#005: How to Take Control of Your E-mail Inbox [Podcast]

Do you feel overwhelmed by your e-mail? Do you feel like you are hopelessly behind and will never catch up? Do you feel like stuff is falling through the cracks? If so, I have great news. In this episode I talk about how to take control of your e-mail inbox. Specifically, I outline four behaviors that will transform how you think about e-mail.

005  Blog Post Art

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Special Announcements

  1. I will be speaking at BlogWorld in New York on June 5–7. My friend, Cliff Ravenscraft of the PodcastAnswerMan.com, invited me. I don’t have the details nailed down yet—like my exact speaking time—but I will announce them on my Speaking page when I do.
  2. My new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, is still on schedule to be published on May 22nd. I’m going to ask you NOT to pre-order it yet. That may be a strange request, coming from the author, but there’s a method in my madness.

    We have put together a bonus package of seven resources worth $375.98! To get this special bonus offer, all you have to do is buy the book. I can’t tell you more yet, because we are still putting together the landing page. Once this is up, I will provide explicit instructions on how to take advantage of this special Pre-Launch Offer.

  3. I now have a Listener Feedback Hotline. You can call (615) 656-5001 and leave a message or a question. The system sends me an e-mail with an audio file of your message as soon as you hang up. If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, I’d love to hear from you. You are also welcome to e-mail me if you prefer.

Episode Outline

You can stay on top of e-mail by practicing these four behaviors:

  1. Empty your inbox every day.
  2. Don’t get bogged down, keep moving.

    Ask yourself, Is this e-mail actionable? In other words, Is the sender asking me to do something?

    If the answer is “yes,” you have three options:

    • Do
    • Delegate
    • Defer

    If the answer is “no,” you have two options:

    • Delete
    • File
  3. Use keyboard shortcuts and avoid the mouse.
  4. Let e-mail rules filter the low priority stuff

Listener Questions

I also answer three questions from my listeners.

  • What do you do if you are already thousands of emails behind?
  • Should I use a professional e-mail address and an everyday e-mail address?
  • Do you use a system where your assistant filters your e-mail before you see it?
  • Are salutations and valedictions still required in the modern email world?
  • How do you manage e-mail on a mobile device?
  • Have you found a way to use signatures in Gmail to create automated templates?
  • How long does it take you to respond to e-mails that you put on your to-do list?

Episode Resources

I mentioned the following resources in the show:


You can download a transcript of the show here.

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Question: What additional tips would you add for taking control of your e-mail inbox? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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