In case you missed it, you can read this post to see what this series is all about.
As a business owner, one of my bigger struggles is keeping up with my email inbox. While I try to read all the emails that come in what I don’t do is file or delete the incoming messages. So I daily watch my inbox numbers climb and climb. I was using the logic that as long as I checked them several times daily that I’d be OK until I get free time later to get organized. But here’s the issue: sometimes my email server will hold emails and then when they post them, they are posted at their original time/day. I didn’t realize they were doing this until I got an email or two saying, “Did you see my first email?” No I had not. The only way to keep this from happening is to keep my inbox empty at all times. This makes it easier to see the new ones that are popping in each day–whenever my server decides to post them! Want to see how bad it is now? Take a look at this picture:
Yeah, enough to make your eyes bug out of your head, isn’t it? This is also what happens when you are a blogger and signed-up for several newsletters so you can try to stay on top of the hottest deals. You leave from your computer and come back and 30 more new emails have been added. Well, it’s time to fix this issue! And while I’m working on email, I figured I’d also work on mail.
It seems like the simplest thing to get the mail each day and not have it pile up but it just doesn’t seem to work out that way sometimes. There have been days when my husband will ask me, “Did we get mail today?” and I’ll have no idea where the pile of mail went to! I’ve been working on this one a little and I’ll share some of those brainstormed ideas, as well. So, let’s get to sharing!
~To get caught up, I’ve designated a certain number of emails I must organize (be it respond to, archive or delete) per day for each day in October. My goal is to have my inbox at zero by the end of the month.
~Create a better system of folders for the emails that I want to keep. At the top will be: research, handle today and completed. I’ll also add a few for specific people, such as the school and my sponsors.
~Take better advantage of my email providers’ options for newsletters setting it to not keep more than 10 days worth of any specific company. Eventually I’ll weed through those and see which ones I only need to keep the current email for and which ones I need to unsubscribe to completely.
~Make a rule of not checking email if I don’t have time to respond back. This will eliminate the issue of forgetting to respond back (which occasionally happens) and will also eliminate me forgetting to delete/archive each email.
~As important emails come through, I’ll log the dates to remember in my iPhone and on my Agenda so I won’t forget important deadlines.
~Buy a special basket for the mail of other family members to go into. My kids don’t receive much mail yet so it’s mostly just me and my husband. Note: For larger families they do make mail organizers in various sizes that you can hang on the wall. If you get a lot of magazines, I’d probably recommend some type of folder organizer so you won’t be stressed out over cramming them in the little mail slots.
~Add it into my evening routine to make sure the basket is emptied and ready for the next day. This will have to be a family effort to stay on top of it.
~Making a a rule to not get the mail if there’s no time to sort through it.
~Sort mail as soon as I pick it up from the mailbox: junk will be shredded/recycled, magazines will be put in the car/room to read later, bills will go into a bill organizer and other mail will be distributed to the correct place.
~When I get a catalog I no longer wish to receive, I’ll rip off the label and place it by my computer so I can unsubscribe from their mailing list later.
~Make sure to opt out of any unsolicited mail I receive.
I’m hoping these ideas will be enough to help me keep my emails and mail in a more organized manner.
What ways do you stay on top of emails and/or mail?
Stay tuned for another day of brainstorming tomorrow on another “stresser.”