Confession time! Up until recently my inbox was a MESS, straight up 16 year old room after getting ready for a date mess.
It got to the point that I was so overwhelmed goign through my emails I started to accidently delete ones I wanted to see, and completely missed some really important ones I needed to action. I had let it get so bad becasue I really liked seeing all the funnel emails from different bloggers, I was learning so much and I felt bad if I unsubscribed right away. But I was drowning in a sea of unopened emails, because I have a blog to run and if you are reading 30 emails a day, you are not TAKING ACTION ON YOUR BLOG!
I finally said ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH!
I beat my email into submission and whipped it into shape. It's now a well organized machine that I no longer have to worry about.
We will go through the process I followed step by step in this post. So you can beat the EMAIL OVERWHELM PARALYSIS TOO!
Step 1: Organize With Folders
Exact folders system I use, i'm completely aware of how uncool that sounds but whatever.
I have one main folder for individual emails that have very useful information. With subfolders for specific email classes that I refer to often.
2. Specific People
Anyone, I want to make sure I don't miss. Many of my favourite bloggers have their own folders and I'm always happy to see new mail!
3. Sponsor Emails:
This is a must, you do not want to miss any sponsors emails. I create a sub folder for each sponsor. This keeps everything nice and tidy, and it helps you stay prompt with your responses.
4. Products Purchased Online:
This one may only be me, but I purchase a lot online, then I realize it hasn't arrived and I have to go digging to find the email. Example: My amazon emails go right into their own subfolder.
5. Tax Folder:
If you are keeping track of anything for tax purposes create a tax folder for the year. Simplify your life! I live sooooo far north we get a right off for trips, literally the government is like "sorry it sucks up there, here's a right off for having to travel". All my trip receipts go into a sub folder. At Tax time, everything is right there easy to find. You may also want to make a sub folder for each sponsor specifically for tax purposes.
6. Messages from my blog Readers
I probably should have put this as number one because I love getting emails from my blog readers. I've even subdivided this into "thank you", "negative" and "questions". They all get answers but I use the thank you emails for testimonials, the negative ones as feedback to work on my site, and the questions as future blog post ideas.
Step 2: Set up “rules” in your inbox
You've got your folders set up and you are ready to go! Let's simplify it even more with EMAIL RULES....
What the... is an email rule?
Well, glad you asked, you can set up "RULES" in nearly all email providers. They allow you to specify a specific action based on specific criterial.
Well that's confusing...EXAMPLE REQUIRED!
Ok, I have a folder set up for Suzy from Start a mom blog. She has amazing content in her emails and I really don't want to miss them.
I could manually move her emails to the folder, but I'd rather AUTOMATE IT!
Using Email Rules, I can tell it to send anything from "Start a mom blog" to the folder "start a mom blog"
Great thing about this, is my folders tell me how many unread I have, so I can easily see when I have new mail, but I don't need to interrupt my work to get to it. I know it's in a safe place and won't get lost.
Rules basically allow you to automatically put emails into folders but there are lots of options.
here are example criterial:
- Email is:
- From: name, address
- Cc'd to
- Addressed or Cc'd to
- Subject Containing
Here are examples of actions:
- Move to folder
- Move to trash (although unsubscribe if you can)
- Forward to
- Mark as Read
- Move to Folder and Mark as Read
- Forward to a difference address, mark as read.
I hope you are starting to see the power of Email Rules and how THEY CAN SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE!!!!
It's pretty easy to find out how to set up rules for each email provider using google but, I went ahead and made this nifty guide for the main email providers. (GMAIL, ICLOUD, OUTLOOK) Just trying to simplify your life even more. I'm sorry if your email is not included here. Send me a message and I will add it!
Step 3: Unsubscribe on mass! (unroll.me)
If I could have angels singing start playing the second you read that headline.. oh it would happen. Unfortunately, I haven't figure that out yet so for now, you'll have to make due WITH MY EXCITED TEXT!!!!
Unroll.me was a game changer for me being able to unsubscribe to all those email that gave ZERO benefit to me... can't tell you how awesome that felt.
WAIT! STOP! I know you are thinking, you don't want people to unsubscribe to your email.
Yes, yes you do... if they really aren't enjoying your emails then you've lost them anyway... maybe they even create a straight to trash rule... oh no.
It's free! I did have to share it to my Facebook wall. It didn't specify it had to be public...so.... you know... make it private... just saying...
unroll.me allows you to Get Rid of The Junk.
it list ALL of your Subscriptions and allows you to EASILY unsubscribe. I'm talking at a click of a button.
Also.. see step 4. Also uses Unroll.me!
Step 4: Create a roll-up
You know those emails that don't fit into a folder, you don't really want to waste time on them but you also don't want to see them cluttering up your inbox? Well they go into the rollup. It's one of my favorite features on Unroll.me
A Roll-up is one email sent to you at your choice of interval. It has all these rolled up into one neat package...
I actually have a rule that puts my roll-ups into a folder.
I would absolutely love to hear how this works for you!