Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Managing Your Email for Writers and Bloggers

First off, clean out your inbox.

Sounds easy, right? Actually for some it can be rather difficult. Take me, for instance. I’m one of those people who allow their inbox to reach ghastly numbers (well into the thousands). However, if I want to simplify my day – and my work load – I really need to manage my email better.

Managing your email may not sound like a big deal or even something of great importance, but the issue for writers and bloggers is that email is a huge part of their daily work routine. Without email, most writers and bloggers cannot keep track of their blog comments, receive guest post requests, receive important payment information, and so much more. If you lose track of your email, you lose precious time; time that could have been spent perfecting your craft.

To begin, go through your inbox and delete everything that is of no value to you. This means things like spam, junk mail, emails that you have already read and no longer need, and random social media email alerts. Save the emails you do need to keep track of, or that you have not read but need to read. If you use Gmail, you can organize your emails into folders or “labels”. Create a few labels and organize away.

After you have done a massive inbox detox, go through your spam folder. I always try to check my spam folder because I do, on occasion, accidentally receive emails through there. Go through your spam folder and make sure you haven’t been missing out on any important emails. If you have, mark the important ones as “not spam” and they’ll shuffle over into your inbox.

Once you have sorted through your spam folder, delete everything in there. Yes, you should be keeping track and cleansing your spam folder as well. No, you do not need to do this every day. I only check my spam folder about twice a week, unless I’m expecting an email that might potentially end up in the spam folder on accident.

When you've cleaned out your inbox and your spam folder, breathe a sigh of relief. You’re almost done! The last thing I recommend is that you go through some of your emails that you have deleted and unsubscribe from them, if possible. Usually at the bottom of an email there will be a link you can follow that allows you to unsubscribe from the continuous email alerts. This last thing is somewhat optional, but I recommend it if you’re getting a bunch of junk mail.

One final tip: Only check and manage your email after you've written for the day. Preferably write in the morning and manage email, social media, and other accounts in the afternoon or evening. Getting the most important thing done during the day (in this case, writing), will help you manage your time better. If you try to deal with social media and email first thing in the morning, you run the risk of getting caught up in all of it and wasting time that could be better spent writing. \

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