10 Dec Getting Your Inbox Under Control * #FireMeUp11
A while back, I posted this photo/update on my Facebook timeline… For days after I posted the photo I received comments, direct messages and emails (yes, ironic, I know) asking me HOW I DID IT.
A little background first… 16+ months ago WAR was declared against my inbox. During this time I was launching d11 consulting and decided to take on the challenge of cleaning my inbox UP and out before the virtual “doors opened”. Seriously, there were thousands of emails just sitting in my inbox – staring at me with disdain. Every visit to my inbox included heart palpitations or heartburn triggered by seeing ALL of those emails. Not a great experience… and you know me – I am all about making every day moments enjoyable, delightful experiences. Why NOT elevate my email experience? Indeed… why not!
Here are the steps I took to get my inbox under control and tame my emails:
- Grab a drink. Coffee… tea… whatever you need to power you through! ;)
- Set a timer for 2 hours.
- Sort emails by “sender”
- Delete the Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest notifications and spam-style emails…
- Now, sort emails by date and move anything from the last 4 weeks over to a NEW folder called (DEAL WITH ME)
- Sort/scan the emails remaining, move anything that pops out at as “must keep” into the DEAL WITH ME folder
- MOVE the remaining emails into a side folder – label it with a 3 month expiration date
(for example: DELETE-ARCHIVE ME 3-10-14)
Sassy Reminder: If you do not touch or move an email from that folder in those three months – you didn’t need it OR the person who required information from you will reach out when they REALLY need something.
- Now, celebrate! Turn on your favorite “Fire Me Up” song…
- DO A HAPPY DANCE!
Two final, important steps:
- Add a reminder to your calendar to DELETE-ARCHIVE the folder on your chosen date
- When you get the alert – DELETE-ARCHIVE the entire folder…
BONUS: Do ANOTHER Happy Dance!
This simple, yet admittedly tedious process, allows you to start from ground-zero-fabulous. Remember, some days you will obtain Inbox ZERO; however, most days it is just about Inbox Under CONTROL.
There are also ooooodles of resources and tools you can tap into to help you keep your inbox under control. Here are some I use every single day:
- UNROLL.ME: the first thing to sign up for is an unroll.me account. This team is a collective genius. Unroll.me allows you to unsubscribe from unwanted email subscriptions, discover new ones and organize them all in one place. It is worth every single minute it takes to get it set up! It supports Outlook.com (including Hotmail, MSN, & Windows Live), Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, and iCloud.
- Boomerang: Allows you to take control of when you send email messages, time them to come back (boomerang, duh!) to your inbox when you NEED them or a reminder to respond, allows you to set it up to return to your inbox if they do not respond to your email, and so many more customized elements for you to check out!
- Any.Do: If you love to add your email “to dos” right to a list… this is a beautifully simple to do list option! It syncs all around, so your list stays with you on all your devices.
- PowerBot for Evernote and Dropbox: You can save attachments or emails directly into Evernote or Dropbox with the touch of button! I use this several times a day… and LOVE IT!
ps. When I am on the go… on my iPhone/iPad… I use the Mailbox app to keep my email “in its place”!
What are some of your tips and tricks to keep your inbox UNDER CONTROL?