Get a Grip on Your Inbox: How to Maximize Your Email Efficiency

Date posted: May 31, 2012

Is your email out of control? You’re not alone. Read today’s guest post and learn how to spring clean your inbox with these tips from Alex Moore.

The year 2011 was defined by information overload. Workers spent more time in their inboxes than ever before. On average, workers spent 2.5 hours a day sifting through 147 email messages in the inbox– on top of the other requirements of their jobs. That is a problem. But managing your inbox does not have to be such a burden.

The key to getting more from your email is to get a better understanding of how your personal email habits work. Then, determine which areas need improvement, and focus on those. With a specific plan, you won’t have to find yourself cringing every time an email notification appears in your inbox.

Based on an analysis of over 5 million messages, these tips will help you curtail the amount of time you spend on email and increase the effectiveness of each message you send. With these tips, you can improve your time management and free up time to spend on other activities.

1)    Recognize how long each action takes and optimize where it counts: Most time on email is spent doing work that’s associated with a message, like “Can you review this paper for me?” Making decisions and writing responses also take significant time, but deleting messages takes very little.  Figure out which aspects of email consume the most time for you, and then target those areas for better time management.

2)    Send more effectively at the time people want to read their emails: You are more likely to get a reply if you send a non-marketing email before work or during lunch.

3)    Learn to say no and respond quickly: If an email is important, respond quickly and take care of it as soon as possible. If it isn’t, just say no and move on. Don’t overthink handling emails you aren’t interested in. Just hit delete instead.

4)    Know which words in your subject line generate responses: Apply, Opportunity, Demo, Connect, Payments, Conference, Cancellation.

5)    Know which words in your subject line don’t: Confirm, Join, Assistance, Speaker, Press, Social, Invite.

Alex Moore is the CEO of Baydin Inc., an email management company that provides customers with tools to handle email more efficiently through Boomerang for Gmail, Boomerang for Outlook and its 21-day “Revive Your Inbox” program. For more information, visit        

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