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Tips for Taming Your Email Gremlins

09/23/2009

Do you ever feel like your inbox is taking over your life? That no matter how many emails you process in a day, you just can’t seem to get to zero?  It’s a struggle and I’ll be the first to admit that having an inbox at zero is probably unrealistic, but there are some strategies we can all employ to keep our in boxes lean, mean, and organized. Here are some tips that I have come up with that help me stay on track:

 1. Close It – OK don’t close it forever, but if you need to work without distraction for an hour, let’s say, close your mail client and get to work. Don’t let that “new mail” icon control you.

2. Delete the Junk – If you know its junk, spam, or some other unsavory message that you’ll never read, delete it right away, get it out of your inbox and like magic you are one message lighter.

3. Remove What’s DONE – The way I see it, if you have acted on a message there are a few choices, A. file it  B. delete it  C. move it to your agency management system or D. let it languish in your inbox for months taking up space. I say, set up a system whereby you remove option D from your life and make A, B, and C habit.

4. Unsubscribe from ALL those lists- You probably receive a slew of industry-related emails that beg for your attention on a near daily basis. Ask yourself two questions “Can I read this someplace else?” and “Am I getting value from this?” If you can read the content in another place, such as an RSS reader, unsubscribe from the daily email and read the info on your own time. If you no longer see the value of a certain daily newsletter, unsubscribe BUT make sure to let the organization know why! You can always get back on the list down the road should the need arise. This applies to retail venders, too. Do you really need to know every time the Popcorn Factory is having a “sale”?

5. OK- I came up with four tips….how do you tame your email gremlins?

Other Great Email Taming Resources:  Five Tips at 43Folders, Tips on Using Outlook Tasks to Clear Your Inbox.

**Want to know more about RSS Readers? I’ll be leading two sessions, “Save Time Online- RSS Explained” at our annual convention and trade show. Register for  The Big Event and sit on my Friday or Saturday session.

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