If looking at your email inbox makes you feel overwhelmed and anxious, then you’re in the same boat as most of the lawyers we work with. Good email management is an underrated skill, but it can free your mind up for more important pursuits. However, if you’ve never tried to come up with a system of organization for your inbox, it’s difficult to know where to start. This post can help!

Our team gets a boatload of emails. As a digital marketing company, the majority of our communications come over the web. So, in order to manage that digital flow over the years, we have come up with two simple strategies that make the process of managing emails simple.

Email is a system that delivers other people’s priorities to your attention. It’s up to you to decide when that priority should be managed into your world. It’s not the other way around.” —Chris Brogan

STRATEGY NO. 1: Set a designated time to check your email. 

When your email inbox is open all day long, it becomes a distraction. So instead of letting it monopolize your time with constant notifications, close the window while you’re working on your to-do list. Then, set designated times throughout the day to open your inbox and deal with all of the messages at once. After all, no one who emails you is expecting you to get back to them within an hour. If something is truly urgent, they’ll call. Try out this strategy and watch your productivity soar.

STRATEGY NO. 2: Separate your inbox from your to-do list.

When you open new emails with requests for assistance inside and then let them sit in your inbox until you complete those requests, you’re turning your inbox into a to-do list — which is not what it’s designed to be. See, email platforms aren’t task managers. They don’t allow you to set due dates or effectively prioritize things. So, instead of using your inbox as a to-do list, invest in some task management software (if you don’t have it already).

Once you do that, if you get an email about a task that will take more than five minutes, you can transfer that task into your task management system. This will help you keep your priorities straight, and make you feel less scattered.m