Emails are such an integral part of so many of our jobs. They can also be a cause of distraction and stress. I recently posted my tips for taking a break from emails, but I also wanted to share my strategies for managing emails. These are by no means groundbreaking or unique ideas, but things that I find super useful.
- Folders- Take the time to set up relevant folders to archive emails into. I have a different folder for each course I teach, a folder for the PhD student I supervise, a publication folder, admin folder, and of course an IMPORTANT folder.
- Flag- I also use the ‘flag’ option to keep track of which emails I need to follow up. Ensure that you use this sparingly, for emails that you can’t address right away and that require follow up. If you use this option too often it defeats the purpose because then all your emails will be flagged. Also be sure to ‘unflag’ once you have finished.
- Delete- The lack of storage in my inbox kind of forces my hand on this one, but deleting emails that have been dealt with and aren’t important enough to keep is a great way to declutter the inbox
- Try to have the ‘inbox’ near to empty- Each of these above strategies allows me to have my ‘inbox’ basically empty. With the only emails in there being new ones that I receive or emails that have been flagged. The others are either archived into folders or deleted. This ensures that my inbox is not overwhelming and also that I don’t accidently miss emails (which if my inbox is super full, I find can happen).