Don’t Leave Any Unread Emails

If you work for a company, no matter the size, it’s quite obvious you need to deal with a whole bunch of unread emails every day. I have written many articles on how to manage your emails; but now I just want to draw out on the emails you leave unread – ‘cause you feel you need to give them more attention.

unread emails

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It’s like going to the grocery store and buying something and then returning for 16 times to the same place – like you forgot something or looking for something more to buy. It’s a lot easier to have a grocery list or use an app that does this (Google it) and go finish the task in one single visit.

When you leave unread emails or even merely opened oness to lay around in your inbox, you needlessly put an extra burden on your day. You will go over and over the same emails that you haven’t acted upon during your last check.

In order to streamline the inbox management, ‘toss’ the emails in designated folders, so you needn’t have to read the same message more than once. I am using three main folders:

CC – here end up all the Carbon Copy emails and the emails that I know to arrive regularly from the same persons on the same topic: reports, notes that don’t require immediate attention, etc. The emails in this folder I read  twice a day at the most;

Solved – here I toss all the emails that I am done with;

To do – emails that require some kind of intervention and  according to the degree of urgency, I get back on each of them at the right time.

Some of the emails are distributed automatically in the respective folders based on simple rules, thus never reaching inbox. The others, however, need to be managed manually.

By using the three folders, you will have a clean inbox and won’t be constantly ‘haunted’ by the messages you need to work on. Periodically – daily, weekly, monthly – archive the emails in the CC and Solved folders. If you decide to keep all the emails in the “To Do”, this article does not help  you – it will end up somewhere in your inbox, unread, of course.

Remember the most valuable functionalities of the email – Forward & Delete – and try on a new habit: ask yourself “Do I need to intervene on this email or forward it?” and “Why do I need to keep it?”.

Good luck succeeding!

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