Walking past my neighborhood Starbucks yesterday, I couldn't help but notice the promos for Pumpkin Spice Lattes. The leaves are still green, but Starbucks has declared that it's officially fall.
Pumpkin spice aside, the September energy feels distinctly buzzy -- the city has packed up its beach towels and is humming with people heading back to work, new fall jackets slung over arms.
And as the days cool down, your inbox is probably filling up.
I know you’ve got big goals for this fall. But those incoming messages? They’re terrible for your productivity and creativity. Not that you need me to tell you – we all know. And yet...
To help, I’m staging an inbox intervention: a tutorial of 3 sanity-saving tips for your most organized inbox ever.
In this 7 minute video you'll learn:
- The one summer vacation trick to make your life easier all year round
- How to press pause on your inbox
- A simple, no-folder organization system for Gmail
Click here to watch:
To recap, here are my 3 best tips for an organized Gmail inbox:
1. Set up an Autoresponder
Autoresponders aren't just for pretending you don't have access to email during your vacation. They're actually a great tool to help you manage your inbox and day-to-day business. With an autoresponder, you can reply to every email immediately without having to be physically present. You can also use an autoresponder to set expectations and let people know when to expect your reply. It's a win-win. Your clients, prospects, and contacts will feel informed and taken care of. You'll feel relieved of the pressure to reply to every email immediately.
2. Put Your Inbox on Pause
Too many emails (or checking too frequently) can drain your energy. To avoid this, I recommend a free tool called Inbox Pause. Inbox Pause will let you hold messages and enjoy un-interrupted stretches of time. When you're ready, you can have your emails delivered and respond to them in a focused way. In the meantime, your robot assistant (ahem, autoresponder) will be hard at work in the background.
3. Segment Your Inbox
To make sure I don't have to hunt for important or unread emails, I've organized my inbox into 4 separate categories:
- Important and unread
- Client correspondence
- Online course emails
- Everything else
Here's a screenshot:
Ahh! So sane. So tidy. And seriously simple to implement. Watch the video tutorial above to learn how.
Still not sold on the benefits of an organized inbox? Here's what my friend Lindsey, professional organizer and founder of Peace in Place NYC, has to say. In a recent post on Instagram, she shared that she's reached inbox zero:
"Ya'll this has never happened! But trying to make it my new normal... my inbox is my to-do list and having so many non-essentials in there was a huge mental weight. So I stripped it down to PRIORITIES... then I was able to tackle the real to-dos!"
Now tell me, what are your favorite email hacks to help keep your inbox at zero? Let me know in the comments!