Podcast

How To Streamline Your Inbox

January 19, 2022

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I'm Court —online systems educator for coaches. I'm here to help you love your business again.

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While email is a necessary form of contact in your biz, it can also be one of the largest time-suckers we face on a daily basis. The constant checking and follow-up responses can cause you to get stuck managing your inbox all day rather than leading your team or focusing on those tasks or projects that are going to generate more ROI on your business. So today we are going to talk all about consolidated communication and how to streamline your inbox!
 

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Why Streamlined Communication Is Important

Streamlined communication in your biz is important for many reasons. It prevents mistakes and encourages accountability, prevents you and your team from overwhelm, and prevents things from getting missed between team members+ clients.

It also saves time and allows you to set boundaries with clients about your available times, how long they can expect to wait for a response, what form of communication to use in specific situations. An important, and often overlooked piece, of consolidated communication is to streamline your inbox!

 

Creating Expectations + Boundaries With Clients And Team

We all sometimes get stuck feeling like we need to be available 24/7. But by setting boundaries around communication in your business, you will be able to spend less time in your inbox and more time focusing on pushing the needle forward in your biz.

First, work on deciding when and in what specific circumstances your clients + team should email you. For example, on Team EE we do not use email for communication at all. All of our communication happens in Slack and ClickUp. And for clients, we use HoneyBook emails when they have filled out an application to book a call and then at the beginning of their onboarding. After that, we pull them into a ClickUp Dashboard for all of our communication.

After you have set these expectations, work on creating boundaries with your team and clients. This includes things like communicating to your team and clients what kind of response time they can expect from you and encouraging them to create boundaries for their inboxes too!

 

Organizing + Automating Your Inbox

One great way to keep your inbox organized is to utilize folders and subfolders. Some ideas for this are:

  • Create folders for each of your clients. Then create subfolders like “projects”, “media features”, “graphics”, “important info”, etc.
  • Create folders for media features. Then create subfolders like “podcast guest episodes”, “live trainings”, “interviews”, etc.
  • Create a customer support ticket folder (or create this in your team’s support inbox). Then create subfolders like “identifying solution”, :solution delivered”, “reworking solution”, “ticket closed”.
  • Create a platforms + tools folder (to manage any support tickets for platforms you use in your biz). Then create subfolders for each platform like “ClickUp”, “slack”, “ThriveCart”, etc.

Beyond organization, here are a few ideas for ways you can start automating your inbox.

  1. Create canned email responses for commonly asked questions. You can then store these as templates in your Gmail account or store them as a doc in your project management tool (Our fav is ClickUp!) Check Out ClickUp Here! (and use code SYSTEMSUP to get 30% off the Unlimited Plan or 15% off Business Plan)
  2. Set up an autoresponder to let people know that you will respond within X amount of hours. This sets the expectation upfront that you don’t respond immediately and gives them an idea of when they can expect a response.
  3. Set up filters or rules in your inbox so that your emails can be filed automatically. For example, maybe you want all of your incoming lead-intake forms to be filtered into a folder called “New Leads”. Another example is that maybe you want all of your emails from ClickUp to be filtered into your ClickUp folder.

Best Practices To Manage + Streamline Your Inbox

Here are a few of our best practices for managing your inbox!

  1. Set times to check your inbox. Plan to check your email twice a day! For example, block out a window of time in the morning and afternoon to check and respond to emails. 
  2. If you are responding to an email outside of your business hours, schedule it to send within your regular hours.
  3. Don’t leave messages sitting in your inbox unless you need to come back to them later. If an email requires more of your time and thought, flag it to respond to at a later time in the day. Otherwise, take action and file it away!
  4. Set up autoresponders for when you are out of office. Include when you will be back in office and who they can reach out to on your team if they need an immediate response.
  5. Set up your business inboxes for scaling. For example, follow naming conventions like hello@, support@, partners@, accounting@, etc. instead of “yourname”@. This helps you seamlessly transition inboxes when hiring new team members
  6. Set tasks every month to clean your inbox. It’s inevitable that your inbox won’t always stay 100% organized. So take some time once a month to unsubscribe from emails, archive any old projects, and clean up your folders!

Your inbox shouldn’t have to be a source of stress in your biz. Taking these steps to streamline your inbox prevents overwhelm and saves you time so you can focus on the big picture tasks in your biz! If you’re ready to start streamlining and systemizing your biz, check out our course Elevate!

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