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Email was made to revolutionize the way people receive, send, and organize mail. Its main purpose was to make everyone’s life easier. However, it often happens that emails make your life a living hell. Usually it takes a big chunk of your time . Kind of ironic, when it was made to do the exact opposite.
To help you improve your productivity and achieve control of your emails, here are 10 powerful tips to take control of your email.
Have more than one email account
One thing to always do when you want to be more productive and attain control over your inbox is to create at least two email accounts – one being your primary email. The primary inbox is for your personal emails and access to the most important online accounts (i.e. e-bank account, PayPal, etc.). It would be the one that you need to check regularly.
Apart from your primary email, you need another one for all your online accounts of secondary importance. This is the account that you should use when signing up with facebook and other social media outlets, online store accounts, etc. You should have this email to receive social media updates that you don’t really need to read and other unimportant messages from different sites. This second email would be one that you only open once in a while, just to clean up.
Keep your email free from spam/trash messages
If you can keep your inbox free from all unwanted spam messages on a regular basis, you have already achieved great control over your email. If you don’t have a secondary email address and already used your primary account to sign up for online accounts of secondary importance, as mentioned above, you have two options – you can unsubscribe from emails from those online accounts OR you can create a secondary email and change your email address with those online accounts. By doing this you lessen the number of emails you have to go through when you open your primary inbox.
Make use of email tools
There is a wide variety of email tools and add-ons that you can use to improve your email productivity. There are tools that filter out spam emails, help organize your messages, assist with your spelling and grammar usage, and so much more. You should maximize the use of these tools, especially when they are free to use. You can search for them on popular search engines and remember to check for reviews of those tools before you download them.
Another way to take control of your email is to use a mobile means of access. With this, you can check your email while you’re on your way to work, while you’re not at home, and while you’re doing other things. With the use of mobile devices to open your email, you eliminate the time that you spend turning your desktop computer or laptop on and off, you can respond to emails at the time you receive them, and you have access to your email whenever and wherever you are.
Organize your emails
When you want to take full control of your email, one of the things you have to do is to organize your messages. You can do this by making folders to classify emails, clicking the important button or star to identify important emails from the ones that are not, and even color code your messages. By doing this, you become more efficient with your email experience because you’re changing the user experience to suit your needs.
Proofread your responses
Another thing to remember in responding to emails is to review your reply message. With this, you eliminate the risk of sending out a wrong impression to your recipient. You also increase your professionalism by making sure that things are correct before submitting them.
Have you ever sent an email in which you forgot to include an attachment file? If your answer is yes, then you just have to ALWAYS attach the intended file FIRST before composing your email message.
Create personal response templates
If you receive a lot of important emails which require more or less the same response, it would be appropriate for you to make response templates. You can use a word processor to compose an email and leave blanks for the information that you cannot provide while making the template. It’s obvious that this would definitely speed up your email response time and let you finish your regular email routine more quickly.
Consolidate your email
Having multiple email accounts can be a headache. To fix this problem, you can consolidate all your emails to one Gmail account. You can do this by using the ‘forward message’ option of your other email address which automatically sends the emails received to your Gmail.
Group your contacts
Having a lot of contacts on one email can give you efficiency problems. To eliminate that, you have to organize your contacts into groups, i.e. family, friends, business, work, etc. If you do this, you make it easier to find contacts, and you don’t have to remember even one email address anymore.
The bottom line is that email can be a pain the ___. Personally I spend way too much time on email than I should. I’m constantly working on improving my techniques and methods. The truth is that there isn’t a “secret” or “golden path” to email. You have to create your own system with a set of rules that benefit you. I hope this article has helped and given you some useful insights, good luck!