Organize Your Inbox Today

Kirstia Cropper headshot.
Kirstia Cropper
Operations Manager
August 19, 2019

Since it’s back to school time, let’s take a pop quiz! When it comes to email are you the type of person who:

A. Cannot stand unread emails in your inbox

B. A little email clutter does not phase you at all

C. Your email box is always filled with messages or

D. Email? Who has time to read email?

Whether you answered A, B, C or D – these ideas can help you organize your inbox. And who knows? You may just find some extra time in your day because of it!

Make F.A.S.T. Decisions

F.A.S.T. stands for F = file it, A = assign it, S = store it and T = trash it. When you are reading your email, keep this acronym in mind and act quickly. You can store emails that need responses, but once you respond make sure to file it or trash it.  Another method is the O.H.I.O. method – Only Handle It Once.  Once you read it, take action with the email before moving on.

Be a Rule-Follower

Using rules can automatically sort your email without you even looking at it. For example, use a rule to automatically send e-newsletters you receive to a specific folder – therefore keeping them out of your inbox and in a safe place where you can refer to them when you have time.  You can even set certain emails to be automatically deleted after a certain amount of time. Setting rules is simple in Outlook and Gmail.

Put Your Patience On

Does your inbox make a sound every time a new email arrives? Hearing a “bing” is an instant distraction.  It is counterproductive to check your email every five minutes.  Try blocking specific times in your day to handle email, starting with 30 minutes in the morning and afternoon.  If you need more time, set a timer so you know that you will be checking your email on a regular basis, but email won’t be a distraction to getting your to-do list accomplished.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Do you get emails that you send out similar responses to? Save time by creating responses you can cut-and-paste in order to reply quickly. Step this up by creating a “Canned Response” in Gmail.  Head over to the gear icon in the top right corner and select “Settings” from the menu to get started.  If you use Outlook, an email hack is to use “Signatures” to have prepared responses to often answered emails.  Open a blank email and select “Signature” from the top menu bar.  Then, click on “Signatures” to create an email that you can access with the click of a button. You can still personalize your message before sending but using these tips can help you start from something other than a blank screen.

We would love to hear your favorite email hack – share it with us on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)!


Getting Organized is as Easy as 1, 2, 3 – A, B, C

Ashley Paramoure
August 15, 2019

There are two types of people this time of year – those who love buying school supplies and those who don’t! No matter what camp you fall into the start of the school year is a great time of year to get organized. How can you get organized and free up more time? School is in session with these tips:

  1. Manage Your Calendar. There are multiple ways to manage your calendar but start the school year by implementing a color-coded system. You can color code your calendar based on importance (red, yellow, green) or by areas of your life work, family, fitness or even some people suggest organizing your calendar based on your chakras. Start out with a minimum of three categories and code all your activities. Don’t be afraid to break out that new box of Crayola crayons and use all the colors of the rainbow if needed. You can then see what is monopolizing your time and you can work throughout the year to better balance your efforts.
  2. Tackle Your To-Do List. Even if you do not write it down, we all have a to-do list. In order to tackle your list, try writing it down at the end of every day. When you write it, think about tackling your tough tasks first instead of saving them for later in the day.  Every office has a silent saboteur that can derail your list in mere minutes – email.  Email is a to-do list that anyone can add to, so think about not checking your email first thing in the morning and start on your to-do list instead.  Your newly color-coded calendar will tell you when it’s time for email. At the end of every day, throw out your list and start anew. This will keep you feeling fresh and moving forward.
  3. Declutter Your Work Space. Whether you have a cube at work or an entire office, chances are your space could stand to be cleaned up a bit. Use the deals on school supplies to pick up some new folders and storage boxes to tidy up your space.  Next, organize your workspace in zones.  For example, put work that you need to complete to the left of your computer and put completed items to the right.  And once you have your work space neat and tidy, take a moment to run a disinfecting wipe over your desk to wipe out any germs.

Try some of these tips this fall and by spring break you’ll feel like you are ready to go to the head of the class. Let us know what works for you – we love to learn!