4 Smart Moves for Managing Your Inbox

July 28 2017

Does the sight of a full inbox give you anxiety? Taking the time to identify the best email management strategy for you can make life so much easier. Whether you aim to reach inbox zero or are satisfied feeling organized and on top of things, here are a few useful techniques from some of the world's most productive business executives.

Turn Email Into To-Dos
For some, like Zappos founder and CEO Tony Hsieh, the thought of addressing every email each day may seem impossible. While you're answering the emails you already have, more emails are coming in. Hsieh developed his own method, turning yesterday's inbox into today's to-do list. This routine limits how much time he spends on email and gives him a reachable daily goal.

Tackle Quick Tasks Immediately
Anthony Casalena of Squarespace takes a slightly different approach to the 300 or so emails he receives every day. Instead of doing tomorrow what he could do today, he handles those requiring easy actions right away. If an email requires a more complicated response, it lands on a long-term list. This process helps him reach or get close to inbox zero regularly.

Use Autoresponders and Phone Calls
Casalena also sets up automatic responses for unknown contacts and limits the time he spends checking emails. If an email can't be answered with a short response, he schedules a phone conversation or face-to-face meeting.

Ask for What You Need
To simplify the process of prioritizing her replies, Birchbox founder Katia Beauchamp insists that her team indicate within their emails when they need a response.

While reaching inbox zero may seem like a pipe dream for some, you can keep your email manageable and organized by streamlining the process with a thoughtful, deliberate strategy.