Email Advice – how to simplify your inbox

Camille Shaw-Pigeon
August 14, 2015

Emails are a necessary evil of business, you can’t escape them and often time they monopolize your time, but you wouldn’t get anything done without them. Sure, most of the time they’re more convenient than phone calls, and definitely more practical that sending a letter, but how do you manage your inbox when you’ve got more coming in than you can read? Here are tips for staying on top of your inbox and making the most out of the messages you send.

  • Keep it short and sweet: Think of it this way, are you more likely to read and respond to a page long email or a quick two sentence one? Probably the short one. So keep this in mind when wording an email to anyone, keep it concise and you’ll get better results and responses.
  • If you can answer it, do it: If you read an email and it only requires a quick response, just answer it then. Your goal should be to only touch an email once. Answer it now if you can, save it for later when you have more time, or delete it. Don’t waste time opening and reading every email just to put it off till later...
  • Subjects are key: You’re way more likely to have people open your email if you use a subject that lets them know what the email is about or what’s being requested of them.
  • 24 hour rule: Here at LaunchSource we have a 24 hour rule. Essentially, we expect all of our candidates to respond to emails within 24 hours of receiving them. It sounds easy but you’d be surprised how many people just chose to ignore this simple rule. Just answer important emails within this time frame, if you don’t it reflects poorly on you as a professional.
  • Follow up: Did you send an email days ago, but never got a response? Don’t be afraid to follow up with people. If you needed something from them, it’s very reasonable to ping them again checking in on the status of a request or project.  
  • Keep it professional: Lastly, this is an important fact to keep in mind. It’s pretty easy to forget that your work email is exactly that- work. Keep everything you send via this channel professional and clean. If you wouldn’t want your boss to read it, don’t send it through your work account.

Email can become overwhelming if you don’t stay on top of it. But by making sure you’re sending and receiving them strategically and not wasting time, you’ll be able to better manage your inbox and stay organized.