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EP 11. How to Manage Your Inbox Like a Boss

Mompreneur article about email organization
I'm Ashley!

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I recently learned about this incredible app for Gmail users that has completely changed my productivity. I currently manage four inboxes and always feel like I’m completely drowning trying to keep up. I am one of those people that loves to have my inbox to zero. But lately I have let my inbox get completely out of control until I found this amazing app that I cannot wait to share with you guys. I used to spend so much time switching between all of my Google Drives and being so annoyed with those alerts telling me that I had to log out of one account to log back in. Can you relate to this? If so, I am ready to blow your mind and teach you how to manage your inbox like a boss.


What’s up, mama? Welcome back to the show. I am so excited to be here with you today. I know I say that every single episode, but literally this podcast thing is so much fun. I feel like you’re sitting with me right now and I just want to get you so pumped up about managing your inbox. Because if you’re anything like me, you’re at least managing two, probably a personal email address and then your business.


But for me, I have multiple businesses, so that’s why I’m managing four. I have three businesses and my personal and, Oh my gosh, I’m sure you can imagine how frustrating it is when I just want to get on and check my email, but I can’t remember which email address I typed in for that certain opt in or it’s just, it’s so hard to manage. So, I just want to share this mind-blowing app with you and give you a four-step system for how to manage your inbox.


Step 1: Download Kiwi
So, let’s jump right in. The first step is going to be to download the app, which is called Kiwi. Now, if you’re listening to this while you’re driving and not able to take notes, that’s totally fine. I just definitely recommend revisiting this when you do have some time to sit in front of your computer, actually download the app and get started on some of the things that I’m going to be sharing with you. But of course, it’s always great to hear information and then implement it. Otherwise, you’re going to be pausing me every few seconds to follow along.


Okay. So, in the show notes, I will be sure to put the link, but it’s called Kiwi for Gmail.com. And Kiwi, like the fruit, K- I-W-I, super easy to download. It’s completely free and they give you a free account for two email addresses. And then if you have any more than that, I think it’s $30 a year. Which is 100% worth it, in my opinion, to just give me this simple, easy way to manage all of my inboxes.


So, let me just give you a couple of reasons why I love this app so much. So, number one, you no longer have to have multiple tabs open in your browser to view all of your email addresses. So, for me, I’ve got four, so when you open Kiwi for Gmail, it basically has your email open to your default account, and then there are little tabs underneath that. So, it’s very easy to switch between your accounts and then you can go straight into your Google Drive from. Kiwi. So no longer, this is the best part, do you have to log in and out of your Gmail accounts and you get that silly error that says something like, you don’t have access to this from this email.
And then you constantly are signing in and out and it takes so much time and it’s just so frustrating. So, I recommend that you grab this because it totally consolidates everything. The other thing that I love about it is that you can have it pinned to your task bar. So, when you want to visit your email, you don’t have to open your browser, type in Gmail and wait for all of your emails to load. You just click on that little shortcut, right on your task bar for Kiwi, and it pops up with all of your email addresses in one place.


It’s so simple and easy to use. It’s just very streamlined and I love it. The other thing too is it shows you how many unread emails you have, so it kind of helps you stay updated that way. Once you walk through this system that I’m going to give you in a few minutes, you’re going to be able to always have your inbox to zero because you’re going to be able to visually see when you have emails come in. Set aside some time to actually check those emails and get your inbox set to zero every single day.


Step 2: Create Labels
Okay, so step two is going to be to create labels. And a lot of you probably are familiar with Gmail’s labels. But essentially what a label is, is it’s a folder and it’s a way to organize your messages. So. Let me give you an example, one of my email inboxes is for my photography company. So, I have several different labels or folders, as you would call them to help me organize and manage the different components of my business.
So, I might have one for current brides and maybe current clients and then one for past brides and past clients because maybe I want to keep some of that correspondence. Maybe it had important information I want to refer to in the future. Then I also have a label for things like newsletters. Maybe something that I don’t necessarily need to keep in my inbox because it’s not very important, but I do want to have it just in case I want to reference it. Then I also have a label for my receipts, so anytime I get a receipt, or an invoice sent to me, I can go ahead and label it as a receipt.
So, the cool thing about having different folders is that you can transfer messages out of your inbox into these folders. That way you still have them, but they’re not bogging down your inbox. Your inbox should only be for things that you need to take action on. So, these are things like inquiries that come in, customer service support that you need to give someone, personal tasks that you might need to attend to, that type of thing. So, your inbox should be for pertinent information that you need to take action on and everything else should be sorted into a folder/ label where you can access it later.


