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  • Jennifer Gillard

8 Tips for Successful Email Management

Raise your hand if you've ever been overwhelmed by the number of unread emails in your inbox. Do you manage more than one email account? How many 'subscribe' buttons have you clicked on recently? We are well into fall, summer vacation is over and it's time to get down to business!

As a marketing virtual assistant, I have been tasked with creating, managing, and distributing many newsletters, so yes, I am that person potentially flooding your inbox. With that being said, email is still an extremely popular method for communicating and won't be going away anytime soon.

I was recently asked to provide my input on the subject and have given it some serious thought. Here are my 8 tips that will hopefully guide you in the right direction (and reduce your stress):

1. THE DREADED SPAM - Thankfully, most email providers these days work in advance to block spam so it doesn’t hit your inbox, but there is nothing worse than unwanted spam clutter. If you do end up with spam from time to time, be sure to mark and delete it right away. You can also check your privacy and security settings, use a number of online tools, etc. to assist.

2. EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS - Only subscribe to emails that really matter to you. We are all guilty of signing up for various company newsletters that promise us a freebie, valuable info, deals, etc. but learn to be selective or you will end up with email overload (and possibly spam). If using your work email, only subscribe to work-related or professional content. Use a personal email address to subscribe to any others.

3. KNOW YOUR EMAIL PLATFORM - Know your email platform and know it WELL. There are a ton of cool features that most of us don’t even know about when it comes to our accounts. Take the time to learn the color-coding system, flags, folders, shortcuts, etc. that may be available to make your life easier.

4. SCHEDULING - Schedule time for email review each day and stick to it (this also means scheduling time to declutter). Give yourself a time limit and whatever you do, DON’T reply to emails right away when in the middle of a project/work task. I used to be really bad at this. I would constantly be distracted by incoming emails that I would feel like the day went by and nothing was really accomplished except email. Doing this will only just overwhelm you more.

5. RAD (reply, archive or delete) - I came up with this acronym and stick to it ALWAYS. I go through my emails daily. If it’s important, time-sensitive, etc. I reply right away during my designated email time. Others are then either archived for later or deleted if not applicable to me, spam, etc.

6. FOLDERS, FOLDERS, FOLDERS - Folders are AMAZING! I have a folder to the left of my Outlook for each client of mine. If something is important, it is saved in that folder immediately. Some clients even have sub-folders for various projects.

7. MULTIPLE EMAIL ACCOUNTS - Don’t be side-tracked with a personal email. Do your best to keep personal from professional and check other emails outside of office hours, on lunch break, etc. It will only confuse you more. If you are someone who has various personal email addresses or must manage multiple accounts, be sure to not let each interfere with the other. Set aside time to deal with each accordingly.

8. UTILIZE FREE TOOLS - Use a free tool like Grammarly to assist with spell-check to make writing and sending emails a smooth process. Many people also schedule emails in advance to go out if certain days/times are required. It can also help you get on top of things if you’re someone who sends a lot of emails. Take advantage of free tools that are available to you either through your email platform or the web. They can save you SO much time.

Which tip above stood out to you most? Have you implemented any? I'd love to hear from you!

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