March 09, 2012

Overloaded with your Emails?

Is your inbox overflowing with e-mails? Productivity experts have stated that even though e-mail is advancing towards less usage, it is still the most common form of communication. Just face it: you can't live with it, or without it. But the real solution to managing e-mail overload is knowing how to.

E-mail overload can be easily eliminated through the usage of tools, filters, and by taking control over your inbox. Think of e-mail overload as a symptom to a bigger disease, and should be cured before it spreads to become a complex issue. The first step to e-mail overload is awareness. Realizing that your inbox has a problem is the first step to creating an efficient solution. Start by creating folders to help categorize your inbox:

  • Important: E-mails that are of top priority, and most important to you.

  • 1st Tier: Important e-mails that don't need to be rushed for a response.

  • 2nd Tier: Informational e-mails you could look over when you get a chance.

  • Miscellaneous: E-mails that can be related to social network notifications, random company updates, etc.

  • Unimportant: E-mails you plan on never looking at.

And the list can go on and on...but these are just a few examples of different levels for categories that can be created, and of course, it differs per inbox.

By first creating folders, you are then able to establish different filters so that your e-mails can automatically get categorized into the correct folder. Filters can be applied to your e-mails so that particular keywords that are common in your e-mails can be filtered into the correct folder. This may seem complicated, and time-consuming, but it will help overcome your inbox of e-mails that don't create any value for you, or your inbox.

Another step in controlling your inbox is to connect with your colleagues, clients, and contacts to reach an agreement as to when to send each other e-mails. By establishing reasons for e-mails, you are moving towards clearing your inbox to only relevant e-mails.

As frustrating as your inbox may be, going cold turkey with your inbox may create a problem in the long-run, so you might want to start with these simple steps to slowly, but surely, clear your inbox of e-mail overload. E-mail is going to be around much longer than expected, so I suggest starting with these simple solutions to overcome your overloaded inbox. :)