Not too long ago, a colleague got in touch to ask me about organizing email. As we all know, email can pile up remorselessly, and sometimes the inbox seems overwhelming. Over a couple weeks, we went back and forth (via email, oddly enough) and exchanged our ideas on the best way to handle email and track follow-ups.

Initially, she told me that she was using tags for organizing email.  For example, tags like “follow-up” were used for some messages, and additional tags were used for messages that got no response or conversations containing three or more messages. She also said that she had started using folders to further categorize her email.  These folders had labels such as “waiting for” and “action required,” both of which are pretty straight forward.

After she told me this, my first thought was that in order to maintain this sort of email organization, you really have to be disciplined to tag all prospective messages, and sort them into the appropriate folders. If you are not a disciplined person, this process may fail you very quickly. Since a number of her “waiting for follow-up” messages were regarding meetings she was trying to schedule, I suggested that she check out an app called TimeTrade. It works really well when scheduling a meeting with a client, potential customer or anyone.  Best of all, it’s free for personal use.  

Remember, organizing your email is a major first step to having a more organized office and becoming a more productive person!  Taking advantage of the latest apps can help you get control of your inbox!

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