If one of your new year’s resolution is to finally tame your email inbox, here’s a five-folder system that can help you do that.
It seems that no matter how many emails you delete, your inbox will always fill up and get out of control again. When you work in an office environment, the emails never stop, especially when you’re in a large organisation.
People often create folders within their email accounts to sort out messages that come in. But soon, three folders end up becoming 15 as you try to stringently categories the emails that come in. Emails are easily lost in these folders and you’ll have to waste time hunting down the ones you need later down the track.
Over at Fast Company, marketing and sales expert Zach Hanlon shared his method of keeping his inbox under control. He only uses five folders and he sorts emails out in the following way:
- Inbox: The inbox is a holding pen. Emails shouldn’t stay here any longer than it takes for you to file them into another folder. The exception to this rule is when you respond immediately and are waiting for an immediate response.
- Today: Everything that requires a response today.
- This Week: Everything that requires a response before the end of the week.
- This Month/Quarter: Everything that needs a longer-term response.
Depending on your role, you many need a monthly folder. Others can operate on a quarterly basis.
- FYI: Most items I receive are informational. If I think I may need to reference an email again, I’ll save it to this folder.
Okay, fess up. How many unread emails do you still have sitting in your inbox? Just give us a number in the comments.