Enhance your Email

A feeling many of us know too well is the sinking feeling that accompanies a growing number of unread emails. Checking your inbox after a vacation, the weekend, or even an afternoon meeting can quickly add up to be a big pile of to-dos. Staying organized can help reduce stress and keep us mentally healthy and productive. 

Tips for Your Inbox

1. Use folders to file emails that don't require follow ups away in. This keeps your inbox clear so your to-dos are clearer and you can more easily find emails you need to reference. Flag or "mark as unread" if there are emails that need extra attention.

2. Check your email at set times throughout the day, instead of having alerts on throughout the day. Email can take up a lot of time and if you are responding to every email as it comes in, it is very easy to keep pushing back other tasks. Pick times to check your inbox that make most sense for you and your work load - maybe it's once an hour, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, just before lunch...whatever works for you and your colleagues.

3. Read and delete - once you've read and dealt with an email, consider whether or not you need to keep it for future reference. If not, delete it! Email storage limits can strike at the worst times! Prevent this by deleting as you go.

Helpful Apps and Websites

1. Sortd - This is an app for a gmail inboxes that can help keep things organized by applying labels and changing the format of the inbox. For example, you can view your inbox in different columns like "Immediate To Dos", "Follow Up", "Team Meetings", or whatever makes the most sense for what you're working on. Download it here: http://www.sortd.com/

An example of what Sortd can do for you!  Image from:  www.makeuseof.com

An example of what Sortd can do for you! Image from: www.makeuseof.com

2. IFFTT - "If This Then That" can help with a variety of email functions. It connects the apps you use every day with "if this, then that" statements (which the app calls Recipes). This means you can program the app to do anything you want! For example, you can program the app to send you a text when you get an email from a certain person, or to save any attachments in an email with a certain subject in a certain folder, or send an automatic reply to specific people. Read more and download it here: https://ifttt.com/ 

An example of a very helpful way IFTTT can improve your life.  Photo from:  www.digitaltrends.com

An example of a very helpful way IFTTT can improve your life. Photo from: www.digitaltrends.com

3. Sanebox - This is handy as it can be applied to existing inboxes. Sanebox can apply filters to emails from way in the past and present so you can more easily search and organize emails. Emails get labeled as they come in, so you can scan to see what might be of highest priority based on who sent it or key words in the subject. Learn more here: https://www.sanebox.com/ 

Here is what using Sanebox can look like!  Image from:  www.pensar.co.uk

Here is what using Sanebox can look like! Image from: www.pensar.co.uk

Here are a few more helpful links: 

Tips for Outlook: http://www.sherweb.com/blog/5-weapons-effectively-manage-outlook-mailbox/ 

Tips for Gmail: http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/324107/36-gmail-tips-that-will-help-you-conquer-email

What other tips do you use? Let us know in the comments below!