If your business email contains the default folders you started your account with, then it is quite possible you have some email maintenance to do. Considering the majority of correspondence today is via email, your account should be as organized as your office filing cabinet, actually maybe more, since organizing your email account should be easier.
Here are some tips for organizing your email account.
Get Familiar with Your Email Management System
Spend some time figuring out the capabilities of your email management system. There might be more features available to you than just handling emails (task or project management, calendar). If you use Google apps for businesses there are apps that allow you to add emails automatically to a project management system. This could save you time and boost your productivity.
Use Folders, Labels and Tags
Many email systems have the ability to file your emails into folders or label or tag them. You usually can create this system on the fly. You can begin by utilizing recommended folders and add your own as you manage your emails.
Organize Emails by Client, Service or Topic
Organizing your emails with a combination of labels or tags can help you retrieve similar emails so you can manage your daily tasks efficiently. An email could be as detailed as having label for the client’s name or business and what their or your need is. Searching for that need could bring up a handful of clients relevant to a service you are considering so you can pull up all proposals without remembering who a particular client was.
Organize Emails by Status
Adding a status to an email can help you figure out what is outstanding or pending on your to do list. Popular status labels or tags to use are: pending, follow-up, call, priority. You can add different levels of priorities or a number of tasks you do each day.
Archive Emails and Update Email Status
In the process of reading your emails begin to organize by client or topic and by status. Consider archiving and updating the status of your emails on a regular basis. You'll feel less overwhelmed and more productive clearing out your email inbox.
We know being organized will make us more productive and email is a great place to start since it does take up a good portion of your time each day. To maximize productivity consider using the First Things First or Getting Things Done method of managing tasks and apply that to how you organize your emails.