We have many email clients out there, but nothing beats Gmail. Billions of people trust and use Google email management for communication via mails. It is not only popular but efficient and valuable. Irrespective of its usability, like any other email client, our mailboxes are filled with numerous emails. These emails build up in our inbox and often are not worth reading or our time. This clogs our inbox and drains our energy in email management.
There are many ways to achieve google email management- and one of the most common and trending techniques is – Inbox zero, a term coined by Marlin Mann. This concept plans to reduce hours spent on managing emails and not a mere reduction in the number of emails. Hence, achieving Inbox Zero is not a one-time thing but a lifestyle change. Let us look into the ways to make this lifestyle change over a while.
10 Easy Steps to Achieve Inbox Zero
Inbox zero can have many approaches. Here are methods to attain inbox zero. It might seem tedious or off your actual work style. Even so, you catch up with time. Like physical fitness, email fitness can take time and consistent efforts.
- Emails at dedicated hours only
We get up and directly dive into an ocean of emails. This shifts the focus of using emails from communication to a to-do list leading to emails governing our day. It leads to reduced productivity and time wastage. Instead, we should check our emails at specific times and avoid going through them all day. We should set aside specific times for going through and responding to our emails. This would help in increasing productivity and efficient time management.
- Delete and Unsubscribe the needless
We receive plentiful emails in a day. However, many of those are not even worth a read or glance. Many of these emails are newsletters, advertisements, or some other marketing gimmick. We should get rid of these emails, or we drown in the vast ocean of these emails. Delete, or unsubscribe from any email that is unnecessary and provides no value. A decluttered inbox is a decluttered mind.
- Using Filters
Gmail is used and preferred by people for many reasons. One of them is the features it provides to its users. Manually going through every email and taking action is not only time-consuming but not at all sustainable. Gmail itself makes Google Email Management easier as it can get. It provides a feature of customizable filters. We can select and filter out or in emails as per our preference. No wonder why 1.5 Billion people placed their trust in Gmail!
- Folders, Labels, and Tags to Rescue
One of the other features of Gmail includes providing the facility for folders, labels, and tags. We may not understand their importance at first but are very fruitful in the longer run. Folders help us sort our emails into categories of our preference. We can categorize our emails at our convenience with the help of folders, labels, and tags. A clear inbox provides clarity in working with it. Those 99+ emails will no longer haunt us.
- 2-Minute Formula
Merlin Mann explained one of the ways to achieve Inbox Zero is a 2-minute rule. It means responding to an email right away if it will take less than 2-minute. All the emails we get do not need an elaborated reply with all the fluff and flowery language. Some email replies can get over within two minutes. So, rather than waiting, respond right away. So, by the time we cook Maggi or grab a coffee, we can finish responding to our emails.
- SAY LESS, MEAN MORE
We often build a stack of emails because we put off emails to respond to them with long replies. Sit back and think if the email requires an extended fancy response. Respond to your emails in a lesser but efficient manner. Understand that your and other people’s time is precious. We do not need to elaborate on an email for no reason. Keep them short, precise, and formal. This practice helps in time management as well.
Also, we do not need to reply to every email that we receive. No reply is also a well-defined reply.
- Prioritize Emails
What about those emails that require an actual elaborate reply? Firstly, we need to separate these emails from other emails and prioritize replying to them on time. We should pay our maximum attention to crucial emails. The concept of Inbox Zero is not just cleaning your inbox but also focusing on critical emails. Use filters, folders, tags, or labels and save time by focusing on important work emails.
- Utilize Right Tools
Imagine sitting and cleaning your inbox daily- deleting, segregating, and sorting. It sounds so tedious and makes you not want to do any of this. Google email management demands repetitive tasks that a third-party app/tool performs efficiently. We are talking about email management tools/ apps. These apps perform at our configuration and complete all or many repetitive tasks. This practice leaves us with ample time to focus on crucial things and increases productivity. One such app is – Mailman.
Mailman is an email management software that supports us in organizing our inbox. It operates seamlessly with our present Gmail inbox and client. It provides a better version of our existing inbox. This app enables us to carve out more focus time. It has many features that maintain our mailbox decluttered and organized. We do not angst clearing our emails anymore. It minimizes interruptions and increases productivity for a calmer day. It has features such as do not disturb mode, where it notifies us about emails only at our specific desired time. It also blocks unimportant emails. A unique feature of the same is DELIVERY SLOTS. The feature enables the delivery of emails at hourly intervals as we require. It allows focus, minimizes disruptions, and increases productivity.
- Focus on Crucial Emails
A vast ocean of emails often leads to the missing of crucial emails. We lose track of pivotal emails. The use of tags, folders, or flagging emails helps a lot to segregate emails. Apart from this, you can use the filter feature to separate these emails.
MAILMAN, however, has an exceptional feature of THE VIP LIST, where it allows us to add critical senders, domains, or keywords to a VIP list. Similarly, Mailman blocks unimportant emails as well.
- Respond with Templates
We often receive a bunch of emails that require a very similar or identical response from our end. Rather than writing out the similar ten emails every day or week, create templates. Gmail provides an easy option to create and add templates in emails. This way, we get away with emails sooner and do not spend hours in our inbox.
We stressed the fact that Google email management is a lifestyle change. We can not just teach these practices in a day and achieve an organized inbox. We should adopt smaller steps and start from now. Adopt these changes over time and see your Inbox Zero. Undoubtedly, it is a continuous process but provides a cleaner inbox, increased productivity and focus, and time management. Follow a simple organizational pattern that befits your email workflow.