As many know, emails make people unproductive. So what happens? When people use online tools that have notifications functionalities, they either ignore all the mails they receive, or they deactivate everything.
Although it is great in the sense that they don’t want to be encumbered by mails, they cannot use the online tool to their full potential. So what to do?
Your mail manager (GMail, Outlook, etc.) can organize those mails for you. Once your rules are set up, it’ll be a great help. So here’s what you need to do:
- Identify what’s important to receive: It is important to know what you do want to receive. For example, you may want to receive team comments/messages, and any tasks set to “complete”;
- Have your tool send you initial mails: You want to identify the keywords that you will use for your rules, so have your tool receive each mail you identified above;
- Prepare mail folders: You want to separate those mails according to what they will require of you. For example, “task complete” mails may need to be verified, so having them put aside in a “To verify” folder will make going through them very easy.Also, if you are using a tool like Outlook, you will be able to set folder properties so that it displays the number of mails it contains rather than unread mails, that way you can quickly see how many mails are there and not forget some you may have read;
- Set your rules: Set each appropriate rule so that each type of mails are put aside in appropriate folders;
- Clean up the folder: Make sure once the mail is not useful anymore (you verified the task, you read the comment, etc.), delete the mail as any information may (or should) be easily found inside your tool, so no need to pile up mails.
Rules are underrated, and they become very valuable when they team up with your tools, so try different rules, and adjust them or your folders as you go forward.