Step 3: Create Filters
Okay, step number three you guys is my absolute favorite. This is what I’m totally geeking out on because I didn’t know this was a thing, and if you already know this, like kudos to you. It’s genius, but this is seriously the best tip. This is what has changed my productivity and just changed everything about email for me. So, you can create filters inside of Gmail regardless of if you have Kiwi. But when you have Kiwi, everything just is in one place and it’s more streamlined.


So, I totally recommend it, but creating filters is something that you can do, which basically tells Gmail a certain rule that you want it to perform every single time an email comes in with this attached filter to it. So, let me give you a couple of examples. We all love a good newsletter here and there, and especially the ones from our favorite people. However, we are probably subscribed to way too many newsletters and way too many people’s information than we need to be.


So, one of the filters that I have set up, is when anybody’s email comes into my inbox and it has the word unsubscribe anywhere in the email, it automatically labels it as a newsletter and moves it from my inbox. It archives, it, moves it from my inbox and puts it into my newsletters folder. That way when I open up my email, I’m looking at important pertinent information, I’m not overwhelmed with the tons of newsletters that I’m getting constantly. But instead of me having to manually do that every single time, it automatically filters it out of my inbox and into this newsletters file folder.


That way when I’m ready to go check out some newsletters, I can go into that newsletters label/folder, I’m going to use that word interchangeably, and be able to access and locate those newsletters. Then it’s also puts all those newsletters in one spot, so I can easily go through and start unsubscribing from the ones that I no longer want to be a part of.
Another really cool example of how I use this filter. I use a program called Show It for my website, and so anytime I get a new inquiry for my photography business, somebody will go through my contact form on my website and it will send me a Show it robot notifier. And so, I’ve taken those key words and I’ve created a filter. So anytime an email comes in from the Show Its robot, I filter it to be starred as important. So as soon as I go to my inbox, if there’s a new inquiry, it will be starred, and it will be totally prominent to me that that is an inquiry that needs attention right away.
The final example I want to give you about a filter that I have set up is for my receipts and invoices. So again, I go into my settings and I will walk you guys a little bit more clearly through how to do this. But go into the settings and I’m going to find that filter and I’m going to add a filter. So anytime an email comes into my inbox and it has the word receipt or invoice, it’s going to go directly into my label labeled folder called receipts. That way it goes straight from my inbox and it just goes right into that folder. That way I don’t have to do any of the heavy lifting. I’m not doing any of this, it’s completely automated.


So that’s the key here you guys, is you want your inbox to be automated and organized in a way that you’re not missing important information. Ideally what it’s doing is it’s allowing you to only see the things that need your immediate attention, and then everything else is being automatically filtered so that you don’t have to worry about it.


Okay, so let me walk you through exactly how you’re going to do this. So, once you have your Kiwi for Gmail opened, you’re going to click on the tab of the email address that you want to work on first. You’ll see at the top of your inbox to the right-hand side, there’ll be a little gear which is for your settings. Click on that gear and click settings, there’ll be a huge list of settings here with several different tabs. There’s a labels tab that I want to point out to you, and also a filters and blocked addresses. So, the first one I want to talk to you guys about is the labels tab. So, this is where you’re going to go in and be able to create a new label.


Now, on my computer here, I don’t know if it’s different for Mac, but I’m on a PC and when I scroll down to find, create a new label, is down in the middle of the page. It’s a very strange place for it to be, but it’s there. So, you can create a new label and you just enter the label name and you can also have labels that nest under it. For instance, if I have that label titled receipts, maybe I want a nest labels underneath that. That would be specific years of receipts. So maybe I wanted to do 2020 for this year, and then I’ve nested in other ones that are previous years. So, you can get really creative and really specific as to how you want to organize your inbox. But I want to let you guys know how to first create those new labels.


