The beginning of the new year is a great time to create a new start on managing all of the email! Spring cleaning your old contacts and email messages can be a great start, but if you are looking to really effectively manage your email, you’ll need to take control of it early in the year (it was a resolution now, wasn’t it?).

The first thing to consider is setting up a new folder structure. For example, if you have your own home business, you may want to consider folder for admin items, those you need to action (whether to do something with, to read later or awaiting a response from another) and your clients, prospective folders. You may also want a personal folder to keep your emails from your family and friends separate!

It is important to plan this well, as you’ll need to use it regularly to navigate through and find items. Most email programs allow you to set up ‘filters’ whereby messages with a certain sender, subject or contents can be redirected to a folder, enabling you to quickly and easily sort and file your email. You may also look at colour coding or flagging emails, so that when you read your email you can make note as to what you need to do with it later.

Once you’ve done this, you need to manage your email. I strongly recommend setting up two email accounts, a primary one for your business and personal contacts and another for secondary use such as if you signing up for an email newsletter or subscribing to group lists. This prevents cluttering up your inbox with things you may not want to read straight away, as well as prevent spammers from discovering this email account.

As you use your email account more, you will start collecting a lot of email! Unless you are like me (who archives most mail I receive), you’ll probably want to make sure you delete your old emails on a regular basis. On the same note, if you are receiving lots of jokes or large files to either send these to your secondary email account or not to send them at all.

I would also recommend checking your email on a regular basis and actually auctioning your emails on a regular basis! Respond to messages sent to you quickly, but don’t feel like you have to stop everything to respond to your email be interrupted by the alarm going off.

When you go on holidays, you may like to set an ‘out-of-office auto-reply’ to inform others of your absence. Otherwise, people might assume you’ve received and auctioned urgent messages when you haven’t read them yet! If you don’t do this, send an email out to advise of your absence before you leave.

If you need support with the setup of your email account, feel free to call on our Training (link opens in new window) solution to assist.