Look, this won’t get me invited to parties, but I love talking about email. (Wait! Don’t leave…) I guess it’s because I spend so much of my time writing or reading them.
I have what time management expert Kate Christie calls a ‘email dependant’ job.
I also use my email as a to-do list.
So how other people manage their inbox (or not) fascinates me.
Hence this list.
After reading a post on The Cut that Arianna Huffington shared earlier this week, I decided to email my own network of busy small business owners and asked them for their number #1 email tip.
Just in case you are interested Arianna’s email tip, it’s this:
“No email for at least a half an hour before I go to sleep… and no email while I’m talking to my children.”
1. Write an out of office responder with attitude
“My number one tip is that if you create an out of office like mine* you set the expectation around responses. This makes it ok for you to not be in email all day. We need to shift our mindset as people aren’t waiting on the edge of email for you to respond within 5 mins. They are too busy.”
*Greetings, I dedicate the majority of my working days to deep work and client connection. This means I only check emails twice a day. If you’d like to book a keynote or workshop for your team or community please contact the BKindred Magic Wand, Julie. If your enquiry is urgent, let’s go old school and give me a call. I love human connection!
Penny Locaso, founder of BKindred
2. Spend 30-45 minutes on emails (twice a day)
“Batch emails in 2 to 3 chunks of time a day, of around 35-45 mins per Batch. Then in between batches turn your emails off and get some real work done!”
Kate Christie, founder of Time Stylers
3. Double (or triple) batch it
“How many times have you written an email and pressed send, only to realise that there is another email in the inbox that is related. Stop, if you regularly communicate with someone, just take a moment to think are there other related matters that could be combined in the message or could you raise it at that meeting you are going to later in the day.”
Janine Robertson, author of Spenditude
4. Delete as you go
“Delete as you go and action them. My trash empties automatically after 100 days, I use my inbox as my to d0 list. At the end of each day I spend 15 minutes clearing my inbox so I can start every day fresh.”
Moira Geddes, Head of Production, Pinstripe Media
5. Have an email timetable
“Set times for email checking during a regular office day: I do 8am, midday and about 4pm. At other times, turn off notifications and shut down the email inbox to maximise your ability to focus on getting business done!”
Catherine Bell , founder of Bell Training Group
6. Silence is golden
“Turn off your sound notifications!”
Karen Hollenbach, LinkedIn expert, & founder of Think Bespoke
7. I’ve taken email off my phone
“I don’t have email access from my phone. I do this specifically so I am not constantly checking it. I have defined times when I look at it.”
Katrina McCarter, Marketing to Mums
8. Delegate, delete or file
“I action as many emails as possible, as I read them – either delete, delegate or personally action and then file.”
Catherine Cervasio, AromaBaby
9. Be brutal
“When I approach my inbox, with terror, I look for quick wins. Emails I can answer in three lines or less. I’m polite and friendly but to the point. Just because someone has written a page of A4 to me does not mean I have to respond in kind.”
Kate Toon, KateToon.com