Unread: Tips for Better Email Management

January 11, 2021 | By: Molly Looman

The email inbox can feel like a time management vortex. Replying to one email can turn into hours of composing, scheduling, replying, and reviewing. Many professionals feel that working through their inbox can prevent them from getting through their to-do lists. Property managers especially can feel the pressure of unread emails as they manage communications between multiple parties and are often the vector point for multiple departments. 

While the world of property management has a level of unpredictability and sometimes responding to an email must be immediate, there are still some email management practices that can help declutter this daily task.

1. Set limits and Make a Schedule

This tip will not work for everyone and can be the most daunting, but many professionals have found it successful in reaching “inbox (0)” without sacrificing productivity. Consider scheduling time to work through your inbox. The frequency and duration of these scheduled time periods can differ greatly based on the type of work. For some people, they may be able to schedule a morning and evening check, while others may need to schedule more frequent inox periods.

The main idea behind scheduling your inbox management is by making it dedicated, you will be more productive. Too often, professionals will start a project, only to be interrupted by emails. This causes the project and responses to suffer because neither is being given the professional’s full attention. Another idea is to just schedule times for composing emails. While some emails just need to be responded to immediately, setting aside time to compose all your new emails will allow you to give them the proper attention. 

2. Consider the 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 rule is the idea that 80 percent of your outputs come from 20 percent of your inputs. This usually is applied to organizations and their staff, but the rule can also be transferred to email. The idea is that you prioritize those “30 percent” emails that are going to lead to your “80 percent” outputs. Maybe this is replying to a new lead, giving a status update to your boss, or composing an email to your ownership. 

Prioritize the emails that are actively going to lead to your greatest outputs or are conversations with people that are investing in you. This way of thinking can help you organize your work rather than just starting with the oldest email. 

3. Label, Subfolder, and Filter

Everyone has different goals when it comes to email management. Some professionals want to get the inbox number down to zero and have a completely clean inbox. Others want to deal with the unread arrivals and move on. Some professionals want to keep and archive everything just in case it comes up in the future. This is where labels, subfolders, and filters come in.

If you are someone who would like to keep a large portion of your emails, folders are going to be your best friend. Begin creating folders for archiving emails like completed projects, conversations with a specific person of importance, or event planning emails for a recurring event. This will keep your inbox clean without sacrificing information. For ongoing conversations, labels can be a great way to organize your inbox at a glance. Tags like a high priority, family, or a specific project name can help you see at a quick glance what the emails sitting in your inbox are about and how urgent your reply is. 

No matter what strategy you employ, the important thing is that it works for your daily life. There are going to be email emergencies that come up and threads that keep causing your speakers to ding, but what is important is that you don’t feel overwhelmed by your inbox, but rather, in control of your workflow. 




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