Text "What does your inbox look like?"

What does your inbox look like?

What does your inbox look like?

If it’s anything like mine, a few emails are hanging around in there.

Okay, so maybe there are more than a few.

People assume that my inbox is pretty empty. It’s not.

However, compared to some people’s inboxes, it is.

I occasionally have conversations with people who aspire to live in the mythical land of having nothing in their inbox. Everything is read, replied to, and sorted out of it.

But that never happens. They run out of time to do anything other than respond to the time-sensitive emails, and everything else ends up piling up.

Two things to keep in mind when it comes to your email:

  1. You don’t need to be at “Inbox Zero.” Instead, you should have it at a level that is manageable for you.
  2. If you don’t put time for your email on your schedule or to-do list, you’ll always run out of time for it.

​All time spent in your email is not equal. It’s easy to say, “set aside time for your email.” But you need to schedule different purposes to be in your email.

Set time aside to sort your email.

You might be able to sort it in 15 minutes, but you won’t be able to read things or respond to everything in that time.

​​Sort your emails into these categories and schedule time for them:

  1. Things you need more time to read. 
    You might put these emails into a separate folder and come back to read them later. Most newsletters will fall into this category.
  2. Decisions to be made or things to research. 
    Will you attend that networking event? What’s the next step for that project that someone’s asking about? Do you remember who we hired to do that thing two years ago? These things need to be put individually on your to-do list. If you leave them in your email, they won’t get done.
  3. Responses that need to be written. 
    Set time aside to respond to your email. This might be regarding the decisions you made, or it might be seemingly quick responses (that never actually seem to be quick).

Set time aside for these different actions for your email and your email will be more manageable!

You might have different email categories on your to-do list, and I’d love to know what they are! Share in the comments.

Gmail’s Changes: Annoying or Helpful?

Girl emailWhenever I’m talking to someone about what is or isn’t working in their day/business, usually the topic of email will come up. And most of the time it’s mentioned with an exasperated sigh.

I get it, we all get a lot of email and some businesses have more of it than others do. But regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, email can be overwhelming.

So, when I heard Google was rolling out some changes to their email (gmail and apps users), I was intrigued. (Gmail added 3-5 tabs to the main inbox that they will sort your emails into. Primary, Social and Promotions are the three tabs everyone seems to be getting. I also see options for Updates and Forums tabs.)

What I wasn’t prepared for was the rash of emails my inbox received from people/businesses I get newsletters from letting me know that Gmail is now deciding which emails actually show up in people’s inboxes.

Now, I admit it, I subscribe to ALOT of newsletters, but I was still surprised when over the course of 24 hours I received 7 emails on the subject from various people/businesses I’m subscribed to. Since then, about two days, it has slowed down – only 3 more.

Most of them had the tone of “what is Gmail doing!?” and “this will negatively affect your business!” However, a couple had a more laid-back tone of, “hey, Gmail is rolling out some changes, just wanted you to know.” And all had instructions for how to (1) put their emails in the “Primary” tab or (2) remove the tabs all together.

In reading around the internet the general opinion seems to be “GAH! Changes! BOOO…” and “why don’t people just set up their own filters for this stuff?”

And, frankly, when I received the changes, I DID NOT like it. But, I didn’t like it because I’ve set up filters, and a separate email address, to basically serve the same function. Having Gmail filter on top of my filters was annoying.

That said, ALOT of the entrepreneur’s I work with and talk to don’t want to figure out how to set up a filter. And now they can easily ‘teach’ Gmail which emails belong where with a couple of simple clicks.

And for those of us who don’t want the changes, we can very easily turn the categories off.

Sounds like a win to me!

Have you been affected by Gmail’s changes?
Either way, what are your thoughts on this?
Share your opinions in the comments below!

PS. There’s a great article over on mashable.com that outlines the changes, how to move emails between tabs and disable the changes all together. Check it out here!

Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net