As an early founder, I often got backed up on email. After I finished working on the business all day, I couldn’t consistently respond to all my emails. That came back to bite me a few times when I missed some that were important. I either saw them too late or didn’t see them at all.
Effective communication is important, and email is one of the main forms of business communication. As I matured as a founder, I learned the importance of good communication, including managing my email effectively. And I learned a few tricks. These two worked the best:
- Inbox zero – This is the best but most difficult approach. You clear your email inbox out every day. You deal with every email, even those that don’t require a response. I checked emails once a day in the middle of the afternoon to accomplish this.
- VIP senders – This was effective when I was pressed for time. Most email clients allow you to designate certain contacts as VIPs and segregate emails from them. I called it my VIP inbox. If my day was busy and I couldn’t get through my entire inbox, I made sure to deal with every message in my VIP inbox.
Managing email remains one of my least favorite tasks. I still struggle with it at times. But I realize that it’s difficult to be a good communicator if you don’t have a good email strategy.