Tame Your Inbox in Time for Busy Season
The slow season is the perfect opportunity to focus on internal systems—like email management—to prepare for busy season. Email is a vital communication channel for event professionals, so staying on top of it is essential. However, doing so can get challenging, with overflowing client messages and junk mail cluttering your inbox.
When you don’t organize your email, you risk important messages falling through the cracks, affecting your reputation and professional relationships. So instead, aim to implement email management strategies before getting busy during the height of your business.
Decluttering your inbox is a small yet beneficial task that can boost your productivity and create an effective communication and filing system. It also allows you to be attentive without being overwhelmed by a sea of unread emails.
If you want to transition into the busy season without stressing over emails, here are four easy strategies to keep your inbox in check.
Reinvent your email system
Your inbox is more than a communication hub. It can also serve as an online filing cabinet. You can use it to organize everything from business expenses to client communications. Start the sorting process by creating top-level folders and subfolders. While some users label their folders by the year, others use categorical titles, like projects or payroll. Select a cohesive labeling system that will be easy for you to remember.
Nesting folders are an excellent way to create a home for every email. For example, you can move client-specific emails under a client communications label. Once you establish a filing system, you will always be able to find what you’re looking for with a click of a mouse.
Deep clean your inbox
It’s spring cleaning time! If your inbox is full of unread messages, set aside time to comb through and categorize them with your new filing system. Begin the process by deleting junk and spam emails in bulk. This will reduce overwhelm and significantly clean up your emails. You can also unsubscribe from newsletters that no longer serve a purpose.
If you have thousands of emails, it may take time to organize them properly. So be prepared to schedule multiple sessions to sort through everything. Although it’s a meticulous process, it will make a difference in navigating your inbox.
Pro-tip: Schedule a routine email audit to ensure your email contains the most relevant content.
Reserve times for email management
Do you get distracted by email notifications? Do you find yourself checking your inbox throughout the day? If so, consider blocking off time for your emails daily. Dedicating specific times in your day for reviewing and responding to emails allows you to be more intentional and responsive. So review your schedule to determine the best slots for email management. Whether you do a mid-morning check or late-afternoon review, this habit will ensure you stay on top of everything — even during your busiest seasons.
Use email templates to keep in touch
Many people view canned responses as cold or even robotic. However, when well crafted, email templates help with response rates while maintaining a personal touch. Auto-responders can also allow you to establish healthy boundaries without coming across as constantly unavailable. Once you implement a template (or multiple), follow up with personal messages during your scheduled email periods. Customized email templates will ensure you stay in touch with contacts while saving time and energy.
Are you ready to tame your inbox? Implement these four approaches to reclaim your schedule, improve response times, and ensure critical messages are on your radar. Say goodbye to the days of scrolling endlessly for emails and hello to a straightforward email system that allows you to approach each day with mental clarity, ready to dive into your to-do list.
Elizabeth Sheils is the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, the first software platform to bring together wedding planners, couples, and vendors into one system for managing and paying contracts and invoices. Elizabeth is also a lead wedding planner with award-winning firm Bridal Bliss, where she manages the Seattle team. In addition to recognition by Special Events in its Top 25 Event Pros to Watch series, she also earned a spot in The BizBash 500 for 2021.