tough' email? We all receive those emails which we put off as the reply may end up being resource or time consuming. Make a point of dealing with these emails first when going through your inbox. You will get a boost from getting these emails resolved before everything else and the rest of your to do list will feel a lot more manageable!
As always the list above is short, there are many other steps you can take when working with your inbox to ensure that you keep on top of your workload. A well managed inbox and email system saves lots of stress further down the line and allows you to have more time taking care of other aspects of the running of your website.
If you have any questions regarding this topic and would like to speak around it further please contact us via a support ticket (open a ticket) with our hosting department and we will get back to you as soon as possible