Email Overload – Slay that Beast! by @alyciaedgar

by Alycia Edgar | Featured Contributor

What was once an exciting announcement…. “You’ve got mail” now feels like a dreaded curse.  Email is here to stay it’s not going anywhere.  Yes, we now have other communication methods texting, social media etc but email is what everyone knows.  How on earth do we make it feel like we control it, not the other way around?

Here are some tips:

Firstly, cull the volume of emails coming into your inbox

  1. Unsubscribe from the information you no longer read and the lists you were subscribed too without your permission.
  2. If your family and friends have time to share those (I’m going to call them stupid) chain letter like emails (about something seemingly important *sigh*) with you and you don’t wish to read them, tell them so.  Honestly, they won’t really care but will abide by your wishes.  If it’s so important to them they will tell you all about it next time you see them.
  3. Stop replying with thanks, got it, smiley faces and the like. It just encourages more unnecessary communication.  And if yoPreviewur team are doing that to you, tell them to stop.  Email is a very reliable method of communication these days it can be implied that you have received the email and yes thanks very much.

Secondly, control what you’re sending out

  1. Stop replying all, cc’ing and bcc’ing unnecessarily; use an internal communication tool to ensure all see really important information.  Weekly wrap up meetings can also help overcome this.
  2. In your email footer put your expected times you check email, ie “I check email only twice per day at 12 noon and 4pm”. This will set an expectation for your reader of when they should expect a return email if an urgent response is in fact needed.
  3. Create Subject line shortcuts – this is useful for dealing with your team and other regular email communicators.  If your email relates to a particular project use it to start the email.  This will help the reader determine urgency and relevance to their current actions.  Always begin an email subject line with relevant shortcut ie. [PROJECT X] or [ACTION ITEM] {due Friday}

Thirdly, organise your inbox

  1. Filter your emails.  Create filters for things such as e-newsletters you like to read, shopping emails, invoice receipts etc.  Create rules that emails go directly to these folders and not in your inbox.  They are more reference material than anything else. Read them when you can.  Use tools such as The Swizzle, Other In Box Organizer to do all the hard work for you! they will sort emails such as those above and give you a one page report at the end of the day as to what went in that folder, Tres’ cool.
  2. Use apps such as Mailbox, Boxer, Gmail, Triage or Dispatch on your phone or tablet device to make use of idle time.  I particularly like how mailbox allows you to setup folders to assign email to.  Eg, client work etc

And finally

  1.  Here’s you’re free ticket, just because someone sends you an email doesn’t mean you have to reply.  You know what sometimes it’s just not necessary. It’s not rude its just life. Harsh but true.

Hopefully the tips above help you conquer your email overwhelm and put you back in the driving seat.

“You’ve got less mail”  🙂


Alycia Edgar – Leading expert in creating systems for profitable business from Business Performance HQ – Torquay, VIC, Australia

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 10.54.45 AMForget about your mental picture of an accountant sitting behind a desk crunching numbers all day, stopping only to peer at you over the top of his or her wire-rimmed glasses.

A trained accountant, yes, but also much more. Alycia Edgar does not fit the picture painted above; instead she is a latte-sipping, beach-loving business owner who happens to be great at numbers and systems.

Alycia is a leading expert in creating systems for profitable business growth for her clients.  Nothing makes her happier than looking at your business numbers and helping you to understand what the numbers are saying, implementing systems to make your business more productive, or processes to make everything happen quicker and smoother.

Alycia is passionate about the idea that the right systems are the key to driving business growth.

She can share clear strategies that can help business owners become more productive and profitable immediately.

Alycia works with business owners to achieve this result through one-on-one mentoring and consulting on how to roll out innovative systems, procedures and processes. And will be launching her revamped Bizfficiency course later in the year.

A lover of social media, you can follow Alycia on twitter @alyciaedgar, Facebook – Alycia Edgar, instagram, Alycia Edgar.

To find out more visit

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One Reply to “Email Overload – Slay that Beast! by @alyciaedgar”

  1. Sam Title

    Here’s my $0.02:

    1. Check out to help whittle down your email account’s contents.

    2. If you’re going to take Alecia’s advice and unsubscribe from the stuff you don’t read, you can try RSS feeds instead. It’s a more passive type of subscription, and far less overwhelming. I recently discovered It’s a full-featured, web-based (but mobile accessible) RSS reader app that does almost everything. It also connects with some other popular mobile RSS apps out there (iOS and Android). The caveat: it’s ugly. But it works!

    All that being said…I still need to work on my own inbox monster.

    Here’s hoping you slay yours.

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