As a coach for wedding planners, I get a lot of questions. Some common ones are how to onboard a client and how to automate systems. But one that I started hearing more and more was how to create an organized inbox. In a digital age, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed by an inbox filled with emails. If I open up Gmail and see dozens of emails, I start to feel a little overwhelmed! Even if it’s just sales and filler emails, it can be stressful to see that number grow every minute.
If you are sitting there, ignoring your inbox that is overflowing, this one is for you! Today I am sharing 8 tips for an organized inbox. While inbox-zero might be hard during a busy wedding season (let’s be honest – clients have A LOT of questions!), I can promise you that a little bit of clean-up and organization will be well worth it.
01. Use Gmail and Google Workspace for business.
If your business isn’t on Google Workspace (formally called G-Suite), I highly encourage you to check it out! It is super easy to convert to Gmail from your current email platform, and trust me; you will love how easy it makes everything going forward! I love it for many reasons, but especially for how easy it is to manage my team’s emails with different users. Each team member can have their own inbox and switch in-between inboxes with just a click. Plus, you can update Google listings and even respond to reviews.
You can also house all of your GoogleDocs/Sheets/Drive using your company account. This is a free alternative to Dropbox, which can quickly fill up with files and cost quite a bit to upgrade.
Pro Tip: You can easily brand your Gmail email. I personally wouldn’t suggest having your business email be xyz @ gmail.com since that is not as professional looking. You can easily have your email be at your domain – just housed through Gmail. You can learn how to quickly set this up here!
02. Create folders
Create overarching folders for different areas of your business and sub-folders within each when necessary.
Some examples are Clients, Branding, Email Receipts, Legal, Marketing, Team, Personal, etc.
Pro Tip: For the ‘Clients’ folder, create sub-folders by client name as they book. Bonus points if you create sub-folders within theirs too to organize details! You can even color coordinate folders, so it’s easy to find in your inbox.
I create three sub-folders for every client I book: Details, Vendors, and Photos. This way, I can quickly go to the correct folder and refer to the details I need. It also lets me find photos for social media and blog posts without digging through my inbox.
03. Use the promotions + social tabs
Take advantage of Gmail’s promotions and social features to ensure emails like newsletter subscriptions (and non-time-sensitive emails) do not bog down your email! It is so easy to get sidetracked when we see emails come through, especially when they’re sales and promotions. But when you separate tabs, you can have them filter into a separate tab that you can check at your convenience (but not distract you in the main inbox!)
04. Keep business and personal separate
With your business email, do not subscribe to email subscriptions like Target, Pottery Barn, or Anthro. Have a separate, personal email for that! We know those big chains and stores send a ton of emails each week, and it can get so distracting. So keep those in your personal inbox, so your work email is ONLY work.
05. Use canned responses
By now, you know I’m a big believer in creating email templates to save you time on emails you often send to clients and vendors. But what do you do with those emails that you create? Not only can you build out these emails in your CRM system, like Honeybook, but you can also build them into Gmail!
Gmail has a canned response feature that allows you to write emails and save them as templates to use again and again. You simply select the email desired, personalize it for the recipient and send it in a matter of minutes. A huge time-saver, especially come busy season.
06. Schedule emails
If you’re not familiar with Gmail’s scheduling feature, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with it and start using it today! This handy feature lets you schedule out emails to send in the future. I highly encourage using this feature for emails you know need to go out later, but want to plan ahead.
Or better yet, if you find yourself working late at night, early in the morning, or even on a day you’re technically out of office, you can schedule the email to go out DURING your office hours.
This way, your clients don’t see you breaking your own boundaries (something we are all guilty of sometimes doing!)
To schedule an email:
—>When creating an email, navigate to the send button.
—>To the right of it, you’ll see an arrow pointing down. When you click it, it’ll allow you to schedule your email for a future date and time. And voila – email scheduled!
07. Archive old emails
When a wedding is complete, and you no longer need to have quick access to the emails pertaining to their wedding, archive them. The same goes for other emails/folders you no longer need. I don’t recommend deleting, just in case you need them again. But archiving removes them from view but still lets you access them!
Go on, do it. You know you want to. Unsubscribe from those emails that just add to the noise. Those you don’t ever open or don’t bring you joy. At the very least, see #3 above for moving those you do want to continue receiving into the promotions tab.
8 Tips for an Organized Inbox
Even with these tips, managing your inbox is a daily task. You need to make sure that you take time to clean up your inbox every week. File away read emails, flag those that need a quick response, and archive old items. By committing to this new filing system and using all the features that Google Workplace has to offer, you will be organized in no time!