Email Management: Escapades of the Inbox

Recently, my world of email got better thanks to the Better Gmail plugin. My inbox is a busy place, and anything that helps me save time and be more efficient is welcome. I’m also testing out Thunderbird for my email purposes, but it isn’t a web-based email manager so chances are that I won’t use it, even though it would be better for me overall. I travel too much to benefit from it (though there is probably a way to get a more portable Thunderbird. Just haven’t discovered it yet).

Anyways. In my current obsession with improving my inbox’s efficiency, I realized that I really should clean up what I save and receive. (Thanks, Harry. Now you have me thinking about cutting down on clutter.)

I intend to clean up my inbox and manage email more efficiently. Trust me, folks, this is no small feat and is something of an event in my life. Enjoy following my Escapades of the Inbox.

The first thing I’m going to do is take a good, long look at the subscriptions I have for automated deliveries, and I’m going to (gasp!) unsubscribe from the ones that aren’t giving me value for my time. Email subscriptions are a huge time-waster and a distraction. They’re also popular as all hell these days.

I love when services cater to my whims. That means I enjoy having newsletters and junk mail delivered straight to my doorstep; I don’t have to go looking for reading material, advice and ideas.

I say junk because I tend to sign up for all kinds of newsletters and ezines, just to see what other people are offering subscribers. I compare it to what we do and what we’d like to do. I check out the competition’s offerings. I observe. And… uh, yeah, what I’ve observed is that most of it is junk or really empty of anything of value.

I’m not alone. Plenty of people have all sorts of automated deliveries, newsletters, updates and ezines filling up the inbox. Even if not read, managing those emails takes up time. They’re also a distraction for those who can’t resist leaping over to the inbox to see what new mail they received.

I’m going to work this week on choosing which subscriptions to keep, and which not to keep. Those relevant to my profession that offer me advice and content I can use and apply (read: subscriptions from experts who know more than I do) will be staying. Subscriptions from so-called authorities that are laughable, cheap, empty or wasted words are goners.

The next thing I’m going to do is set up a filter so that these emails will bypass my inbox and go straight to a folder (or label, in Gmail) where they will collect for when I actively have time to sit down for an extended period and read. They won’t clutter my inbox, which will be reserved for more important things, and they won’t be a distraction to me, tucked away nicely in their place.

Post by James Chartrand

James Chartrand is an expert copywriter and the owner of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words, the game-changing writing course for business owners. She loves the color blue, her kids, Nike sneakers and ice skating.