Part 1 - The dreaded inbox and email nightmare

Anyone who owns or runs a business anticipates that there will be a certain amount of administration 'stuff' to take care of. However, sometimes the basic mechanics of business management can become overwhelming. Here at Strictly Savvy, we have made it our business to help you run your business more efficiently, so if you are drowning in admin or you've forgotten what your actual job is, this five-part blog series might just be the life-raft you've been looking for!

The first (and arguably most important) time sucking black hole we will tackle is email. If there was a timer set to record the total amount of time you spend in your inbox each day, you'd probably be shocked. Whether it is sifting through hoards of junk mail (no, we swear you don't have a long-lost billionaire uncle in Nigeria that wants to share his fortune with you...) and hundreds of old emails to find something important, or reactively responding to every email you receive, we have compiled six tips to keep you responsive, efficient, and organised.

1. Unsubscribe whenever you can and try to avoid using your business email to sign up to personal newsletters and promotions (you can find out about your favourite store's latest sale when you get home). This will help free your inbox of junk and will also lessen the anxiety-inducing 'ding!' alerts your phone/computer makes every time you get an email. If you are using Gmail you have to get Unroll.me - this free tool takes all of your reading, newsletters, and subscription emails and collates it into one daily digest email. This dramatically reduced the size of my inbox each day.

Image Credit: Unroll.me

2. Get a domain name and get onto Google Apps for Work or Microsoft Office 365. Having an email address with your domain is far more professional than an @xtra or @gmail address. You can get a domain from somewhere like Freeparking and then use it to get an email account set up on Google Apps for Work or Office 365.

3. Set up an email signature to increase the professional look of your emails and to save you writing in your name and contact details each time. You can use an email signature application like WiseStamp or Email Signature Rescue to make awesome interactive email signatures.

Image Credit: WiseStamp

4. If you find yourself writing the same sort of emails over and over then get some email templates set up. It'll save you loads of time. Google has Labs that will get you this functionality and Outlook has an email template feature.

5. Sync your Microsoft or Google account across all your devices. Your emails, documents, contacts and calendar should seamlessly sync across any device that you use. If it doesn't, you'll be frustrated, miss important things, and be less responsive.

6. If you use Gmail, set up Sortd (free tool). It is currently in beta stage, but Sortd has transformed my Gmail inbox view. It takes the old Gmail interface and transforms it into stunning columns with your lists of tasks. AH-MAY-ZING! They also have a phone app so you can see your 'to-do' lists on the go.

Image Credit: Lifehacker

We know that these tips will absolutely help to lighten the administration load, but of course, you can always talk to us if you require assistance with something email/inbox related that you might be stuck with. (Don't be shy, because this sure isn't our first rodeo! We have seen and successfully wrangled some scary overgrown inboxes... 1000+ unread emails is nothing).

Stay tuned for the next post in this series, as we blow your mind with time-saving web browsing tips.

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