8 Tips to Clear Your Email Inbox For Project Managers

By Emma Crameri Emma Crameri has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
on 15 June 2020

All ICT directors, portfolio delivery managers and project managers are busy, so I’ll give you some insider tips on how to manage your email inbox.

1. Use Team Emails Lists

First, you’ll want to create an email list for your team, and then you’ll need to ask all of your Project Managers to keep and maintain an email list for their separate teams. This is easily achieved in Microsoft Outlook. 

2. Use Email Signatures

The next step is to make sure you have a couple of different email signatures set up. You’ll need to check with the Marketing department and get the latest version. Be careful here and don’t fall for updating your signature with seasonal events or one-offs – just stay with the current year’s version. Add another email signature for personal events and/or holidays. It’s best to just copy your manager’s version here and use the same wording. 

3. Dealing with Personal Emails

Person using laptop to clear your email inbox

Each Portfolio Delivery Manager will have a different system. If you receive your LinkedIn emails via your work email address, then file them under LinkedIn. You’ll also need a personal email folder – these are flagged with a red, when they are replied to – either by a phone call or a reply email, then can be moved to the Personal folder.

4. Dealing with HR

Remember your personal life is always more important than your work life. So here we can set up a couple of other common folders. You’ll need one for Human Resources, and under it will be filed timesheets, resumes + applications, HR forms. You can set up an automatic filter for these to be moved to these areas, but you’ll want anything unusual to be flagged. 

If it’s easier to have resumes and applications printed out on paper then arrange a shortlist then do so. Of course, you can’t interview everyone, and there are limits to budget, so you’ll need to make the best decision you can that week, and let human resources and your project coordinator handle the rest of the paperwork. 

5. Approving documents

It’s good to have a print out of each day’s meetings on your desk first thing. Inside this folder, there will also be anything important you need to sign. You’ll need to work out a system for signing and approving documents, as this can get messy around retirements and the end of year holiday season. 

Once a document is approved and signed from your end, make sure it is filed in an Approved folder in your email. Yes, sometimes these come back and you’ll need to start the process again. So just make sure these are archived in your company’s Records Management system. 

Person typing on keyboard to clear email inbox

You may need to insist on version control here. Don’t worry about being pedantic on this point. Sometimes legal comes in, and you need to make sure you have completed the right steps and protocols. 

6. Financial documents

The book-keeping and accounting documents need to be overseen by your financial experts. Don’t hesitate to drop in and ask for classification on SAP codes, custom report needs or any economic modelling you might require for the upcoming financial year. 

7. Welcome messages

You may like to have a welcome messages folder – any time you sign up to a new email newsletter these get filed in here. Trust me, you might need to use the free download one day, even if you automatically unsubscribe straight afterwards. Before getting sucked in, I try to google for the name of the free download – you might be surprised at my advanced Googling skills and ability to find anything I need online. 

8. Marketing

I like to save my marketing emails in a blue folder. It’s important to read anything from the Marketing Director, so flag these. 

What are your email management tips? 

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