Merlin’s 5-step method for managing your email inbox
Isn’t email wonderful?
I’m serious. Everyone complains about email now, but many copywriters just starting out now don’t remember the good old days when there was no email. I remember having to actually pick up the phone to talk to clients. *gasp!* To send copy, design, proposals, invoices, and other documents, I’d use a fax or FedEx.
Sometimes, I would use an ancient data storage device called a “floppy disk” to send files. I still have a small pile of them in my office somewhere, sitting idle and useless since most computers now don’t have a floppy drive.
But today, it’s all done by email. Send a message. Send an invoice. Send copy. The copywriting business today is all about managing a blur of emails all day long.
Which brings me to my point. Isn’t email a pain in the butt?
All those emails can really eat up a big chunk of your day if you let them. Communicating with clients or bosses or colleagues is important, but if you don’t manage email efficiently, the time loss is huge. And if you’re one of those types who uses your inbox as an archive of your life, you’re in deep trouble.
For me, email management is a massive issue, since I run a copywriting business and help run an influential and rapidly growing nonprofit. I use templates to answer common questions. I use filters to auto sort messages into different in-boxes. I try to keep replies short. But I still get overwhelmed on some days.
Merlin Mann to the rescue. Merlin is the founder of 43folders, a blog about finding the time to do your best creative work. He gave a presentation to Google youngsters employees about how to handle email. His method is called Inbox Zero.
It’s all common sense, really. But if you’re flummoxed about the avalanche of email you get and send, this may help you sort things out and conquer your inbox.
I’m curious, what email management issues do you have? Are you able to get your inbox to zero every time you check your email?
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- 100 spam trigger words that can kill your email copy
- Email copywriting: an interview with Ivan Levison
- A 9-step copywriter’s guide for taking effective notes