I get around 500 emails per day. Some are from clients, some are from potential clients, VA’s who have questions, the VA’s who do work for me, various newsletters that I subscribe to, a bunch of spam and other “junk”. I usually do a very good job of keeping it under control, and I’d like to teach you as well.
First of all, let me warn you that I am a Gmail snob. Just like every Mac owner will tell you how special their “baby” is when given a chance, I’ll almost do the same with Gmail. My husband still uses Outlook half the time (I’ve only been able to partially convert him) and I
smack him around make fun of him for it every chance I get.
Anyway, back to taming your Gmail inbox. First thing you’ll want to do is enable Nested Labels under settings –> labs. This is crucial, especially to those who are transitioning to Gmail from Outlook. My main Labels are:
- Inactive Clients
- VA Work
- My Mentors
- Webinar Replays
- Social Media
- Color-code each main label. Clients are a deep red, Subcontractors are turquoise, leads are purple, vendors blue, etc.
- Make a nested label for each Active Client by name or even by property (but it’s easier by name). So ALL of my active clients are the same deep red color. When something pops up in my inbox, I know just by glancing that it’s from an active client and needs my attention.
- Once you’ve done this for all of your clients, leads, inactive clients, etc. create some filters.
- Start with your first client, select an email from her and click to create a filter. For clients, I use these filters: From, Star It, Apply the Label Clients/DougWathen, Always Mark it Important
Go through all of your clients, then inactive clients, then leads, etc. in this fashion.
For Social Media, webinar replays and anything else I don’t want to see on a daily basis I use these filters: From, Skip the Inbox, Apply the Label Social Media, Never Mark it Important
I am especially diligent at adding more than one label per email if necessary. For example, if Dawn is designing a flyer for Doug, I will add labels for both Dawn and Doug to each email. Sometimes it takes a little extra work, but it has saved me so many headaches when I need to go back and find something later on.
How do you tame your email?