If you receive a lot of emails daily, you probably have some problems with your inbox. We also imagine that you are spending a lot of time just to organize it, and you should really have some help with that.
We have compiled a list of best practices designed to help you organize your Gmail inbox like a boss. This is something you and the rest of your team can use to boost productivity and also to improve all the communication and collaboration processes for the entire group.
Think about a person who is in charge of the customer support division at a company. Part of his/her job is to manage all customer support emails. These emails come from clients who need an answer or solution on business-related issues.
For instance, on a regular working day, this person has more than 200 emails waiting. Things are bound to be out of control unless this manager finds a way to organize the inbox. Does this sound familiar? Are you one of those struggling every morning thinking about the inbox mess they’ll find once the computer is turned on?
Now imagine how much time is spent only on organizing everything so you can start working properly? The results would be staggering. Sorting out and organizing an email inbox is taking a lot of your time, and you need to do something about it.
The good thing is that there are many ways to organize your Gmail inbox. Implement them so you can go to work and make the most of your working day.
First, don’t be afraid to delete things
Sometimes even though we know we are not going to need a certain email, we refuse to delete it because of the “you never know” thought. This thought is the main responsible for unnecessary accumulations of all kinds, and it certainly happens a lot in your inbox.
Our advice is: get rid of those emails you have been keeping for a long time. You know you are not going to need them at all. Chances are that you are the only one still holding that email.
Evaluate what emails are no longer needed, no matter if you never replied. Get rid of many emails as much as you can. Learning to get rid of the things we hold on to is hard, but a necessary measure if you want to organize your inbox like a real boss.
Time to hit that unsubscribe button
Promotional emails are really annoying. But, just like happens with old emails, we tend to say: what if I need it in the future? Well, that “what if” is in big part responsible for the mess in your inbox.
Again, evaluate how relevant are your current newsletter subscriptions. Remember that the whole idea is to organize your inbox. Part of the process is reducing the number of emails stored but also decrease the number of ones that will be arriving in the future.
See what subscriptions aren’t really providing anything useful and get rid of those. A big chunk of a cluttered email inbox is made of subscriptions and newsletters we don’t even care. Sorting through these emails is time-consuming and will have a negative impact on your productivity.
Finding the unsubscribe button is not difficult, although the senders don’t let them on a big highlight. Almost all the times you can go to the email’s footer and look for a small “unsubscribe” link. But if you don’t have this option, you can also mark the email as “spam”, which you save you lots of unwanted messages on the near future.
Store only the emails that aren’t needed in the short run
While you are deleting emails it’s also important to focus on the ones you may need. Of course, this is a hard task if you are not a fan of getting rid of stuff.
Emails containing receipts, bills, bank statements, loan and tax documents should be kept. Even if you already paid them off, they may become useful in the future. Especially those involving taxes. The ones containing important documents, and useful information to your work should be kept too.
When you archive emails they’re not erased. They’re stored in another folder away from your inbox and you get to unclutter a big chunk of your inbox. If you need them in the future you can search for them hassle-free. Just click the file icon and that’s it.
After your inbox is fully cleaned-up, make sure it doesn’t get cluttered again. To prevent that, follow these guidelines:
Assign emails without forwarding
Now that your inbox is free from past emails, is time to deal with the ones coming your way. This is why it’s so important to automate email assignation. Team managers must pay attention to this, as the majority of emails they receive must be reassigned to another team member. If this is your case and you need to delegate many emails on a daily basis, maybe its time to consider additional help.
Dragapp is your best ally when it comes to email delegation. You don’t need to add any new software, you can delegate without forwarding emails and without leaving Gmail’s interface. That will be the end of many years of getting annoyed with endless email threads. You also get to organize your Gmail Inbox.
Your life and your work will be a lot easier if you add filters to your Gmail inbox. It’s possible to separate your emails by filtering them by priority. Drag allows you to do that in a special way: You create columns with the names you want, and you can simply drag your emails from one to another. See the example above:
You can separate the urgent emails, from the important, and even the “not so important” ones. One column can be a way to signalize that you’ve already solved the issue in one email. Another suggestion is to have a specific category for the ones you can erase later.
Don’t use your Gmail as a chat tool
A good way to get a cluttered Gmail inbox is by using emails to maintain internal conversations. There are many alternative ways to communicate with others without having to send an email.
Of course, some topics will be more complex than others and will require active communication in real-time. If it’s an urgent matter use other channels, like phones or instant messaging tools, but never use your inbox. A good way to solve this issue is by using notes in an email. They work in real-time and will keep you on top of the game without filling your inbox with email chats.
Gmail is a great tool, it provides great help, but just like everything else, you need to make sure it stays clean and organized. Just by following these guidelines you can free a lot of time in the morning, you’ll see the change.
Drag is The Everything Inbox for Teams – one single place to support customers, manage tasks and close deals, from the place teams love – Gmail. We are Techstars-backed Company, trusted by 30,000 users around the World.