Next, you’re going to check out the filters and blocked addresses tab. Now here is where the magic happens. So again, you have to scroll down to about the middle of the page here and select, create a new filter. So, once you’ve selected, create a new filter, it’s going to pull up a couple of different things that you get to choose from. So, you can choose that when the email comes in. If it says who the person is from, so it’s going to open up a tab that allows you to choose the, “if this”, “then what”. So, the first part is going to be “if this”, so if this email comes into my inbox and it’s from, there’s a place where you can write who it’s from. Maybe you want to organize it by subject. Maybe there’s a subject line that comes in that you want to use as a filter.


But the one that I use the most is the one that says, “has the words”. So, this is where you can type in any in email that comes into my inbox that has the words blank, then you’re going to do this. So, for instance, like I’ve mentioned, I use, has the words “unsubscribe”, has the word “receipt” or has the word “show it robot”. That’s the one that you might use the most. So, any email that comes in that has the word “unsubscribe”, let’s go with that one. For instance. You hit create the filter, and then this is where you can get really creative with it.


So, let me just kind of walk you through all the different things that you can do. So, when a message arrives that matches this search, so again, the “has the words, you’re going to do, what? You can check any or all of these boxes. You can skip the inbox and archive it. You can automatically market as red. You can star it; you can apply the label and then choose the label you want. You can forward it to a different address. So, this is really cool too.
This is a total side note, but you can actually create aliases in your G suite account and forward different emails that come into other people. If you have a team, it would anytime, like a support@your email address came in, you could create that alias and have it forwarded to your support customer service, VA or whatever for instance. There are some too that you can just automatically delete it. I don’t know that you would want to do that, but maybe there are just some people that you don’t want emails from anymore and they just keep emailing you.


You can just automatically delete it. You can also check the box that says, “never send it to spam.” You can always mark it as “important”, never mark it as “important”. You can categorize it, and the other really cool thing is, I’m going to get to this in a few minutes, but while you guys are going through this process, you can also apply the filter to matching conversations. So, when you are doing your bulk kind of cleanup and you’re setting aside some time to actually do this. You can apply the filter to matching conversations that will go ahead and take everything that it just found with that label and it’ll move it for you.


Are you tracking with me right now? Are you as excited about this as I am? I don’t know why, but I geek out so much now over my email inboxes, this is so fun. Your inbox does not have to be daunting anymore.
Step 4: Set Aside Time to Go Through Your Inbox
We’ve got this. All right so now let’s jump right into step number four, which is going to be the absolute hardest part, but I want you to stick with me because I know that you can do this. All right? You need to set aside a block of time to go through all of your inboxes. Now it’s going to be daunting at first, but just know what’s on the other side of this. You’re going to have a handle on your inbox. You’re going to be able to open your inbox and only see what it is that you need to take action on. You’re going to have these labels and filters set up into place, and it’s going to totally change everything.


Okay, so here’s what you’re going to do. Set aside that block of time. When you are ready to actually start doing this, you’re going to be creating the labels and filters as you clean up your inbox. So, remember that checkbox I told you to select when you are applying your filter that says also apply filter to matching conversations. This is going to be how you clean up your inbox. So, when you set forth to create those filters, here’s what I recommend.


So, when you use “has the words” you’re going to check, skip the inbox and archive it, if you’re okay with it, totally skipping your inbox. So, for me, like the newsletter skips my inbox and the receipts and invoices, those skipped my inbox. And then I want to apply the label. Okay, so I’m going to, anything that has the words unsubscribe, I’m going to apply the label “newsletters” to it, and then I’m going to click also apply filter to matching conversations. So, what that’s going to do is it’s going to set up a filter for all future emails coming in through my newsletters. But it’s also going to take all of the current messages in my inbox that have that label now, and it’s going to move it out of my inbox.


