For the next few weeks, I’m sharing with you, my best email management tips, so you can make Inbox Zero a reality. This is achievable. Check out my next tip below.
Attacking the Inundated Inbox (working with thousands of emails)
For the overflowing inbox, I have found success by taking the following steps. Now, mute your phone, close the door and spend an hour on these tips and you will reduce your anxiety over your inundated inbox.
- Go to your Inbox
- Make sure you have a “For Action” folder and a “Completed” folder setup; if not, create them now by right clicking on Inbox>New Folder
- The next steps involve reducing the size of the Inbox by deleting rubbish emails in bulk and moving actioned emails to “Completed” in bulk. This will then leave the unread/unactioned emails (bolded) for further action.
- Sort the Inbox by clicking on the header of the Icon column and locate the meeting invites, responses icons. Click the first meeting acceptance icon (ticks), hold down the shift key, then click the last meeting acceptance (highlighting the section), then hit the delete key. Repeat for meeting declines (X’s).
- Next go to the meeting invites icons and delete any that are in the past. For future dated meetings, open each one and either accept, forward or decline.
- Now sort by topic by clicking on the header of the Subject column. Hit the home key and for each group of emails, file actioned/read emails (non-bold) into the “Completed” folder.
- Delete any groups of emails that you deem as junk/rubbish/irrelevant.
- You will now be left with emails requiring your action (mostly bold).
- From the Inbox, hold down the Ctrl key and the A key, to highlight all emails.
- Drag the highlighted section over to the “For Action” folder.
- Go back to your Inbox and celebrate, as you have achieved INBOX ZERO.
- Your hour will be up by now, so the next step is to schedule half an hour in your calendar, daily, for the next fortnight, to action the remaining emails left in the “For Action” folder.
Now, see and feel the difference as your anxiety over your inundated inbox disappears.
Do you have an overflowing inbox? Leave me a comment below on how you achieve Inbox Zero, or how you organise your manager’s inbox.
If you could do with help from an assistant to achieve Inbox Zero, contact me and let’s see what we can do.
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