We’ve all been there – it’s 8:00 am and you sit down at your desk to start your day (after 2 cups of coffee of course) – you have 37 new unread emails from the day before, 8 flagged emails to follow up on, 12 junk emails, 85 emails in your inbox and you have no idea what to tackle first because your email is a cluttered mess. Our lives are busy and at times chaotic – we’re juggling work, husbands, and children – we don’t need to have our email to be a part of this chaos, so let me help you organize yourself!
First and foremost, clear out that inbox!
- Having 10,000 emails in your inbox and typing in a few search words to find an email is not productive. Make folders and subfolders and file those 10,000 emails into their respective folders. Your inbox should only be emails that require a follow-up or an email that you haven’t addressed/answered.
- Need to follow up on an email? Right click the email > highlight Follow Up > click Add Reminder. Doing this will setup a task for you to follow up on a certain date/time. After the task is completed, you can mark it as complete and file the email into the appropriate folder.
- Need to schedule a meeting based on an email you’ve received? Drag the email to the bottom left calendar icon and enter the meeting details (time/date/location). The email you dragged, will populate with the body of the email as the body of the meeting and the subject of the email will be the subject of the meeting. You can do the same process with dragging the email to the task icon.
- Want to add a contact? Drag the person’s email to your Contact Icon and the info will populate based on the content from the email.
- If you find yourself typing the same email over and over again – create the email and save it as a signature (i.e. template.) You can then start a new email and insert the ‘signature’ email you created.
- Create a rule for all newsletters you receive, and anything else that isn’t urgent, and you can read them at a later time. Home > Move > Rules. This will send all those newsletters to a separate folder and not clog up your inbox.
- Quick Steps Toolbar is your friend! Here you can setup an email distribution list for people you email or request meetings from often. Once you setup the quick action, you click the step in the toolbar and it will have a new email or meeting invite started with the people you’ve added. There are many more customizable options you can create under the Quick Steps Toolbar.
- Customize the To-Do bar by going to View > To-Do Bar. This adds a shortcut views to the far-right side of your screen. I have a quick view of my calendar and tasks so I can see them at a glance.
- Quick Access Toolbar is another good friend of yours. File > Options > Quick Access Toolbar > Add remove shortcuts. This toolbar shows above the File, Home, Send/Receive, Etc. tabs. A quick push of an icon to do numerous actions, all in one convenient location.
- If you schedule meetings often with another time zone, you can add a 2nd time zone. File > Options > Calendar > Time Zones. Click box for “show a second time zone” > create label name > choose time zone > Ok.