Ok, we are going into the topic of email…and for some of you that might feel like a bit of a nightmare, depending on how many emails you have in your inbox. 😉 Fear not!
If you hang out here long enough, over time you will learn plenty of tips, tricks and workflows that will make your inbox less overwhelming to deal with and instead put you in total control. It can be done, and it doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think!
LEAVING EMAILS IN THE INBOX
Have you ever found yourself opening an email and realizing you need to do quite some work on it before you can send an answer? Do you find yourself thinking you’ll just leave it in your inbox and get back to it later? When you do that your inbox just turns into a task manager and that’s not what it is meant for.
It forces you to go back again and again to make sure you are not missing anything. I don’t know about you, but I get stressed and feel overwhelmed, even with a fairly small number of emails in there.
(Before moving on I just want to make it really clear that we are not talking about those emails you can answer right away in a minute or two. Just answer them and file them or delete them. I am talking about the ones that need a bit more work and involve several steps before you can send an answer.)
WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING WITH YOUR EMAILS
I think there is a much better way of handling these kinds of emails that need more work. So instead of keeping the emails in my inbox I forward them to my task manager. I do that for several reasons:
1. I can keep my inbox clean and only keep emails in there that I haven’t gone through yet.
2. It reduces stress because I know I’m not missing or forgetting something.
3. I have ALL tasks that I need to do in one place: my task manager.
4. I can more easily decide on what day to do what task and therefore better plan my day or week.
HOW TO FORWARD YOUR EMAILS
It’s easy to forward your emails to your task manager. This is how you do it, step-by-step:
1. If you don’t have one already, get an electronic task manager. I always recommend Asana because I love it and have used it for years. But there are many other good ones out there as well: Nozbe, Trello, Todoist, Wunderlist, Things, or Omni Focus to just mention a few. Asana is free.
2. Open your task manager and find the email address you should use when forwarding emails to your task manager. If you can’t find it, you can go to the support pages for the app and find out where you can find the email address. When you have located the email address, copy it.
3. Go to your list of contacts whether that is within your email service or your contact book) and add a new contact with the name of your task manager and then paste the email address there.
4. Go into your email inbox. Find an email that is a task that needs to be done later and open it. Click “forward” and find your new contact with the name of your task manager, in my case Asana, and add that as the recipient.
5. Change the subject line to what you want the task to be called in your task manager.
6. Click "send" and move the email to a folder named @Asana (or whatever your task manager is called).
7. Go to your task manager and open the inbox. There you will find the task that you just forwarded from your email. The subject line is the name of the task and the body of the email is a comment.
8. Now you can move the task into the proper project, add a category if you like, as well as put a deadline on it if needed.
Even if your inbox is full of emails and actually needs a major clean up, you can still start applying this to all new emails coming in. Two weeks from now you will have much better control of your email inbox.
You have just taken a big step toward getting more organized. 😃
Good luck, and if you have any questions, head over to my Facebook page and ask them there!
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HI! I'M EMMA PEROLS
I love helping busy women who feel overwhelmed by their businesses put good systems in place. With many years of management experience, combined with my love for systems, apps and smart setups, I know the running of your business can be easy, simple and fun again. Let’s optimize your business together!