By Gianluca Giacoppo

By Gianluca Giacoppo

Email is the scourge of the modern working world, but alas; it’s only becoming a more entrenched part of our daily routines. Over on Zapier’s blog, writer and entrepreneur Belle Cooper catalogues 10 helpful, and realistic, ways to actually conjure some semblance of organization and control in your most likely overwhelming, if not wildly jumbled, email inbox. A few favorites:

Action Emails When You Read Them

Instead of reading new emails and leaving them to be dealt with later, getting into the habit of “processing” new emails will save you the time and effort of handling each one multiple times.

Separate Your Emails into Zones

[Create] five separate sections that are managed manually using the Getting Things Done method.

-Emails that involve a task
-Emails awaiting a reply
-Emails that have been delegated
-Emails related to meetings, flights, etc.

Each zone is just a separate inbox set to search for specific traits in email messages…. Using zones means each email has an appropriate home, so you can get a quick overview at a glance, rather than looking at an uncategorized inbox list.

Keep Your Emails Short

The way you write your emails can actually influence the emails you receive. In fact, the number of emails you send can make a difference to how many you receive—after all, most emails will come back to you with a reply.

Don’t Write Open-Ended Emails

Another way to write better emails is to avoid open-ended questions…. The trick is to offer an option when setting up a meeting or a call, rather than leaving it open for suggestions.

Tackling the insanity of email isn’t a one-step process. But with some combo of Cooper’s tips, you’ll be well-equipped for the journey to inbox Zen.


  • Sara Kok

    Thank for the tips. I agree, keep your email as simple as possible. The most common practice is write only one point in one email. And if you are asking your recipient to make decision, write down your question and provide three possible answer (so you won’t be seem as too pushy), then label those answer as 1,2,3. Ask your recipient to answer in number. It would make things clearer.


    Sara Kok

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  • Adam Thomas

    I am trying to use the zones method. I really hate looking into my email and just seeing a blob of messages – 90% of them useless. A work in progress. Thanks for the article.

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