5 Tips for Managing Your Inbox

Real Talk: The email struggle is real.

Before I started my business, I never really understood why people would complain about their inbox always being in a state of chaos. During that time I would just check my inbox 1-2 times per week — and most of it was spam so I didn’t really worry about it.

Fast forward to the start of my business — I then quickly understood the email struggle. My inbox was a hot mess when I first started and knew that it couldn’t stay that way.

Emails can get out of hand real fast. One minute your inbox is all tidy with just 1 or 2 unread emails…then suddenly you have 50 emails staring at you. And to make things worse, your phone keeps flashing the number of emails every time you go to reply to a text or post a photo on Instagram — reminding you of how unorganized you are.

Sometimes you can easily tackle half of your inbox within 20 minutes — while other emails might take just 20 minutes to get through.

Not every email can be replied to immediately, while other emails make you feel like a broken record repeating the same information.

So today I want to share 5 easy tips managing your inbox (and your sanity).

1. CANNED RESPONSES/ EMAIL TEMPLATES

This little trick is the biggest lifesaver when it comes to responding to potential clients or answering a FAQ. I found myself typing the same email multiple times a week, it got to the point that I basically had memorized the email I sent out to someone who was requesting information about my work.

I then learned about “Canned Responses” that can be setup on Gmail. Essentially you can create different email templates so that you don’t have to write the same emails multiple times.

Learn how to create canned responses in Gmail

When I do use an email template I always add something extra to it so the email is personalized, but it saves me a lot of time when I have the bulk information already typed. If you don’t use Gmail, you can always just create a word document with different email templates. I actually have mine saved in my Google Drive so that I always have a copy of my email templates.

2. FOLDERS

If you have multiple things happening (who doesn’t), then folders are the way to go. I work with various clients at the same time so I use folders to keep all of their feedback and notes in one place. I also have a folder for anything that is urgent versus messages that can wait a few days. It helps me keep things prioritized and responded to on time.

3. UNSUBSCRIBE FROM EMAIL LISTS

For my business email I do my best to avoid using it for anything that will then put me on a mailing list. I of course want to hear from brands that I am interested in for my business (StudioPress, BeaverBuilder, podcasters, etc) but I don’t want to get the daily “Don’t miss this sale” emails that I never even opened (looking at you Hot Topic).

Make time every month to unsubscribe from any email list that you are no longer interested in. This helps keep things organized and under control. Also helps avoid missing important emails due to all the clutter.

4. BLOCK OUT TIME FOR EMAILS

I’ve been guilty of leaving my inbox tab open all day on my second screen which can get stressful real fast. It took me a while to realize that it’s way more productive to set times throughout the day that are meant for emails. Block out time during your schedule that is just for emails.

I have my time slot setup in the morning so I can see what is pending and reply to quick emails — then later in the afternoon where I can send project updates and reply to longer emails.

5. SCHEDULE EMAILS

Another little trick that I love. I know this might not be available on all email platforms, but I love that Gmail has this feature. With my monthly maintenance clients I have emails that I need to send out on specific dates to remind them to send over content or updates on their website.

Instead of having to draft the email and then add a reminder on my phone to send it out that day, I just schedule the email to go out on a specific date. This might be a tip that doesn’t work for everyone — but if you have emails that you need to send out on a specific schedule it can really be a time saver.


Do you use any of these tips to keep your inbox in line? Tell us how you are managing your inbox below in the comments!

Found our “5 Tips for Managing Your Inbox” helpful? Check out the JDS Blog archives for more tips on how to improve your productivity for your life and business.

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Hello! I'm Melissa!

Website Designer & Developer
Melissa has a decade of experience in web design and development for small businesses, creative companies and boutiques. During any design project, she focuses on creating a collaborative experience so that her clients feel heard throughout the entire creative process. She specializes in WordPress, Shopify and Squarespace and focuses on creating an online presence and website her clients will love.