8 Tips For Organizing Your Inbox

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For busy HR professionals, email can seem like a nonstop stream of work.  It’s great for quick, informal messages, but what was originally created to be a time saver has morphed into becoming a time waster.  In this post, I’m going to talk about HR Magazine’s suggestion of eight things you can do to turn your inbox from a distraction and time stealer into a well-organized tool you use to do your job better.

As HR professionals I would bet that most of us check our emails during our personal time.  This comes along with the job because part of HR’s role is to consider how a crisis; no matter how small, might be making an employee feel.  Each employee wants to feel cared for, so if they have an insurance question while they’re at the emergency room with their child at 10pm, my bet is that you’ll take the time to answer that email.  The problem lies in the habit of treating each email with the same amount of urgency.  This can distract you from an important task or make important emails slip through the cracks, both affecting your efficiency.  Below are eight ways to combat an over-active inbox:

  1. Set limits – Turn off visual and audio alerts and check your email only at set times.
  2. Clean as you go – Every time you open your inbox, delete unimportant messages such as junk email or coupon offers (or file those coupon offers!)
  3. Funnel FYIs – emails you are copied on can be automatically filed away in a folder for future reference. 
  4. File – Create rules to help sort messages into different categories, such as delegate, urgent, or archive.
  5. Filter – Filter messages from your boss or team member to ensure important messages don’t slip through the cracks.
  6. Make templates – Save time by making templates for emails you write over and over again; make it part of the process for that common task.
  7. Schedule messages – Programs such as Boomerang can send messages at a predetermined time and keep track of the responses and remind you to follow up.
  8. Help others help you – Encourage colleagues and coworkers to follow up with you if you haven’t responded after a certain amount of hours.

These eight tips will help you manage your inbox.  For help with managing hiring a new employee, contact Serenity Staffing to help you organize your hiring process.  Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn where I share my weekly blog posts.