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Effective email management – this is how it´s done

Every morning when I open my email folder, the spam gang has struck again. This morning I found  as much as 20 + letters and that's how many I usually find because I usually stop working at 12.30 am (don't tell anyone) the night before and I have already managed to empty the inbox before I throw myself into the bin.

But I'm not so worried. If you have your email address on multiple websites, sending out newsletters and you're visible with your mail address here and there on the web – it's unavoidable. Additionally, I have a relative amount of control over my email. I say relative because I usually get around 100 important messages a day in my box and I unfortunately don't have time for everything.

So this is what I'm trying to do - and if you want, you can do the same:

1. Read email only at certain times. Create an ”e-mail-time”. If you do, you won't be distracted by which mail you should reply to and you'll avoid chopping down time and concentrate on replying to all the mail at one point later on. Try doing this tomorrow and you will see how relieving it is. Check your e-mails at 10 o'clock and 3 o'clock, for example.

2. Use the Delete button. If you don't recognize the sender or if you can feel the spam scent directly in the message field – you have to realize that this is something you can't get around, a weed that you just have to remove routinely as soon as it pops up.

3. Take your time to unsubscribe to emails you haven't asked to receive, but do so with discernment. Some of the junk mail – Russian and English senders in particular – you should just delete because your attempt to remove your email address from their records only confirms to them that your address is active and that they can continue to send you more junk to you.

4. Now only the important messages remain in your inbox. Respond to what you need to answer and create a folder for that person and put the message in it if you need to save it. Throw away everything you don't need to save.

5. Use filters or ”rules of e-mail” as it's called in Outlook. With this tool, you can ensure that messages go directly to a folder that you have decided that they will end up in. Smart and it makes it easy to find messages later.

6. Create some more folders -”To do this week/this month” ,”Interesting contacts” and ”Processing”, so that you can take care of them when you have more time than right now.

These steps will give you  good control over the email. Try and see for yourself.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.