emailSending electronic mail or email messages is a quick and effective form of communication, for both personal and business use. It’s fascinating to me that I can send a message to someone in another country and get a response within seconds.

Messages can include file attachments such as documents, pictures and even videos. Keeping in touch with family, friends and business contacts couldn’t be easier!

Just about everyone I know has a computer, laptop, iPad, smart phone or other communication device, and at least one email account, some have multiple accounts. The more accounts you have, the bigger the challenge is to effectively manage all those messages.

Your inbox can become cluttered very quickly if you don’t have an effective way to manage all of it. You could spend an enormous amount of time just weeding through all the junk mail to get to the messages that are important.

The tips below will get you started to eliminate the stress of an overflowing, cluttered inbox and help you get a handle on your incoming messages.

• Schedule 2 time slots in your day to read and respond to messages; perhaps 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon.

• Use your inbox only for messages that have not been read, or that you need to take action on.

• Create a folder for multiple messages that you receive on a specific topic. When you are finished reading, or acting on a message, move it to its folder, or delete it.

• A misc email folder can become equivalent to a junk drawer. So be sure to label all email folders with a specific category.

• To reduce inbox clutter, unsubscribe to newsletters that are no longer a benefit to you.

• Make your inbox work more efficiently for you. Set up rules or create filters for specific messages such as informational messages to go right into a folder to read at a later time.

Electronic bills:  Schedule payments as you receive the reminder email. If/when you receive a confirmation email, delete the reminder email. Record the date & confirmation number. When the payment shows up on your bank statement, delete the reminder or confirmation email.

What steps do you take to manage email messages?