5 email tips that will add time to your day

Nobody likes to see how many unread emails they have, but constantly checking your email makes you far less productive. Think about it – how many emails are you CC’d on everyday “FYI.”

Admins are wizzes chock full of tricks for tools such as Microsoft Office or Gmail, but effective email management likely isn’t something that many of us devote a lot of attention to. Below are 5 must-know tips to save some time in your day.

  1. Apply David Allen’s “Two-Minute Rule.” He states, “if you determine an action can be done in two minutes, you actually should do it right then because it’ll take longer to organize it and review it than it would be to actually finish it the first time you notice it.” If the action will take longer than 2-minutes you can either complete the task after those initial messages or schedule another time to focus on it.
  2. Find old emails: Doing a deep dive in your inbox can be frustrating when you’re on the hunt for one specific message received over a year ago, or older. Find it faster by searching “before:2017” (or whatever year). Or use an exact date: “before:2015/12/25.”
  3. Free up storage space: Oh no! You’re low on storage space, but don’t have the time to look through EVERY email trying to see which are expendable. An easy, quick trick is to search “has:attachment larger_than:10mb” for emails with big attachments, then figure out whice ones to delete.
  4. Organize your inbox using “broad categories: [Try using titles such as] “Action Items,” “Waiting,” “Reference,” and “Archives.” If you’re able to stay on top of your folders – particularly “Action” and “Waiting” folders – you could use them as an informal To-Do List for the day.”
  5. Use Shortcuts: The use of shortcuts may only save you a few seconds here and there, but that time adds up quickly. Here are a few you’ll be sure to use:
  • Ctrl + R: Reply
  • Ctrl + Shift + R: Reply all
  • Ctrl + F: Forward
  • Ctrl + S: Send
  • Ctrl + Shift + M: New message