3 Ways to Keep On Top of Your Emails

Hello! I'm Charlotte, and I'm the founder of Blog and Beyond. I'm a slightly sarcastic 22-year-old grandma from Glasgow who loves The Sims, Hugh Laurie and programmes about airports. I've been blogging at Colours and Carousels for nearly eight years and work freelance in digital marketing.
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organising email inbox

Use Folders

Filing might sound like an arduous task, but it's the best thing I've found for keeping on top of my inbox. Pretty much all email clients have some sort of folder system, which you can set up to your advantage and keep your inbox looking all shiny an organised.

I have a few key folders that I use for the bulk of my emails: a folder for emails that I've replied to and am awaiting a response, a folder for upcoming collaborations that have been completely organised, a folder for emails about payments that I'm waiting for, a folder for events that I'm going to and a folder where I keep important emails that I might want to refer to in the future.

I've also got folders where I keep press releases or newsletters that I might want to keep a hold of and a separate folder for emails from any affiliate programmes I'm part of.

When an email comes into my inbox I tend to read it, then flag it if it warrants a response so that I know to revisit it when I have time to craft the appropriate reply. I've started to get a bit ruthless with my emails nowadays, and if something comes in that's just absolute rubbish (hello random bloggers who are my "biggest fan" and want to guest post about irrelevant topics on my blog, no thank you) I delete it.

Template Responses

Do you ever feel like you're just repeating yourself over and over again whilst you write your emails? Me too, so I've started making my own templates for my most common responses. It saves me SO much time having something I can just copy, paste and tweak before sending. 

I just scribble down my standard response in a document that I keep in my Dropbox so that whenever it suits, I can ping over a reply in a matter of seconds. 

At the moment I have responses saved for:

  • Yes, tell me more about your campaign!
  • No, not this time - but maybe in the future.
  • Yes, I'd love to come to your event!
  • No, sorry - I can't make it on this occasion.
  • So, what's your budget?
  • Nope, I don't fill my posts with dodgy follow links, soz.

And I add to this list as things pop up. It makes clearing my inbox that little bit easier, as I don't have to put quite as much thought into what to say.

Making Time

Finding the time (or desire) to sit down and reply to my emails can be difficult. I always put it off, even though I know that once I get started it won't take anywhere near as long as I think it will. There are a few ways I try to reduce the time needed to dive into my inbox so that I can spend my time doing things I love like writing.

Some people can happily tap away at their emails on the bus in the morning, but I hate replying to things on my phone, so I'll only ever do it if it's really urgent. Don't ask me why - I'm just not into it. But if that works for you, then using dead time like commutes and waiting for your pal who's ALWAYS late to turn up can be a real time saver in the long run.

I like to use this time to make sure my inbox is nice and organised for when I do have a chance to whip my laptop out, which saves me faffing about with my folders and lets me get stuck right in.

I also use a lot of this time to watch cat videos or scroll through Instagram, but nobody is productive 100% of the time... right? If you are, please tell me your secret.

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tips for email organisation