Last week, I showed you how I organize my incoming email and discussed my different boxes. Today, I want to discuss my typical email handling per day! I haven’t done much in the way of email for a couple days – it was the weekend, then a holiday, then I was sick. So, I have lots of emails to work through. This seemed like the perfect time to get this post done.
When I first start my day on the computer, I quickly skim through each of my inboxes (no more than 30 minutes in the morning) to see if there is anything in there that needs an immediate response and if so, I respond!
Then, I get my first set of blog posts done – that usually takes a couple hours. After getting those blog posts completed, I then do another 30 minutes or so on email. This time, I start deleting, responding, etc to those emails that can be handled in just a couple minutes.
The big question is, how do I do that bulk responding? I do the following tasks in this order:
#1 – All pending blog comments get approved and answered if necessary. So, I can delete them very quickly from my inboxes. I can do this pretty easily by typing “comment” in the search bar of my inbox so that I only see those posts. At this point, I also go in to each of my blogs and approve comments, delete spam, and respond to anything necessary. (BTW. this took my 3BoysandaDog inbox from 446 to 216!)
#2 – Bulk Responses to PR Folks get handled next. I can’t do them all because people don’t use the same wording. But, I start doing quick searches in my inboxes for things like “opportunity”, “review”, “release”, and “giveaway” then start answering them. I have several emails that I have prewritten that respond to different types of marketing emails from how I handle app reviews to how I handle giveaways. Depending on what the people are asking decides on which response they get. (as you can see below, that took my inbox from 216 down to 75)
#3 – Respond and Delete – Once I have the “easy” items gone, I can start going through things that don’t fit into the above categories and do the delete and respond (or respond and delete thing). If they need an answer, they get answered. I do this with all items that are left and that will only take about 2 minutes or less to handle.
After step 3, I typically try to mark out a few more things on my to do list and tackle some of my other main inboxes.
So, lets look at this – I spent about 1 hour really knocking out emails today and took my inbox total (counting everything except the drafts folder) from 1,146 emails to 719! That hour was also spent writing this post, so the emails have taken me longer. After a break from emails, I will come back, go through the newest ones to come in and start handling the bigger emails that will take more than a couple minutes to handle!.
#4 – Inbox to Zero! Now, I have 20 emails in my 3BoysandaDog inbox. These are emails that will take me more than 2 minutes to handle. As I said above, I typically move on to other things at this point and then around lunch, I hit the inboxes again pretty hard. On Wednesdays, (which today is) I try to get those inboxes to zero. It doesn’t always happen, but I can do it sometimes!
How do you crawl out of the email hole?