Taming the email beast

Before we get going if you don't have a Mac don't worry, just continue reading as this process will work equally on a PC providing your email client has the features outlined in this post.

How many hours do you spend going through your emails? For most of us, this is the most tedious task that we have to do in business. You are careful to file away into your many email folders all the answered emails, and those that can't wait, putting those in your urgent to-do folder.

Believe me when I tell you I have been doing this for years and it would take up most of a weekend afternoon to file all my emails away and have a sense of satisfaction that would last probably only a few days, and then I was back to square one.

Sometimes even I would put off this task or sorting through my emails for a few weeks, only to find that when I get round to doing this I have missed some urgent emails that were at the bottom of the pile date-wise.

Trust me I have gone through many email clients including Mac Mail, Airmail, Polymail, Gmail and others in search of the holy grail of the perfect email client. Until one day on a Sunday afternoon after I had finished yet another round of email cleansing, I decided to check out one of those blogs that say best 22 best apps for your Mac (and yes I have a Mac) and it provided a glowing report on Airmail.

Before we go on I need to say that this email is not endorsed by Airmail and in no way am I receiving commission or payment of any kind for putting up this post. I just feel for those who are in the email swamp and have not tamed the email beast yet. Oh, ye of little faith!

This email client as I mentioned earlier I was using several years ago then moved away in my quest for the holy grail of email clients. This report grabbed my attention because of the latest features that came with the new version of Airmail. Some of these features I knew about but the thought of changing back to previous email client was painful.

However, I took the plunge and changed back to Airmail again. I started to go over all the new features of Airmail and realized I have found what I was looking for at long last. This product also opened my eyes to how much time I was wasting previously putting emails into folders for everything. Being OCD I have always been a perfectionist, meaning I must know where everything is anyone time (which drives me nuts!). This, of course, meant in fact I was wasting so much time, so here’s how my system now works today using all the features I need with Airmail.

The main features I use now:

  • Snooze (so I can hide the emails away until I am ready to deal with them).

  • Spam (move these emails to the spam folder) I also use a spam filter that does this automatically.

  • SMART Folders (this was the kicker for me to re-use Airmail).

SMART folders meant for me that I was able to create folders for all of the emails that I needed to view and review and connect with later. Only the top VIP emails have SMART folders assigned to them. SMART folders are easy to set-up and capture who the email was from by name, company, subject line, and body etc, depending on how you set this all up.

Once you have set the parameters for capturing these VIP emails using SMART folders and you have tested them to make sure that the process is working all you need to do now is archive everything that does not require your urgent attention right now. This is done by the sliding the email (left or right, long or short slide) depending on how you have setup the slider in preferences. If the email is requiring a response by a particular date then slide and use the snooze function for this.

So for everything that comes in that's not spam or trash (or urgent) simply slide to archive, these emails will then still appear in your SMART folders trust me! So no more filing emails away into named folders manually. Use systems to automate everything as much as you can, you will not believe just how much time that this has saved me.

For emails that you don't want (trash) or consider to be spam, simply slide the email to how you have set up the sliding process and delete it.

How do I sort through which is what quickly?

Answer: -  get the ios App version for Airmail on your iPhone. I find it so much easier to swipe left or right short or long using a smartphone than on the Mac. I can go thru 200+ emails in about 15-minutes and know that everything ends up where it's supposed to, believe me it's a great feeling!

Remember to setup the sliding process for the function that you want, there are many but I only use trash, snooze, archive and action list for more options.

If you're not on a Mac and want to emulate this process make sure that your email client has similar functions to what I have described here, namely SMART folders (essential), snooze and of course archive. Test that the SMART folders have the emails in them what you have archived if this does not happen find an email client that does work as I have described here.

Happy email trails!





John Duffield

I am a Creative Information Marketer first and foremost, providing businesses with tips, ideas and resources to help them grow their business. I create many tools, Apps and digital products which are used by over 1,000 business all over the world. I enjoy creating resources for business that are ultimately used as part of their ongoing metrics.