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Email. It can be an amazing productivity tool — or an avalanche of messages that drown your enthusiasm and rob you of your focus. Once you have a strong anti-virus and anti-spam solution in place – and yes, we can help with that www.mailcleaner.net — you need to get your inbox under control and whipped into shape.

Here’ some tips to do just that as 2015 kicks into gear.

  • The Michael Hyatt system of Do.Delegate.Defer.Delete.File. is one that should be adhered to if you want to stay on top of your email this year.
  • Don’t be a slave to your email. You must set time away from email to focus on getting your business critical tasks done. Aim to check your inbox once an hour.
  • Put more thought into your emails, limit the length and don’t CC in the world and his wife and the chances are that there won’t be a long chain of replies about the same subject.
  • Make your emails scan readable with short blocks of text, good formatting and proofread them before you send.
  • Set up email rules to take ancillary emails like automatic email notifications and alerts into subfolders.
  • Create a watertight email filing system that works for you. Follow Lifehacker’s email folder tip of Archive, Follow Up and Consider adding sender colours so that the priority figures and decision makers for your role (for example your line manager or direct reports) are flagged early.
  • It may feel counter intuitive but if you can aim to check email more in the afternoon when you naturally have less energy, saving your natural morning peak productivity hours for core duties.
  • Pick up the phone instead or just walk over to the colleague’s desk like in days gone by.
  • Learn keyboard shortcuts and some advanced Outlook techniques that can really save you time. For example, scheduling a message to go out at a future time, which is perfect for those times when you’re off the grid, like on a train commute.
  • https://unroll.me/ is a nifty tool that reveals the services and suppliers who are sending you emails so that you can go through them and systematically remove any subscriptions you no longer need.

Despite some commentators claiming otherwise, email isn’t broken and is here to stay — so here’s to productive email inboxes in 2015!

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