Have you ever noticed how email has become a bit of a mixed blessing? While email can be an immense help both business and family, it can also quickly become an overwhelming mess that seems impossible to get control of. Organizing email is one of the best ways to get this chaotic mixed blessing under control. Surprisingly it is really easy to do, all you need to do is follow these few simple guidelines, and you will have a smoothly operating email system that is completely organized.
- Start right away. The biggest problem with organizing email is that everyone always says "I'll get to it later." While completely understandable, this is perhaps the worst possible thing that you can do, since the email will simply continue building up in your inbox while you wait to "get a round to it." By starting to organize your email right away, or at least as soon as you decide that you need to, you will reduce the amount of work you need to do later on.
- Create separate boxes, or folders. Regardless of what kind of email system you use (it could be Outlook, G-Mail, or Y-Mail!) it will have a means for you to be able to create separate boxes or folders that you can separate your email into. One way to look at this is to think of your email account as a filing cabinet with separate drawers. Label the separate drawers with names such as Work, Personal, or Legal. Inside each of these "drawers" you can create separate files, which you can continue to break down to be as specific as you could possibly want them to be.
- Create rules. No matter what kind of email system you use, you will have the ability to create auto-sort rules. These auto-sorts are called by names like "rules" or "filters" depending on the system that you are using, and can be an immense help in organizing your email. By creating a simple rule, you can have your email system automatically send an email to the proper file for you, thereby leaving everything organized properly.
- Maintain and update your methods. Everything changes over time, and your email system is no different. This means that you should take the time to maintain and update any methods that you have implemented. On the average, once a month will generally be all the time that you need to spend to keep your system up to date. Go over your system, and see if you are still using particular rules, still need certain emails, and so on. If you don't, then archive those rules or emails.
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