Find Time to Manage Your E-Mail-5 Tips

Whose Crisis is ItFinding time to keep your in-box manageable and your e-mail organized is probably not one of your favorite tasks.  However, it’s one of those daily necessities that can become a nightmare if not tended to regularly.

Having some routines and structures in place for dealing with your inbox will do wonders to keep you organized, save you time, and enhance your peace of mind!

Here are 5 quick Finding Time Tips to help you manage your e-mail efficiently and free up your time and attention for other things:

  1. Think of your in-box as your “To Do List.” The e-mails there should be items that require your attention, that are important to remember, and that you haven’t attended to yet.  Everything else should be moved out of your in-box!
  2. By the end of each day, aim to be able to see the entire contents of your in-box without having to scroll down. If you can’t attain this goal, you may be receiving too much e-mail.  Take a look at unsubscribing from non-priority items.
  3. Set up “rules” for your incoming e-mail. This will sort items and send them to folders before they even land in your in-box.  For example you could set up an “Alerts” folder for your Google Alerts – or folders for different e-zines that you receive.  Be sure to make time to keep them culled, too!
  4. Create folders for different subject areas, tasks, and/or categories of e-mail. Suit them to the way that you work.  You could have a “read later” folder, or a folder for blog ideas.  Aim to “handle” your e-mails only once.  Make your decisions quickly and don’t be shy about deleting items that you’re not interested in.
  5. Decide how much time you want to spend on your e-mail. If you are in a position where you need to be accessible and responsive, you might choose to do a quick 10 or 15–minute scan, several times a day.  If timeliness isn’t key, maybe once a day for 15 or 20 minutes will do.  What’s most important is to figure out what works for you and then stick with your plan.  Use a timer to keep you on track.

Kelly Forrester has put up a helpful post at GTD with some additional suggestions for managing your in-box with a particular focus on managing high-volume e-mail!

Is keeping on top of your in-box a challenge for you?  How do you find time to keep up?  I urge you to try these tips … and let me know how it goes for you!

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! You are invited to sign up and download The New Finding Time Boundary Template. It’s FREE, and when you sign up you will also receive (if you don’t already) my FREE, weekly Finding Time Tips and my FREE, monthly Award-Winning Finding Time E-zine!

Let’s explore time together …


  1. Thanks – I’ve been following your advice regularly re email management, and what a difference it makes! Love the clarity it provides…

  2. I’m so pleased to hear that, Alison! Do you find that it reduces your stress level as well?

Speak Your Mind