There’s a popular meme that’s been making the rounds for awhile now, showing that there are two kinds of people in this world: Those with hundreds or even thousands of unread email notifications, and those with none.
Inbox Zero can feel like a kind of mystery utopia, an unattainable paradise you can only dream of reaching, especially for creative photographers. If you’re anything like most small business owners, you’re getting dozens of emails a day, and wading through them can become a daunting task.
Here are our favourite tips and apps for managing your email.
Start from scratch.
Many people advocate just archiving everything in your inbox and starting over. Nothing is really gone – it’s just gone from sight. You can search for anything you might need, but your inbox will be empty, giving you a chance to start again.
If the idea of hitting that archive button struck fear in your heart though, set aside an afternoon to get as close to inbox zero as you can. Use the search feature to bring up all related emails, then label, archive, or delete them accordingly. As you go, take note of the types of labels or folders you are using most often, so you can set up rules later.
Use rules, labels, and folders.
Make your inbox do the work of sorting and labelling your emails before you even see them. Create rules to filter emails using subject lines, email addresses, or other key words that will help you use your email time more efficiently. Check out this article for ideas on what folders to use, if you’re not sure how to best organize your inbox.
Schedule email management.
Your business tasks are way less sexy than shooting, but they have to get done. Schedule a set time each day for reading, organizing, and responding to your emails. Only check emails during that time. Set expectations with your clients and vendors that urgent items will be handled with a phone call or text message, rather than through email, which is not the most timely method. Also, try to avoid checking emails the first task of each day.
Find an email management app you love, and use it!
There are many options to choose from, but here are a few of our favourites
Email Skins & Add-Ons:
Conquering your email management woes will help you better ready to handle customer requests and new client inquiries. It will give you more time to spend on your photography, instead of in your photography business.