As a business owner of four companies, it can be pretty stressful to juggle all my emails. Over the past few years of running my businesses, I’ve got my email game down to a T! Here I am sharing my email hacks to help you save valuable time.
1. HAVE ALL YOUR WORK EMAIL FORWARDED TO GMAIL
So I have my LoveJojo email addresses (for support/enquiries/sponsorship/job positions etc), my blog enquiries email addresses, my online bakery email addresses and emails for my hosting company and Ramen subscription box service. This can get quite time-consuming and confusing to monitor so many email inboxes. So I have everything automatically forward to my Gmail account and then set up email aliases so that I can reply to emails I receive as if I’m replying straight from the email address they were sent to.
To do this is pretty simple. All you need to do is go to Gmail > Settings > Accounts & Import > Add another email address under the “send mail as” section. Make sure you tick “Treat as an alias” on the first page. Then get the SMTP Server/username/password from your website host.
2. UNSUBSCRIBE FROM ALL IRRELEVANT EMAILS
This is a huge one for me. I started using Gmail in 2004 which means I have had this email address for over 16 years! Back in the good old days, you didn’t think too much about subscribing to shop newsletters to get discounts and coupons, but over time, your tastes change and many of these emails are no longer relevant. I spent the past decade ignoring these emails and diligently deleting them as they arrived in my email inbox. One day, I thought to myself: “am I mad?!” Why was I wasting so many precious seconds and minutes of each day deleting these unwanted emails? So from that point on, every time I received an irrelevant email, I unsubscribed immediately. This can take a little bit of time, but the results are so worth it!
The result of this was a pure and clean email inbox where the only emails I received were emails that were important.
3. DELETE OR ARCHIVE ALL EMAILS
I spent some time cleaning up my entire email inbox on Gmail. First I went through and archived all the emails I wanted to keep, then I went and deleted any unnecessary emails. After that, I searched in the top search bar of Gmail for any emails containing attachments larger than 20mb and deleted anything I didn’t need anymore. Once I’d done all of this, my email inbox was empty. Now, anytime any emails come in, I respond and archive or delete as applicable. This is more productive in my opinion since before I did this, every time I looked at my email inbox, I felt so overwhelmed, I didn’t even want to deal with it!
4. USE CANNED RESPONSES ON GMAIL
I sometimes receive email enquiries from customers and I noticed I spent so much time typing out the same responses. There is a feature on Gmail that allows you to click a button to send a pre-written response! Go to Gmail Settings > Labs tab > Enable Canned Responses
Go to compose a new email, type in your desired pre-written response and click the drop-down arrow in the bottom left to get more options. Then choose Canned Responses > New Canned Response. This tip alone has saved me so much time writing the same emails out!
5. USE DIRECT COMMUNICATION
I had to learn this one the hard way. I believe emails should be short and to-the-point. We are all leading busy lives and don’t have time to read a huge essay from someone when it could be condensed down into a short paragraph. At the end of the day, get to the point!
I found myself projecting my “niceness” into my emails, which backfired most of the time. In a business setting, or if you’re requesting something from someone, it is far more effective to just say what you want, rather than asking and giving the other person the option to say no. For example, rather than saying “I was wondering if it would be possible to send me ____ please?” consider using “Please kindly send me ____”. People can sense manipulation if you use the first example.
There have been two instances in my professional life where I wrote emails like the first example. Emails were exchanged back and forth for lengthy amounts of time before I decided to deploy the second example’s tactic, which garnered me instant results. The first time, I wanted to have full rights to a design that was commissioned for one of my products. The designer said no they couldn’t do that. We exchanged emails 10+ times before I used direct communication to tell her what I wanted. She said yes straight away!
Second time, I needed a Power of Attorney document signed by a company. I spent almost 1 year trying to get this and because I felt like I had to be nice and super polite, my request was denied. The moment I sent an email stated what I wanted, the company wrote back straight away and told me to send them the documents so they can sign it!
BONUS: 6. USE YOUR IPHONE’S TEXT REPLACEMENT FUNCTION
I recently discovered under the iPhone’s text replacement option, you can write a huge block of pre-written text and type just a few letters to get it to show up!
Go to Settings > General > Keyboards > Text Replacement
Now type out what you want to show up and choose a few letters to use as the shortcut code. Now each time you type that shortcut code, it will automatically type all of the text out for you! You can save so much time using this to reply to emails on your phone.
Did you enjoy my email time hacks? Which one was your favourite? Let me know in the comments below which ones you’ll be using!