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How keeping your inbox tidy can increase productivity

How keeping your inbox tidy can increase productivity

keeping your inbox tidy clean 2015 techIt is estimated that there are around 200 billion emails sent and received around the world every single day. This figure is the result of various types of communication between friends, family, business users and the marketing emails sent by millions of companies around the world.

Email is something that almost all of us are used to using and we probably take for granted without realising how much we rely on it as a form of communication.

Email is especially important for business users and has become the standard in business communications for both B2B and business to consumer interaction. One of the factors that make email such a great means of communication for business is the fact that it automatically provides a means of auditing communications. There are also many other features that make email a great communication channel including the ability to generate automatic replies, out of office responses and so on.

How to get the most from email

There are some really useful tips that you can implement in order to make email even more effective. Having your email set up correctly can make you much more efficient and these simple tips will help make it easy to get the most from your email system.

Keep your inbox tidy

Keeping your inbox tidy is one of the key steps to getting the most from your email system. Having hundreds or thousands of emails in your inbox can make it really hard to keep track of who you have and haven’t replied to. In addition having lots of email in any one folder can greatly decrease the performance of your email program. Outlook for example has a recommended maximum of 5000 emails for any one folder before performance will be effected.

The best way to organise your email account is to create folders underneath your inbox. These folders could be created for each person that you deal with, each company or by any other systematic method. Creating an organised folder system to begin with makes historic email much easier to find. It also makes it very painless to file away new emails as you receive them.

If you keep only emails that you have not yet dealt with in your inbox and then file them away as you respond to or deal with them it is very easy to keep track of who you still need to reply to.

Create automatic rules

Rules are a great asset to any email program. Rules can often be used in webmail and with most common email programs such as Microsoft outlook. Rules can be created to automatically file emails that come in from certain people. Rules can even be used to automatically reply to certain emails as soon as they come in. You can even create rules to delete email from someone that you really don’t want to hear from!

Reduce spam and marketing junk

No one likes spam email and many people don’t even like marketing emails but many people put up with tens or hundreds of spam emails coming in every day and don’t realise that the majority of them can easily be stopped.

Many people think that marketing emails are spam but technically speaking they are legitimate business communications and they can easily be stopped simply by unsubscribing. Any legitimate marketing company will have an unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email that they send – this is a requirement by law. It can sometimes take a couple of weeks to get through all of the marketing emails that you receive but if you unsubscribe from each one then the amount of “spam” emails that you receive will be greatly decreased. This makes it much easier to respond efficiently to important emails. As for the real spam – the types of emails that don’t have unsubscribe links, they are harder to stop. Adding these emails to the junk mail folder or simply marking them as spam can sometimes help but often will have little effect. Luckily there are some great third party services out there such as that will protect your email account against spam for as little as $10/month.

Following the tips in this article can greatly reduce the amount of time that you spend sifting through your inbox every day. This can make not only your email management more productive but can increase the efficiency of many other related tasks.

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David is a practicing systems administrator by day at, but by night he lets loose all his tech expertise on our site.

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