6 October 2016
No one likes a messy mailbox, it’s confusing, you can’t find anything quickly and more often than not, you lose the important emails in between the junk.
The number one tip I can give you is:
Be ruthless – don’t forget to delete
Deleting is a must! Do you know how many work emails people on average are receiving? According to Expandedramblings.com workers are receiving on average 121 emails per day (in the US as at Feb 2015), that’s ridiculous! That’s approx. 30,000 emails a year (when you take out weekends and public holidays) eep! So don’t be afraid to delete emails that aren’t relevant or are promotional or are a work colleague asking if you want’ to go to lunch tomorrow. And while we are talking about deleting, set your mailbox up to permanently delete emails from your deleted mailbox at the end of each day. If you deleted them in the first place, then you really don’t need them anymore.
When archiving, it can depend on the industry you’re in and the work you’re doing to the best labels for your archive folders, but here are a few suggestions:
for any emails from your clients, as soon as you have responded or completed something, move the email into the client email folder so you know it’s done.
have one place for all the invoices you have coming in. You can have one big Accounts archive folder, or, if you need to delve into this folder, you may want to break it down with sub folders by supplier as well. This makes it super easy to see what’s come in. (Tip: I only archive these once I’ve paid the statement or printed off the invoice).
are you a part of a number of projects or meetings? Don’t be afraid to make a folder just for the project or meeting. A lot of emails can fly around and it makes a lot of sense to have them all together, even if it is just the meeting agenda’s and minutes. If you need to find the minutes from the last meeting to see if you have any outstanding action items, it’s going to be quick to do so if you have a folder for that meeting or project. For my events, I have a folder for Events, then break it down into years, then by each event.
By department / team / name
if you’re like my last boss, he loved to put all emails from people that didn’t relate to a particular project or meeting, he would have a folder for them and would save every email from them into the folder. (I’ll be honest, this method wasn’t for me, but I could see what he was trying to do) This is a great idea if you manage a team – but just make sure you don’t keep every single email they ever sent you, it could get messy in there!
Yeah we all get personal emails at work, who doesn’t! but be sure to have a folder for them too or forward them to your personal email if you want to keep the info.
Pro Tip: Sub folders rock
don’t be afraid to make folders to store other folders in… So, if you are in Customer Service and have a number of clients, you can create a folder just for “Clients”, then have a folder for each client within the “Clients” folder. It really can make it quicker to find things if you’re Archive folders are getting a bit much.