Emails are such an integral part of our working lives, but we get so many emails that it can be overwhelming to keep up with them all.
I personally start to get “inbox claustrophobia” if I can’t see the bottom of my email inbox. I worry that I’m missing something important that I should be working on.
Emails can’t just be deleted, emails need to be filed like documents in your filing cabinets. Having a clear filing system means your emails will be easily accessible when you need to reference them quickly. It’s easy to keep emails organised if you use folders.
Today, I’m going to show you my email organisation system that I set up quite some time ago and I find that it works really well.
If you’re looking for other email tips and tricks, why don’t you take a look at our archive of posts about email?
I love when I’m able to quickly find an email (even if it’s from years ago), especially when I can impress a coworker in the process.
Virtually all email programs (especially “enterprise” versions that are used in corporate environments) have the ability to create folders within your inbox.
Here’s an example of how I use folders in my inbox:
You will need to think of a system that will work for you. I use a system based on my roles and the departments I deal with most often (e.g. a folder for my direct manager as I’m his PA). I have sub-folders for specific tasks (e.g. when I book registration/travel/accommodation/etc for my manager to attend his annual conference in Brisbane). Then I have folders for departments e.g. human resources, finance, the helpdesk, etc.
Some email programs allow you to manually order folders (I prefer to have them listed in order of how frequently I access them). Most email programs will sort your folders into alphabetical order and in these cases you can just number folders to make sure they are in the priority order that suits you.
By having a good system in place, you will be able to easily use productive practices to get you working smarter, not harder.
By having a good system in place, you can start to file emails as soon as you’ve read them. If you don’t have to action the email or reply to it – just file it! Easy!
By having a good system in place, you will know exactly where to find your filed emails, even when it’s urgent and you’re in a flurry!