Email Overload? 7 Top Tips to Master an Overflowing Inbox

Posted on 17th February 2017 in Business

Written by James Marren

I don’t know about you, but my email is like Dr Who (regenerates over and over again, for non-fans). I couldn’t resist a little rhyme there, and perhaps it’s symptomatic of the madness one starts to feel having to deal with a never-ending stream of emails day in, day out. I can almost hear a Dalek, with its distinctive voice screeching, “Email overload, email overload”. Well, we may not quite have the Dr’s powers, but we do have some suggestions that might just help you get to grips with this perennial problem!

Get to know your email client

It makes sense that if you want to get on top of your email that you need to know all the ins and outs of the email client that you use, to exploit as many shortcuts as possible. We are big fans of Gmail here at FUTRLI so our advice will be slightly Google-centric, though the tips we share will be applicable in some form across alternatives.

Filter priority messages

Clearly, not every single email received needs instant attention. Filter out the most important messages with Gmail’s Priority Inbox. It filters your inbox automatically so that you can prioritise your time effectively. Though perhaps not quite as effective or straightforward, you can probably achieve something similar with another email client and some well-constructed filters.

Use multiple inboxes to organise several accounts in one view

Most of us have numerous Gmail email accounts for various reasons. Maybe you have one for work, personal use, or as an old, but brilliant, Google advert once suggested, for a newborn child to be used as a repository for photos and well wishes. Worth a watch here if you have time. Whatever your reasons, multiple inboxes will consolidate them into one, giving you one view for all your accounts rather than necessitating multiple windows being open and flicking between them.

Use Sortd to turn your inbox into a Trello-style to-do list

Use Sortd to manage your inbox

Here at FUTRLI, we are big fans of Trello for its organisational prowess! Sortd can bring some of that same magic to your inbox. You can turn your emails and to-dos into Trello style card lists and columns that are extremely easy to visualise, move around and prioritise.

Use Boomerang

This upgraded extension for Gmail allows you to “snooze” messages and schedule them for a point in the future, clearing your inbox until you’re ready. Boomerang can also automate follow-up emails and notify you if someone doesn’t reply. It essentially frees up your brain and calendar and helps you regain some control.

Use Text Expansion to save yourself hours of typing

We’re all about automation here at FUTRLI. Anytime we can get tech to do the hard yards, we’re all for it. So if you find yourself writing a lot of the same phrases repeatedly in your emails it’s worth considering TextExpander or something similar to replace small pieces of text with often used phrases. This can reduce some of the tedious time spent typing and allow you to move on more quickly.

Get rid of unwanted spam

Unless you’re speaking to someone from the 1940s and they’re feeling particularly peckish, no one likes spam. To keep it to a minimum avoid ‘unsubscribe’ options. Spammers often include an ‘unsubscribe’ link and clicking it will confirm that your address is active and probably attract even more spam. Rather, use your filter system to filter out emails containing the word ‘unsubscribe’. And, an oldie but a goodie, be wary about giving out your main email address.

Time saved in your inbox means more time to forecast your best future…

Start your free trial