NOTE: April 11, 2014 Fast Action Fridays recap. This is not a full transcript, but rather a summary of at least one Fast Action Tip that was shared, along with a Your Turn Exercise.

Today’s topic was all about saving time and reducing frustration, anxiety, overwhelm by setting up a few simple filters to manage your email inboxes. When it comes to creating folders less is more.

For example, anything that is not vital and that I will most likely delete after reading (if I ever bother to read it or not) but I’m not ready to immediately trash it upon arrival is filtered into a folder labeled “To Delete”. I also choose between marking items as Read or leaving the status as Unread. Leaving something Unread keeps it bolded in the folder list so it’s super easy to scan and see what I haven’t looked at yet.

Another important filtering option to consider is whether or not to “Skip the Inbox” which means that when the email arrives to your inbox it is moved directly into the designated folder and you won’t see it until you take time to click the folder and review what’s there. That’s a great option (along with Read) for something like daily sales promos from Staples. I know where to look if I’m in need of office supplies. But for Google Calendar Reminders I want to notice it, so I I set the filter to label it for the “To-Delete” folder, but I leave the settings as Unread and I do not skip the inbox. That way I see it in the inbox list but I don’t rarely need to do anything else with it as they’ll be deleted when I take time to purge the contents of that folder, which is about once a week.

 Fast Action Tip: Filter Options for Gmail, Hotmail/Outlook, Yahoo

I rely on Gmail for the bulk of my business-related emailing. All of my domain-related emails (e.g. kat@rockingyourpath.com) are set up to automatically forward to my primary gmail account.

Below are instructions of where to locate the filter options for the three popular email programs. Do an Internet search for more how-to step-by-step details if you need them. Frankly, once you know where to find the filter options, it’s pretty easy to figure out what to do.

GMAIL: Highlight an item in your inbox, then click the down arrow to right of MORE at the top of your email list, look for link to “Filter messages like this”.

HOTMAIL/Outlook: To create a filter, look in the drop down menu under the “MOVE to“ tab for the last option “Move all email from…”

YAHOO: To create a filter, look in the drop down menu under the “MORE” tab for the “Filter emails like this…” option.

YOUR TURN Exercise – Create at least 2 filters for incoming email for your primary email account.

If you can’t figure out how to use the filtering option in your email, make an appointment with yourself to do an Internet search for the how-to instructions you need. Visually-oriented readers can save time and frustration searching in YouTube.com first. If you prefer reading and following step by step instructions, then by all means stick with written how-to articles.

Consider this extra time and energy you spend as value-oriented. The effort you make not to set up a bit of automation will free up much more time for you far into the future.

Note that I am not suggesting in this recap that you concentrate any effort determining incoming emails from lists to unsubscribe from at this time. We’ll be discussing some tips for tackling that in the future. However, don’t hesitate to take the initiative to unsubscribe if you’re feeling that vibe. Go for it.

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