No matter where you work, it’s likely you’ve wasted many precious hours dealing with the dreaded overflowing email inbox. In the maritime industry, companies commonly receive thousands of emails per day–many of which are vital to their operations. Attempting to sort through the mass pile of messages to quickly find crucial information is enough to make anyone go crazy. If you find yourself in this situation, here are a few simple email management tips to help keep the madness at bay:
Contrary to what it may sound like, the goal of Inbox Zero is not to have an empty inbox. That would be nearly impossible with the never-ending barrage of emails received each day. Instead, this philosophy suggests that “zero” time should be wasted stressing about what is in your inbox.
Each email should be sorted into one of five categories:
- Delete: Immediately delete unnecessary mail
- Delegate: If an email needs to be addressed by someone else, send it on.
- Respond: Respond immediately to queries that can be quickly resolved
- Defer: Transfer messages that require longer responses to a separate folder to be dealt with later
- Do: If an email needs to be acted on, take care of it right away
Schedule Set Times to Check Your Inbox
It is all too easy to get caught in the trap of constantly checking emails. By the end of the day, you may look back and realize that you lost hours of productivity by wasting your time in your inbox.
A simple solution is to schedule into your calendar exactly when you will look at your email. Try to limit yourself to two checks per day–one in the morning and one at the end of the workday.
Turn Off Notifications
In this day and age, we are hyper-aware of every new text, like, comment, and message we receive. Each time a new email comes in, a little bubble pops up on the screen, cueing a screeching halt to productivity. We feel an intense urge to check the message, even if it’s not urgent or relevant.
Rather than lose attention with each new notification, simply disable notifications in your settings. Don’t worry! All your emails will be waiting for you when you check your inbox at the appropriate time.
Think Before You Send
Email is one of the best ways to asynchronously communicate with people throughout the world. However, it has its drawbacks. Even when you feel like your intent is clear, things can quickly become confusing. Here are several ways to improve your clarity before sending your email:
- Make your subject line specific and direct
- Use the least amount of words possible to get your message across
- Utilize statements rather than questions whenever possible. “Let’s meet at 12 pm,” rather than “Should we meet at 12 pm?”
Setup Folders & Rules
Sorting emails into folders is one of the simplest ways to keep your inbox organized. Yet it’s easy to waste hours each day reading through entire mailboxes and dragging and dropping emails into folders, with no assurance that everything ended up in the right place. Luckily, NordicIT’s reMark platform is a business email software that has three types of folders to allow for less stress and more organization in your inbox:
- Regular folders: these are folders with no defined filter criteria where you archive emails manually
- Smart folders: these folders use email filtering software to automatically sort messages according to one or various predefined criteria. Smart folders work for incoming and outgoing emails from the time of creation and forward
- Search folders: these are predefined folders that act like Smart Folders, but they will also search backward into old messages according to how far it is set to go back in time. The folders will continuously update with new emails after the time of its creation
Managing your inbox can be a nightmare. But it doesn’t have to be. If your team is in search of maritime email solutions, you could benefit from NordicIT’s high-volume email software. Get in touch with us to see how our email management software can help you keep your inbox organized and efficient.