Email Organisation, Working with a VA

5 Quick Tips on Beating Inbox Overwhelm

Do you groan every Monday morning when you open your emails? It’s easy to feel overwhelm and this is the first point of contact. So many people don’t know how to organise themselves or what to do to control the inbox. I recently did a five day challenge over on Facebook and thought I’d share here too. So let’s get your emails sorted.

Beat email overwhelm with


If you are overwhelmed with emails the best start is to unsubscribe.

Set a timer for 10 minutes – scan through and see unopened offers or companies that have no place in a work email inbox.

📧 Unsubscribe…you can always resubscribe if you feel you are missing something at a later date.

Only focus on those you need to unsubscribe from. If you need to set another timer for another 10 minutes…do it at lunchtime and again in the afternoon until they are all removed.


Get your email sorted…Tip 2

Folders 🗂

If you don’t have a filing system set up in your emails now is a good time to start.

📁 Start with ‘To Read’ ‘Action’ ‘File’ (& create sub folders with client names or products etc). Put them directly in there if you need to.

From the last three days work back and file each item. Again set a timer for 20 mins and have a break after you’ve finished. Then go again for another 20 later in the day.

🗑 Don’t be scared to bin emails or unsubscribe along the way. But stay focused on moving emails.

📨 The aim is to get everything into one of these folders and if you don’t know for now leave it in your inbox.

Some people find it easier with colour coding but for now we want to clear your inbox for incoming.


Set the Rules…

So day 3 of your ‘Inbox sort out’, is two fold. First you set the rules around here

💻 Set time aside every day to look at emails. Three times a day and time yourself too. Start being disciplined and you’ll get more done.

Small chunks of time fight off overwhelmed whilst helping you to stay productive.

Next up… Set some Rules

📵 Filter emails by colour into Red = urgent, Green = file, Blue = to read (or what makes sense to you. Either filter them straight into the folders you set on day 1 or leave in your inbox so they are easily distinguishable.

📬 Filters can be set on email addresses or for certain words within the body of the email. Then at a glance you can see these (or open the file with them in).

🔍 Make it visually easy for yourself


Day 4 – Lets get your inbox sorted

Action or Archive…

📆 The aim is to action a business email within 24hrs. Set up an out of office or rule that pings to the sender. It should state how long it takes for you to respond to their request or points them towards where they may find the information.

🏓 This allows you to set the tone and stop unnecessary email ping pong. Whilst still being helpful.

🗄 Archive emails if you’ve dealt with them but can’t delete it yet. Chances are you won’t need it but still have it just in case.


Last one…Getting emails sorted

Congratulations you’ve got to the end.

🗓 Dedicate time to keeping on top of your emails. Once a week have a real purge so that overwhelm doesn’t happen.

Write it in your diary and commit to keeping it tidy.

You’ll save lots of time and energy.

If you want help with your email management in more depth, I’d love to help. We can chat through your requirements and see how I can help. Contact me over at VisionPA.

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