Electronic mail isn't going away anytime soon, no matter how many social media platforms and other businesses integrate private messaging systems. Below are a few tips to lessen the dread you might feel when looking at your inbox. No matter how long you wait to check, "you've got mail."
Automated Sorting Rules
Inbox filters, or rules, automatically move emails to custom folders based on certain criteria :
- Email sender
- Message size
- Whether it has attachments
- Certain words in the subject or body section
- Many others depending on your email client
Want some ideas? Consider folders for work, networking projects, family matters, spam, archive, finances, notifications, school assignments, and student organizations.
Unsubscribe from Newsletters
I'm often auto-subscribed to newsletters after my first purchase from a Black-owned business. I don't like it, but I understand it. Newsletters don't compete with other accounts for attention in Twitter TweetDeck. If I'm not sure that I want updates on what a business is doing, I immediately unsubscribe. If there's no option in the bottom of the email, I email them directly. If that doesn't work, I mark their newsletter email accounts as spam. That hurts their reputation with email providers and keeps my inbox clean.
Have at least one, preferably text only. Images send as attachments or links with a bunch of HTML. That can get your emails marked as junk, and it makes your email look messy to those who only view emails as text, something I recommend for security-conscious desk jockeys. Also, consider setting your signature not to show on email replies if possible.
I've heard a few ideas about when, where, and how to reply to emails. "Don't respond to every email immediately." "Only send emails at specific times of the day." I've worked in places where I had to balance between both methods. The only one that I think I'd recommend to everyone: don't habitually email from your smartphone or in busy environments. My video below explains how it hurts your ability to recognize spam and phishing emails.
Email Server Management
If you use a desktop email client (Apple Mail, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.), hopefully you understood the differences between POP3 and IMAP during setup. Server administrators managing their own cloud-based email solutions should integrate DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance (DMARC), and Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI). I won't further explain any of this here because I already have in my network security guide.