How To Optimize Email
Email, a fine way to communicate, a not-so-fine tool to life a productive life. It is estimated that around 28% of the average workers workweek is spent on managing email. Beside the loss of productivity, email can also be frustrating, irritating, annoying, head boiling and so on… That’s why I wrote this article for you on how to optimize email.
Create a Filing System
In hotmail/outlook you can easily create a filing system to manage all in-boxed emails. On the left hand side of your screen you’ll see your default folders, like inbox and spam. Hover your cursor over those folders and a ‘+’ button will appear which let’s you create new folders.
For Gmail this is slightly different. First you’ll have to press the ‘more’ button on the left hand side, than the text ‘create new label’ will let you create a new folder.
We suggest that you create the following folders/labels:
- Read: all the emails that you’ll have to read
- CC: all the emails you were CC’d in
- Later: all the emails that are important later
- Action: all the emails that require action
Now, you have not created this filing system to constantly bring them to zero! To truly reap the benefits of a filing system, consider the following way. When you have just a couple minutes, waiting for train/bus/co-worker, go through your inbox and read the titles of the new emails. Then just place them in the corresponding files, and when you’ve set some time to handle emails, you can take the necessary action.
Unsubscribe from Spam
Tired of all those incoming emails that you just don’t want? Yeah, so was I. Of course, you could manually unsubscribe from spam mails, but for some reason I always found myself deleting new spam. Luckily for us, technology has the solution! The great tool Unrollme finds all the addresses you’re subscribed to and let’s you unsubscribe in just a single click. The only thing you have to do is login to your email on their website and let them do the rest. No more spam from now on!
Turn off Notifications
We probably all know the feeling… You’re working hard and being productive, then suddenly an email appears. You get distracted and want to know what it’s about, so you stop working to read it. Whatever was in the email, you just can’t immediately pick up the pace you were working in, productivity drops.
Fortunately, this is one of those bad habits that could be killed in a few seconds… By turning off your notifications!
This can be done through your phone, browser or mail app in a similar fashion.
Step 1: Go to Settings
Step 2: Go to Notifications or Email → Message Options
Step 3: Turn off Notifications
Step 4: Save settings if necessary
Step 5: Enjoy your productivity!
Make it a Game
*note: for Gmail users only.
There is nothing fun about answering or going through emails? That might be true, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun at all. With the Email Game you won’t only have some fun, you’ll also save time! Let me explain the game’ to you. After signing in on their homepage, you’ll get to see the emails in your inbox. However, there is a countdown timer on the left side and a smiley on the right. The game is to answer/delete/archive the email displayed within the time given, when you take to long, the smiley gets sad, when you’re on time, the smiley gets happy. This is a great way to save time on email and to have some fun while doing it.
I believe that by following these points, you won’t have to spend 28% of your workweek on email anymore. You’ll have more time to be productive and actually spend on working. Feel free to let me know what you think of these points, or if you know more ways on how to optimize email!