Email technology was invented in 1971, and it's still going strong.
But there's one thing they didn't anticipate back then. It's the fact that, about 50 years later, 320 billion emails would be sent every day.
Over the years, email started getting out of control. Today, processing emails is a huge time waste and an important factor of stress.
A study conducted by UC Irvine and the US Army has even established a clear impact of email on heart rate.
So if you value your time and your health, you need to pay attention to how you manage your email.
Here are some things you can start doing right away to improve your email management.
Use a task management tool
When you open your real-life mail, you don't put it back in your mailbox, do you?
The same goes with email.
A lot of people use their mailbox to manage their tasks.
Either by creating conversations with themselves or by marking read emails as "unread". That way they can go back to them later.
That's not sustainable, as these emails end up being buried anyway. It also doesn't provide you with a clear view of what you should be doing.
A better way to deal with that is to use a task management tool or a to-do list. Open your email and if you need to take an action, create a task for it.
That way, you won't need to go back to your mailbox and sort by "unread" all the time.
Especially if you're dealing with important matters that don't need immediate action. Because it means that some emails will linger in your mailbox for days or weeks before you process them.
Avoid that altogether by using a task or a project management tool.
(Pro tip: in Rooftop, emails are tasks; try it now and see an immediate change in how you manage emails)
Categorize your emails
Priority management has become paramount.
In that sense, setting up categories for your emails makes things a lot easier.
Maybe you're in charge of several departments. Maybe you're in charge of several projects within your departments.
In any case, keeping conversations in the right category will save you a lot of time. It'll also offer unparalleled clarity.
You won't waste time looking for conversations. And you'll be able to know right away what the priorities in each project are.
Now it's probably all mixed together. But you can change that!
Set up automated rules
Automating your mailbox will save you a lot of headaches.
Imagine that you didn't have to sort the 150 emails you find in your mailbox every morning. What if they could just sort themselves?
Your email client likely allows you to make sure that emails end up in the right categories. It can be based on the sender, or on a word in the subject line, on the length of the text, etc.
That way, short emails that you can process quickly will end up in a specific category. Same for emails from a difficult client. And so on.