Best Practices for Mastering Your Email Inbox
Extended thoughts and analysis in the video here, summary key points in the written article below.
Cancel subscriptions that are not of high interest. Unsubscribe often.
Have a dedicated Newsletter or non-urgent automated email folder. Have automated filter sending Newsletters and marketing emails to this folder.
Give out email less.
Email is ONLY for outside communication. Internal Teams, regular groups, family: Slack or other chat apps
If your economics permit and inbox gets a lot of incoming, get a Virtual Assistant to screen business correspondence.
👉 Get Email inbound to a minimum!
Check email at set times, not reactively. Perhaps 2 or 3 times a day. Turn all notifications off.
Keep inbox clear, hit Inbox zero at least weekly. Historical email clutter bogs down your brain and distracts ay time you go near your inbox. Email history goes to Archive.
Read once only, then act. Only Open if ready to act now — do not re-read emails. Skip until later if you can see from the sender or title if an email is too involved for this moment and don’t have time now.
No obligation to respond to solicitations or pitches — straight to archive or delete.
Quick reply if possible. Keep it short. Develop the skill of 1 to 2 sentence replies.
Use text expanders.
Send Email Actions & Info to Your Life Operating System
Direct any remaining email and follow-up to your overall personal system (PPV or other Life/knowledge Management System)
- Action Items go to your Action Management System (PPV, GTD, Todoist, Things, Asana, etc...). If you don't have one, get one!
- Media goes to your Personal Knowledge management System.
- Notes & Ideas go to your Personal Knowledge Management System.
If you need a longer email to remain accessible for some time, do one or both of the following:
Best: Add the content to the Action Item, note, media save, or calendar entry (from the bullet points above).
If may need to access the contents in the short term — can also save to a Follow-Up folder in Email (or use star/pin).
Clean this out with Weekly Review.
If it’s taking too long, remember the first point: Filter, Filter, Filter
Then channel & redirect to your life management system.