Now, if you just stop right here and you just start filtering everything into different folders, that’s not going to keep your inbox organized. What I encourage you to do is get rid of any and all emails that you no longer need. So, you’re going to have to go through and maybe do a search. Maybe, you know for sure, like, Hey, you know what, if I haven’t read this, like if it’s marked unread and I haven’t even looked at it, it’s probably not worth my time, if it’s more than a couple months old. So maybe go through and highlight all of the ones that are unread, and you can just easily skim through and delete all.


Another tip too. I think that you guys might already know this, but there’s a way to go into your promotions folder which kind of already does try to sort out your newsletters and things like that. And you can select all, so literally all. Because I was doing this, and I had 1800 emails in my promotions folder, and so I was able to select all 1800 at once instead of just all on one page. Does that make sense? So instead of just saying, select all for like the 50 emails that show up on page one. No, you can actually go in and batch delete them.


Another thing that might sound really obvious to those of us who already know this, but for those of you who might not know this, you don’t have to go through each of your emails and click them one by one. You can shift, click and control, click on a PC. Obviously, it’s a little different if you have a Mac, but you can go through and you can highlight certain sections at a time and skip other ones that you want to keep. So, you don’t have to delete all, and you also don’t have to delete individually. You can go in and do that shift, click or control click and just grab the ones that you do want to delete. So that definitely makes it a lot easier.


Okay, so now that you have gone through all of your email addresses and you’ve cleaned out all the stuff that you don’t need anymore, you have labels and filters set up to keep your workflow moving. I want you to be sure that you’re setting aside time every single day to check your inbox. Now, this is just a pro tip for you, but I do not recommend checking your email all day, every day, obviously it’s not good for productivity. So, what I recommend that you do is set aside some time that you are going to respond and reply to emails.


And for me, my best work is done in the morning and so I don’t necessarily want to spend a whole bunch of time in the morning. But what I do want to do is I want to make sure first thing in the morning, I check my inbox for any inquiries and any customer support information. If I’m clear on that, then I’m okay to wait until mid-day or later in the day to actually respond to more like personal things or maybe those extra newsletters that I want to get into. But I definitely don’t want to derail my productivity for the day by diving into stuff that’s not action related.


Then I encourage you guys to every day try to get your inbox to zero, because again, the more that you can stay on top of your inbox and the more frequently you can check in, the better and more confident you’re going to feel when you go to your inbox to know that you’re not going to be overwhelmed any longer. So it’s going to take some time on the front end, I recommend just ripping off the band aid and doing it because it’s daunting, but once it’s done, I’m on the other side of it right now and it feels great to have my inbox automated and pushing out only the stuff that I need to know. And you guys, I want that for you as well. So put in the time, do the work. I know you will not regret it and I cannot wait to hear how you are managing your inbox like a boss.
As always, mama, I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.


Hey Mama, I want to interrupt this episode really quick and just ask you a couple of questions. Are you struggling right now to find peace in your home, feeling like you’re out of ideas of how to entertain your kids and you’re just tired of playing referee? If so, you’re not alone. I’ve been there too, and some days I’m still there, but I am extremely passionate about changing the paradigm of parenting.


I am a huge advocate for fostering tight knit family dynamics, surrounded with teamwork, empathy, and laughter. I want you to have this freedom to knowing that your parenting efforts are working and worth it. I’m so excited to introduce to you the Parenting with Purpose Mini Workshop. Included in this workshop, you will be receiving a Positive Parenting training all about how to become an expert on your children. Consequences versus punishment. The four basic emotional needs and the importance of connection. I want you to know how to establish boundaries and foster independence in your children.


The second training is going to be all about creating a peaceful home and how to handle sibling rivalry. So, you’re going to learn how to prevent sibling rivalry, how to foster sibling bonding and create teamwork and peaceful environment in your home. And finally, how to handle sibling conflict with competence. I know that if you take the time to implement the strategies that I teach you in this workshop, you’re going to see amazing change in a short amount of time. The best part is that this workshop is only $27 because I want you to get started right away. Head to thepurposegathering.com/parenting to sign up and get instant access right away.

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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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