When this article was originally published in 2017 205 billion email messages were sent per day. This figure is now over 306 billion emails. While in offices, the average worker receives 121 emails a day. Every, single, day.
Looking at my own email inbox usage last month I read 825 emails and sent 352 emails. That works out on average about 40 emails a day, and that’s well below the average and not including direct messages on platforms for internal communications (Microsoft teams in our office.)
With such high volumes of email, how are we supposed to get our emails noticed, avoid wasting time sifting through unnecessary emails or organise our inbox to weed out the spam from the essential?
Here are 5 easy to enact ways to organise your email inbox and send effective emails.
I like to think my own inbox is pretty organised and put this down to using folders. I have a folder for each of the main areas I receive emails on and once the email has been actioned it’s put into the folder. If something hasn’t been put in a folder or archived, it still needs attention.
I find this good for helping me manage my time and to keep track of what needs to be done. It also reduces the inbox anxiety of seeing 100+ emails sitting in my inbox daily.
Set up Email Rules
Email Rules is an in-built email trick that organises your emails into folders.
Once you have folders set up you can create email rules in either Gmail or Outlook. Email Rules ensure certain addresses go into specific folders, rather than clogging up your general inbox.
Email management using Email Rules will:
- Allow you to maintain an organised inbox
- Help you find emails quicker
- Focus your attention on emails that matter
Once you’ve set up the Rules you then won’t have to worry about them again, it’ll all be automatic. Rules are particularly handy for emails that won’t need immediate attention, for example, newsletters or internal emails – for example from a sports and social club.
Turn off Notifications
Email notifications are distracting, but they are avoidable. Think of each notification like someone tapping you on the shoulder. Each one interrupts your workflow and reduces productivity.
By turning off desktop and phone email notifications you’ll be able to focus your attention and be more efficient in your work. To make sure you’re not missing anything you can set yourself times to check email and adjust accordingly. If you’re checking four times a day and that’s not enough, you can up it and vice versa. Do remember though, if something’s very urgent the person can always call you.
Search Emails Properly
How often have you spent ages looking for an email?
If you have your Email Rules set up it shouldn’t be a big issue, but if you still can’t find what you’re looking for learn how to search your email inbox properly.
In Outlook, you can use Advanced Find, while in Gmail you can use Boolean search methods.
This kind of search enables you to:
- Filter your inbox
- Find a word or specific piece of information in an email you otherwise can’t locate.
These email search techniques will save you time and help you find what you’re looking for quicker.
Effective Email Writing
Business emails need to be specific. Any email that goes out gets only one response and the matter is finalised and this should be the aim. Incorporate this into your business email by only sending an email regarding matters that won’t require lots of over and back.
Business email writing should be concise and specific. If you are organising a meet up via email include:
- A clear subject line
- A brief synopsis of why you want to meet
- Time and date options
- A suggested location
Using formal email specifics like this will increase your chances of getting the results you want from email and cut down the number of emails needed.
Email isn’t urgent and for immediate results, you should pick up the phone. If you work in an office setting or need to send a lot of emails try these 4 email management and writing tips and you should hopefully cut down on some of those 121 daily emails.