Emails are one of those things that can stack up after time. If not managed and kept a hold of they can quickly become out of hand. I can not tell you how many times I had so many emails that I just felt like I could not catch up.
The first step I took was to sign up with unsubscribe me. This is a free service that you can sign up for and it will make a list of every email sevice you subscribe to so that you can unubscribe from the ones you no longer want to recieve. Then you can choose to keep recieveing all the emails you still want to subscribe to as individual emails or all lumped together as one daily, weekly, or monthly.
Once I had done that I went through and searched for those sites that I unsubscribed in my emails selected all and deleted them. This cleared out ALOT of my emails that were backed up.
Now I went through the rest in the same way I now use to maintain my emails. If you have a Iphone this has been made very easy and I can sort emails very quick. If you swipe left you are given a few options. I either delete the email, Flag the email, or move the email. I do not read the emails or respond to them until I have my office hours.
I have set office hours that I know I will have a chance at some point in those times to sit down and respond to emails. I attach my office hours in the signiture to all my emails so that people know the hours I will respond to them. My current office hours are:
It is very important to me that I do not answer emails and take away time from my family all day long, or on the weekends. So these are the hours that I do not have work at my new job, anything going on with my son, or family time scheduled. I also do not spend the entire office time responding to emails. I only set aside 20-30 min of email time in this time frame.
Every day when I have a few minutes to go through my emails sometimes a couple times a day, sometimes only once, I go threw and swipe my box.
Here is what I do with the emails I do not Delete.
The emails I flag are the emails that need a response as soon as I am able to have office hours. They are usually emails I was expecting, or emails where I can see someone has a problem with something. Anything I know needs a response and is important enough that I need to make sure I get it done.
I have some different folders that I set up to move emails into. I labled some of them based on subscriptions I get. Others I have are:
Paypal- to save all my reciepts for my transactions
Sponsored posts- people who I am emailing back a forth for reviews
Guest posts- People who want to post on my blog
Read and decide- this is anything that I need to spend some time to concentrate on and figure out what it is about
Important- anything I am going to need to find easily
BlogTribe- These are the other bloggers I communicate with regularly
Personal- anything nonblog related.
Now the only mail I have left in the inbox is mail that is flagged.
When it comes time to have my office hours email time I first read and respond to these emails. I try to keep all responses to emails under 10 sentences and most under 3. This keeps the time I am emailing short.
I can then go back through anything I have moved to the other folders, decide and decide what I need to do with it. I either, keep it preeminently, read it and delete it, respond to it, or leave it and think about it.
How do you deal with the emails in your life?