Biz Audit Series

Biz Audit Series: Get Your Inbox In-Check

Alright, Guys, it's time to get your Inbox in-check!

  1. Does your inbox icon tell you that you have hundreds of unread emails?
  2. Does the idea of even attempting to go through them give you heart palpitations?
  3. Are you always “opting-in” but those opt-ins get lost in the mix?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, know you are in good company. I was in the same boat not too long ago.  It sucks.  You clearly need to audit your email.  An unorganized inbox will result in multiples of the same resources, missed webinars, lost client emails, or other missed deadlines.

Have no fear lovelies. I have started using this fantastic tool that is FREE and has been under your nose the whole time. Talk about a major DUH moment when I “found” it and started using it.  I am talking about Google Inbox.

I already use Gmail as my primary email, and I have even linked my school and work emails into Gmail so that I only have to go to one site to access all of my email accounts.  However, using your regular email inbox is not the same.

Google Inbox

Inbox is a separate Google Tool that you can access using the 9-dot drop-down in the top right corner next to your profile drop-down.  If you have never used Google Inbox before, you may have to scroll down, and if you still can’t find it, you will need to select “Even More From Google, ” and it is under “See all products.”
Select Google Inbox, and sign in like you would your regular Gmail account. You can also select that nine dots drop down and choose the option to add Inbox to your top tools. That way you don’t have to go through all those steps to find it each day.

When you've signed into Inbox, the setup is different but is still easy to navigate. I was able to clean out my entire inbox, promotions, and social tabs in no time.
Once I was able to get organized, I didn’t miss anymore “Last Chance” emails and had quit opting in multiple times for the same thing.

As Winnie the Pooh says, “A place for everything and everything in its place”...
I swear I’m an adult...

Once I got my email inbox organized I began to feel like I am ahead of the game for once….with emails anyway.

Time to Start Your Email Audit:

Now that you have found Google Inbox start creating folders. Name them simply so that there is no doubt that you know what is in each folder.  Woohoo, you have created your folders, so now it's time to fill them. This will include bulk moving so that you can get them sorted quicker. I find that this was more straightforward than reading each email first, then deciding where they go. The purpose of bulk moving is for you to be able to sort your emails quickly. Once you have more time, you can go through them and delete or move as necessary.

At the top of Google Inbox, there is a search bar. Type in the name of a person from whom you get multiple emails. For instance, for me, I will type in “Terra,” for Terra Dawn from Uncork Your Dork. I am signed up for her newsletters, not to mention, I have signed up for multiple challenges, so I have quite a few emails from her. Now, since I get various types of emails for her, the first step is to get them all in one place, then I can create subfolders to sort them more specifically later on.

Once I have started my search, all the emails I get from her will be on my screen. There will be a top section for “Top Results” and then an “All Results” section. There will be duplicates from Top Results in the All results section, so make a note of this, so you are saving duplicate emails. You will then hover over the circle with the sender's first initial and a checkbox will appear. Check the box, and then you can scroll down until you’ve reached the end of their emails and hold shift and check the last email, which will select all emails and you can select the three vertical dots to move them to your selected folder. Viola! All of Terra’s emails are now in one folder.  Do this with all of your emails.

If you subscribed to a blog that you are no longer interested in, unsubscribe and delete those emails.  Just type their name into the search bar, make the same selection on the checkboxes and bulk delete all of those emails.  Google Inbox is also great because they will give you a notification if you haven't opened emails from a certain person and will ask if you want to unsubscribe.  This is super helpful.

What I love about Google Inbox is their ability to snooze an email. If you signed up for a webinar, you can select that email and snooze it until the day of the webinar so that it will pop back into your email the day of the webinar as a friendly reminder.

There you have it.  A simple broken down way to audit your email inbox.

Google Inbox is super easy to use, and I find it is more helpful for organizing my inbox than the regular Gmail site.
Hope you found this helpful and will give Google Inbox a shot. Let me know what you think!!

Biz Audit Series: Declutter Your Downloads

Going back to the email audit, you probably have hundreds of emails that you’ve received after opting in for digital content. However, due to a number of emails that you get on any given day, they tend to get lost in the shuffle. They may be in the promo inbox or your regular inbox layered under many other newsletters, sales offers, and alerts from your many blogging tools. Have no fear. I am here to help you get all of your downloads organized and in shape to where you can start actually using them.

Download Storage:

First off, you are going to want to figure out where you want to store those downloads to make for easy access. Do you want to keep them on your computer desktop? How about on a thumb drive? Or in a cloud, like Google Drive? Or do you want to print out each one and keep them in binders on your desk, totally old school style?  I like to use google drive because I can access from my home laptop, work laptop, tablet, or phone. (Woah, I sounded a little sales pitchy there)

Anyhoozle, my point is, I love having access to my downloads. That way if I get a few minutes and want to look over one, I can.

Transfer to Storage:

Once you have decided on your storage selection, you will start by finding all of the emails that include any downloads. Download them to your desired area and actually name them so that you know what you just downloaded. A file with the name 516546215.pdf isn’t going to make you say "Oh hey, there's that planner!" So maybe name them "Yearly Planner," “Pinterest Checklist,” “Editorial Calendar,” “Photos,” etc.

Create/Organize Folders:

Once you have downloaded all of your opt-ins, start creating subfolders inside your designated opt-in folder. The main folders can be pretty vague, like Social Media, Email, Blog...but the subfolders should be more detailed. Twitter chat schedules, social media planner, sidebar checklist… That way you know where everything is, and it is easy to access.

Delete Unwanted Downloads:

Once you have organized all of your downloads, you may see that you have a lot of duplicates or downloads that you know that you are not going to use. This is not a bad thing. Just because you may be a fan of the creator or the download is a great idea, it doesn’t mean that you have to use it, especially if it isn’t going to benefit you. No one is going to fault you for it.  The creator of the download is not going to call you in the middle of the night asking why you deleted it.  That would be SUPER creepy.  Also, just because it is free doesn’t mean you have to keep it.  You don't need a collection of downloads like my collection of movie tickets stubs I had as a kid.  Really, I mean, it was ridiculous.  Try using the Marie Kondo method to your downloads, if it doesn’t serve a purpose, then nix it. Don’t hold on to it out of guilt or with the thought that you may use it someday.

Print/Utilize Necessary Downloads:

The best way I have found to utilize the downloads is to print them or to put them in their very own folder on Google Drive or my desktop. This way they are very prominent, they are within reach, and I know what I am using them for. If the downloads you are going to use on a regular basis are hidden in a subfolder, it may be a very “out of sight, out of mind,” which then the download is of no use to you.

Those digital downloads that your fellow bloggers are creating can be crazy helpful. Especially workbooks, planners, and checklists.   Those bloggers have been where you are and just want to make your life easier. However, for those downloads to be helpful, you need to actually make them available to use. What?! I know, right?

What downloads have you found to be most helpful to you as a blogger?  Also, how do you keep yourself organized, so that you actually USE those downloads?

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