A couple of months ago I decided to switch my email over to Gmail- and it was probably one of the best business decisions I've made. You see, for a long time I had been using Mail (Mac) and my inbox was something of a black hole. Years of business emails that were organized, but not to the degree that I wanted them to be. And maybe it was because I didn't take the time to figure out a system that worked for me in Mail, but I really think it has more to do with how Gmail integrates so many amazing options for businesses. So- this week I'm sharing with you the EXACT method I use to organize my inbox, stay on track and integrate other tools to help my business thrive!
1. Check your inbox at a specific time(s) during the day. Checking your inbox at all hours will likely result in missed responses, unattended reading and ultimately poor maintenance. *If you have to check your email, make sure you tag the message so that you follow up later that day or the next.
2. Implement a system to label/categorize your emails. I use the icons below to stay on top of my inbox ---
Red ! - This is used to mark emails that are extremely important and ones that I need to get back to ASAP.
Orange >> - This is used to indicate that I need to follow up on the email.
Green Check - This email has been responded to.
Blue i - I need to gather some more information on this email content before I respond.
Purple ? - Unsure how to respond - come back to this later.
Green Star - Bills/Receipts for accounting
This system works for me and is easy to stay on top of. With that being said, everyone handles their inbox differently, so maybe you only want to use 2 or 3 icons to stay on track - it's all up to you, just make sure you create a plan and follow it!
3. Follow your routine daily. Turn your inbox maintenance into a organized daily practice - you won't regret it!
Calendar and Docs are game changers.
CALENDAR - invite clients to meetings, have multiple calendars for specific types of work, personal etc. Never miss an important date.
DOCS - share working documents with clients and collaborators. Keep lists handy, templates etc.