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Twenty-one years ago, when I got my first email address, I was always so excited to get email. And to be honest, I still get a little excited when I see my new mail notification.

Now, when I check my email in the morning, I often have 30, 40, 50, or even more emails in my inbox. And about 90% of them go into my spam folder. How disappointing.

Part of the reason I get so much spam is because I’ve had the same personal email address for almost 15 years. It’s not surprising I’ve gotten onto a few spam lists in all that time!

Whether your inbox is full of spam, newsletters, or legitimate emails from people you know (or want to know), following a few simple tips can keep it under control.

Email management in 5 easy steps

  1. Delete spam. Okay, so many email clients do this automatically – move suspected spam into a spam or junk folder. Inevitably, though, some of it still gets through. Sometimes they’re easy to spot, sometimes not. But get rid of them when you find them.
  2. Answer urgent questions. If you can answer a question right away, do so. If not, move on to the next step:
  3. Move actionable emails to a ‘to do’ folder. When I get emails from clients with jobs I need to do, or questions I need to look up information for, these go into my to-do folder. They stay there till I’ve done the task. Then…
  4. File emails as soon as possible. Once you’ve read and acted upon emails, move them into a folder for storage. I keep a folder for each client I work with, for purchases, for consultants I work with, the bank – you name it, it’s got a folder.
  5. Unsubscribe from newsletters you never read. Really, you’re not doing anyone any favours by keeping old newsletters around. If you never read them, delete them, and unsubscribe. Think of it as doing the sender a favour – by removing yourself from their list, their open rate will go up!

These days, the only emails I keep IN my inbox are bills that I haven’t paid yet, to remind me that I need to pay them. Everything else gets filed or deleted.

Think you can’t handle sorting your email yourself? A virtual assistant can help you with your email management. Drop me a line and we’ll chat. 🙂

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