Many bloggers want to know how to organize email, especially as their site grows and they start receiving more pitches and opportunities. Since it’s your primary mode of contact, you want to keep a clean inbox and organize your emails so you don’t miss an important deadline or message!
A few years ago, this happened to me. An email got lost in the abyss that was my inbox, and after my heart sank, I got to work on organizing my inbox so I wouldn’t have that problem again. It took some work, but now my inbox stays relatively clean (under 20 emails in there most of the time).
How to Organize Email in 5 Simple Steps
1. Create folders for your emails, so you can get them out of the inbox. Your inbox should be seen as your door step. If you get packages at your door, you don’t just leave them there until you’re ready to use the item inside, right?
You bring it in, open it, look the item over, and place it somewhere until you are ready to use it.
The same should be done with your email!
I have several folders in my Gmail account (they are actually called “labels” there), and use them to keep my door step (inbox) clean! My folders/labels include:
- 1 – Posts to Do
- 2 – Read Later
- Blogger Programs
- Blog Clarity (Love Melissa’s courses and keep all the emails from her)
- Confirmations (Acceptance into affiliate networks, sign ups, etc)
- Gift Cards (when I receive them as payments)
Notice I have a 1 & 2 in front of the first two labels. This puts them at the top of my list in my email account. They are the most important so I want to be able to see them at the top.
2. Check your email often. If you want to know how to organize email and keep it that way, you must stay on top of your inbox. My daily blogging checklist begins with sorting through the email I’ve received since the night before. Around lunch time, I jump back into it and clean out it again.
Though it can be distracting, I usually keep my email open in it’s own tab throughout the day. The silver lining: it keeps me on top of my account so it doesn’t get cluttered!
3. File emails immediately. Reading an email and then letting it sit is what creates the disorganized inbox. As soon as you read an email, decide where you can file it. The only emails that stay in my inbox are super important ones I need to see as a reminder.
4. Create filters. When I was learning how to manage email more effectively, this become a life-saver! Creating filters (in Gmail, in other programs I think they are called rules) tell your email account what to do with certain messages, such as bypassing the inbox and sending the message straight to a label.
I do this for a few things that come in regularly, such as blog comment notifications. They aren’t clogging up my inbox and I can see them all in one place when I’m ready to work on them.
5. Set up your email accounts on your mobile devices. Not only will this keep you connected when you are on the go, but you can periodically check and clear out your email when not at your desk.