How brokers can take control of their email

by Kathleen Aoki January 10, 2017

Emails – so many emails! Instead of letting email dictate your day, learn how to keep on top of your inbox. From technical solutions to behavioural strategies, we show you how to wrestle back vital time better spent on your business.

Clear it out

Nothing breeds chaos like a poorly organised inbox. Instead of letting emails pile up, apply the ‘new mail only’ principle to your inbox. If you’ve read it, either delete it or move it to a specially labelled folder. For best results, aim for a zero-message inbox at the end of your workday.

Get filter-savvy

Filters are a great way to minimise the amount of non-essential messages landing in your work inbox. Using the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ technique, set up filters to route things like social media updates, marketing communications and newsletters to separate folders that you can check later.

Say no to alerts

Don’t let dings, whistles and tweets divert your attention from the task at hand. Unless you’re expecting an urgent email communication, turn off your automatic alerts and only check your email at specific times of the day.

Limit yourself

While it may seem simplistic, limiting the amount of time you spend on email is one of the easiest ways to avoid the email time trap. Instead of checking every single email as it rolls in, discipline yourself to only check your email at specific intervals, then ‘batch process’ them all in one go.

Unsubscribe away

Nothing will clutter up your inbox faster than too many email subscriptions. No matter how interesting something appears, ask yourself: “Will I really read this?” If the answer is no, it’s time to hit the unsubscribe button.

Get automated

Automation is a great way to tame an unruly inbox. From software that will automatically unsubscribe you from newsletters to Chrome extensions that allow you to manage multiple inboxes, check out HubSpot’s list of the top 14 email organisation software programs.

Use canned responses

Do you find yourself composing the same type of messages over and over? If so, save time by using pre-written responses. If you’re a Gmail fan, you can save even more time by creating canned responses to messages that meet specific filter criteria.

Kill big attachments

Big attachments will quickly consume your available inbox space, so file them away. For Gmail users, you can find messages with large attachments by searching for the phrase “larger:5M”. This will find all messages with attachments that are 5MB or more.

Go alternative

Remember that email is not the only way to get your message across. Today, many businesses are embracing other types of collaboration software such as Slack, which enables employees to communicate in real time and sort messages into specific channels.

There’s no question that a sound email strategy is a key part of every successful business. For more ideas on how PLAN Australia can help your business succeed, contact us today.

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Kathleen Aoki

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Kathleen Aoki is a marketing professional, writer and blogger with over 10 years' experience in the IT industry. As a freelance writer, she has written for a variety of industry publications and blogs across Australia on the topics of marketing, social media, SEO, mobile technology and more.

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