There is a neat tool at www.sanebox.com that does a lot more than simply filter mail. The best part about it is its ability to schedule correspondence alerts that remind you if a contact has not responded to your email in X amount of time, be it hours, days or weeks! The mail filter option is powerful as well but what many business owners don’t realize is that Yahoo and Gmail both have free mail filters of their own.
For those that have never used a mail filter, be prepared for a slice of heaven to start uplifting your inbox blues. It’s common knowledge that most business owners forward their mail to their personal online mail accounts. The problem with doing this is twofold. Not only does your inbox get full fast, but you can become easily distracted by simple alerts and updates by friends, family and deal sites.
Yahoo mail has a great free filter that lets you add up to 100 filters with its free email service or, for only two to three dollars per month, Yahoo Mail Plus makes your inbox advertisement free and gives you an additional 100 filters.
Filters behave just like they sound. They take emails that have certain addresses, keywords, subject lines etc, and direct them to go straight to a designated folder instead of your inbox. A good practice when experimenting with filters is to create a folder called “1Later.” This will put the folder at the top of your list and you can direct all non-business mail to that folder. If you use Yahoo and want to try to create a filter you need to create this catch-all folder first.
To create a filter in Yahoo, all you need to do is copy the address of an email that belongs in your “Later” folder and click the down arrow on the “options” link at the top let of your Yahoo mail, right above the Yahoo logo. This will then reveal the option to choose “mail options.” Once you are inside “mail options,” you will see “filters” in the left hand menu near the bottom.
Choose to add a new filter and paste the email address you copied into the “sender” rule option, which is the first one. Remove all text in front of the @ symbol and any characters past the end of the address. Now title the filter with the name of the group or person that emails you from that address and choose the destination folder that, hopefully, you created already.
Now keep that process going and add at least five addresses a day until your inbox is pure business. You will be amazed at how infrequently you check your “1Later” folder and how much better you feel checking it when you actually have time and are in the mood! Setting up all the filters is time consuming but is more than worth the trouble.
For those that have a diversified interest range, try creating folders like news, politics, deals and social alerts. You will find that most emails fall into these four categories. You will save time and sanity taking on the simple task of email filtering and your photo booth Naperville IL business will prosper as a result of your good decision making. Remember, each positive step forward is cumulative and with slow, steady progress you are bound to hit your sweet spot sooner than later.