23 February 2021

Who Really Needs Email Folders?




When I talk about email management, I’ve had people ask me, “Are email folders necessary? Can’t you just use search to find what you need and keep everything in the inbox?”

Ask any two organizers, and you’ll probably get two different answers and there’s an argument to be made for both options.

Utilizing search can help you find an email quicker and more efficiently than digging through various folders. Locating everything in the inbox means there’s only one place to look. But…what do you do with action items?

Remember, all email is either an action item, a reference item, or a trash item. If you are keeping all email in your inbox, it’s easy for those action items to get lost among the trash and reference material. And if you get a lot of email, those important items can quickly fall below the scroll and out of sight often equals out of mind.

Which leaves you with utilizing folders to organize your email.

Using folders allows you to get your reference material out of your inbox and away from any action items that may be hidden. It also means that, when you do utilize search, you can do a focused search in one folder, rather than a broad search in all of your email. Having folders can allow for quicker retrieval of that one email you’re looking for.

But it does take time to create a folder structure – even a very general one – and it takes effort to process your email into those folders every day instead of just leaving them in your inbox.

So what’s the right answer?  The answer is, it depends on you. I prefer a folder structure. Even a general one is going to help you organize your email and allow you to keep those action emails front and center. Yes, it’s a little bit of effort, but one I feel is worth it in the end.

Need help getting those emails tackled? Let me know and we can figure it out together! 

16 February 2021

Reason 11 To Keep Your Email Organized




Texas is in a deep freeze this week. For me that means a frozen swimming pool, frozen pipes, and rolling blackouts. It’s all kinds of not fun. Trust me when I tell you, I’m not Zoom ready by any means. My kingdom for a hot shower.

Because of the rolling blackouts, we have 15 minutes of power, then 30 minutes of no power. No power means no internet, which means no sending emails or checking Facebook. It also means conserving my laptop battery as much as I can by leaving it turned off unless I’m actively working.

But April, just use your phone! Of course…except AT&T is having trouble with their towers as well so no Internet there either. I know, bummer all the way around. I thought I left this behind when I moved away from Iowa.

So when I do get 10 or 15 minutes to work, I try to make sure I am being as productive as possible with my workload. This is when having my email organized becomes an asset. Instead of spending my precious time sorting and searching through emails for that one message, I can go right to what I need to work on. Then, I can knock out 4 or 5 email responses before the power goes out again.

Focusing on work right now is tough, but being organized helps me be super productive when I actually crawl out from underneath the blankets and cats. How about you? What’s your why for getting organized?

If you need help figuring out your why, give me a call and we’ll talk about it!

26 January 2021

Bing! You’ve Got Mail!




I visited my nieces recently. The 4 year old likes to play dolls and was thrilled about having a new playmate around. However, it was ‘Play!’ every five minutes we weren’t actively engaged in playtime. No time for auntie to read a book or watch TV. No, it was all play all the time.

Email can be like that too. When you’ve got notifications on your phone or computer, every time you get a new email there’s a little ‘bing’ that goes off and demands your attention. No time for getting anything else done when you’ve got email tugging at your attention. Kind of like a toddler tugging at your pants.

So what should you do? Turn off your email notifications! Both on your phone and on the computer. Don’t let email dictate your life. Set aside specific times during the day to check email and use the rest of the time to focus on other work. It can take some time to get used to, but your productivity will thank you.

Are you interested in detoxing your inbox? I’ve got a plan for that! Sign up today for a Discovery Conversation and we’ll talk about how to get your email under control.

Would you rather get these tips in your email? Sign up for the Ilios Digital Newsletter!

17 October 2019

How To Stay On Top Of Your List




Today was grocery shopping day. I’d made a list of meals we could have during the week, cross-referenced that with a list of things I needed to get at the store, and off I went. Having just moved, I’m in the gradual process of restocking things like baking essentials and condiments. I’m also in the process of testing out several different grocery stores, so it’s hard to remember what I’ve bought from where.

You would think having a grocery list to follow would eliminate any confusion about what I actually had in my cupboards but nope. Just like everyone else, there is the grocery list and then there is all the other things you pick up that you forgot you needed. Do I have the sliced cheese I need for BBQ sliders? Probably not, because I didn’t like the options at Kroger. Cooking oil for the brownies? I remember looking at it, but did I pick any up?

Our brains weren’t designed to hold everything in memory, and it’s easy to forget what you’ve done or didn’t do. Email is like that too. You’ll be in the middle of writing an email to a colleague when you suddenly wonder…did I send a follow-up email to that prospective client last week? Then it’s back to the inbox to search for their email. Or back into your sent items to scan and scan and scan to see if you can find the reply. 

But instead of anxiety about not knowing if you’ve followed up or not, what if you could check your Waiting folder and quickly find out the status of your conversation? What if you had dealt with the prospective client email when it arrived? There’s an easier way to manage your email, and it’s through action folders and follow up folders.

Interested in learning more? Sign up for my newsletter to find out when my Inbox Detox self-study course goes live in November!

 http://eepurl.com/cxQtvr

(For the record, I now have a lot of sliced cheese and still no cooking oil)

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