We’d all like to live in a world without email, or at least a world with significantly less email. But since your inbox isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon, we’ve found ways to make it better, get through it faster, and dare we say actually make it more fun?
Don’t open an email unless you’re prepared to deal with it right away, says Charles Hudson, author of Inbox Freedom: The Zen Master’s Guide to Tackling Your Email & Work. “Instead of camping out at your inbox all day, only open it when you have time to respond, archive, delete, or turn emails into tasks,” he says. “Emails aren’t so overwhelming when they’re handled just once.”
Draft prefab replies to common emails you receive, such as client requests or media inquiries, says Alexandra Samuel, author of Work Smarter, Rule Your Email. Then save them as signatures in your email client. “It will take seconds to draft a reply instead of minutes to type it from scratch,” she says.
You signed up for that newsletter or deal alert because it looked interesting, but when the emails are mixed with client requests, meeting invites, and coworker messages, you might not take time to enjoy them. Create a filter that searches for “unsubscribe” and put them in a separate folder, suggests Samuel. Then read them when you have time.