Take a moment to think about your email inbox. What feelings come to mind? If you just had a small bit of overwhelm come over you, you're not alone. We are almost constantly getting emails, some from family and friends, others that are informative, and some that we barely glance at before we hit delete. Regardless of the content, almost everyone agrees that email can too easily take over our lives. So, in honor of National Clean Out Your Inbox week, I decided to share my tips on how to manage the increase in wedding-related emails that will soon be, or may have already started, arriving in your inbox.
1. Set up a new email account
This is one of the best things you can do for yourself when you begin wedding planning. It's free, plus you can totally have some fun coming up with a username since it'll only be used for a short period of time. Not only will having a separate email help keep your other inbox less chaotic, it will also allow you to separate wedding-related emails from the hundreds of others you get, helping you stay organized.
2) Decide who will manage the emails
If you decide to opt out of setting up a separate shared email, decide early on if you or your soon-to-be-spouse would like to be cc’d on emails from vendors, if you'll simply share and forward them to each other, or if one of you will manage the emails. Once this decision is made, make sure you make it clear to your vendors so you can have consistent emailing. There's nothing worse than finding yourself in a mess of cc’d, forwarded, reply all, weeks long email chains that are too complicated to follow. Decide how you'd like to communicate and stick with it.
3) Start a new email for a new topic
I do this quite a bit with my clients, and although it may seem counterintuitive to add yet another email to your inbox, if we're changing topics, I'll start a new email. It makes it much easier to go back and find an email with, for example, catering information when I know the subject line is “Catering update” not “venue walk thru” or some other unrelated topic.
4) Set aside time to respond to wedding emails
While your main email is likely set up on your phone, and notifications are instantaneously checked, I recommend keeping your wedding email as a desktop only inbox. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed or distracted, and it's a great way to ensure wedding planning doesn't take over your life.
5) Set up a folder for each vendor
You'll likely have many different conversations going with each vendor you've booked, so it can be helpful to keep them organized using folders. As conversations are responded to or finished, file them away so they don't clutter your main inbox.
6) Set up a folder for informational or promotional emails
Maybe you're subscribing to a few wedding blogs (maybe even this one.. *wink* *wink*), or other online resources. These regularly sent out emails contain great advice and tidbits, so it's important to have a place for them. You can also try starring or flagging emails you find especially helpful so they're easy to find later.
7) Delete emails from vendors you don't book
Once you've signed a contract with a particular vendor, let any others you may have been considering know (otherwise they may continue to send you follow up emails) and then delete the conversations.
8) Start a folder on your computer for wedding documents
Alright, this last piece of advice isn't necessarily for your inbox, but it's an important organizational tip nonetheless. Start a new folder on your desktop where you can keep electronic versions of contracts, informational sheets, and other documents. It will be much easier to find them in the folder than going back and searching for the original email.
Happy inbox cleaning and organizing!