Your inbox is probably causing you more stress than it needs to.
Mine definitely used to. It was filled with thousands (not exaggerating) of emails and I was wasting time searching for specific emails all. the. Time.
I knew something had to change, but I wasn’t sure what. I researched and came up with the perfect cocktail of tricks to make sure I reached inbox zero every day.
Don’t worry, I’m not keeping these precious tricks to myself. I’m sharing them with you!
If you haven’t heard of Boomerang, you’re about to take your inbox to a whole other level. It’s a
free extension you add to Google Chrome that lets you pause your inbox and schedule emails.
Pause your inbox
Why would you want to pause your inbox? Because everytime you hear your phone ding that you got a new email, you check your inbox. Even when it’s 10pm and you’re watching a rom-com with your husband. No bueno. In comes Boomerang! When you’re ready to end work for the day and do your last inbox sweep, pause your inbox. Boomerang will wait to show you any new emails until you unpause your inbox. This is especially helpful when you’re having a batch day or want to focus on a project. No interruptions and the emails are waiting for you when you’re ready.
Schedule your emails
Let’s face it, we’ve all been there where we work a couple hours on a night or weekend. But sending emails to your clients at 11pm isn’t exactly professional. And the next time they email you on a Friday night, they’ll be expecting a response because they know you always check your email.
Instead, set boundaries with your clients and set office hours. If your office hours are 9-5 and you’re typing up an email at 5:15, just schedule it to go in the morning. It’s also great because instead of having to remember to send your client their weekly call reminder, you can schedule every reminder during your onboarding process.
Confession: I once had thousands of emails in my inbox. There were so many emails I read and just didn’t delete and others I needed to keep but they just hung out in my main inbox.
Filters have been a lifesaver for my inbox. It used to fill up with newsletters, receipts I needed for bookkeeping, and a bunch of other stuff. I now have a folder for each type of email I get in my inbox and filter it so they go directly to that folder (or label as Gmail calls it). Here are some filter ideas:
- Clients (individual folders for each client)
Instead of spending the first 20 minutes of your morning checking out all the new newsletters that just hit your inbox, you don’t even see them until you open the newsletters folder. Schedule time in your weekly schedule to go through them so you can still keep up with your favorite biz owners.
Bonus: Unsubscribe from the newsletters you find yourself deleting most of the time.
Now anytime an email comes in my inbox, I drag it to its designated folder to keep my inbox at 0.
See unread emails first
You can set your Gmail inbox to show you unread emails first and it’s done wonders for my inbox productivity! There were times I would mark an email unread because I needed to go back to it, but then I’d receive so many emails that it would get pushed so far down that I’d forget about it. Have your unread emails show up first so the important emails are top of mind.
Open up Gmail and get to work, you’re ready to take back your inbox and finally get to inbox zero!