Managing Your Inbox

by Catherine L. Tully

Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully
Freelance-Zone Editor, Catherine L. Tully

As you get deeper and deeper into the writing field you’ll begin to realize what a nightmare your inbox can be. Seriously.

And if you are already deep into the writing field, you are probably nodding your head wildly in agreement right now.

Today I’m going to share my most successful, and also the most simple tips I have for keeping up with e-mail. There are of course many ways to do this, and I’d love for people to chime in with their ideas, but for now, here are mine:

  • Tackle the inbox every day. Otherwise it adds up really, really fast. I always do mine first thing in the morning.
  • Keep high-priority items in the inbox. If I file these, I forget them.
  • Have more than one e-mail account. I use a gmail account for all my total junk (sign ups for restaurants, etc.), an info account for my inquiries and an editor account for the important stuff. Then I have a personal account as well. It really helps you filter things.
  • Delete things if you can. Don’t keep every response from everyone. I delete things and then empty my deleted items once a month or so…just in case.
  • Come up with a good filing system–and use it. My folder system saves me all the time–but I have to force myself to actually file things.
  • Get off lists periodically. If you sign up for a newsletter and find yourself deleting it every month, take the time to unsubscribe. It’s amazing how much time this saves you in the long run if you do it for everything you don’t use.

Got any other ideas to add to the list? If so, share them here!