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September 17, 2018

Organization Tip: Email Folders #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop


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I like to be organized. It’s true, especially when it comes to being a writer/author. I am my boss. I am the manager of my business. Organization is key when you’re running a business, and that’s precisely what you’re doing.

Previously I mentioned how I keep track of my expenses and earnings. I’ve also hinted at how I use email folders to save receipts and blog tour emails.

Well, I have a lot more email folders than that.

As a matter of fact, I have email folders for each of my published works. Whenever I send or receive an email regarding one of my books, I move it into that book’s email folder. Every email from my editor and publisher is put into these folders. Emails for promos that are in the works, including blog tours, are also added.

I also have folders for the works I am querying. The emails I send out are moved to these folders. When I receive a rejection, I have a folder marked as “Rejections.”

What other folders do I have?

-      Book Club (emails to the moderators for the IWSG book club)
-      Comments (lovely emails or blog comments I’ve received)
-      Editing (client emails)
-      Fey’s Sparklers (my street team)
-      Giveaways (emails I send to giveaway winners)
-      Guest Posts (for guests of my blog)
-      IWSG
-      Mom (these are the emails regarding my mom’s children’s books)
-      My Newsletter (my newsletters that go out)
-      Promo Info
-      Receipts (online receipts and PayPal emails)
-      Rejections
-      Reviews
-      SAVE (works-in-progress I have put on the back burner)

Once or twice a year, I delete emails I don’t need anymore, such as for completed blog tours and review requests that weren’t answered.

I return to these emails a lot if I need to recall or double-check something, find a document I received or sent, and make sure I sent an email. These emails also make a great record and can provide "proof" of a conversation or confirmation if you ever need it. 

I love my email folders, and I add to them every day.


QUESTION: Do you organize your email folders? How?


65 comments:

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I never thought of organizing the actual emails. I often copy their content to a Word file and keep those organized though.

Lisa said...

Yes, I do, mostly. Sometimes, like during this move, they get away from me. Then I must make time to go in and purge my email inbox. For some reason it's easier for me to keep up on my gmail account than my bellsouth email. Maybe it's that in gmail they go in categories to begin with and that makes it easier to go through...

nashvillecats2 said...

It's good to be your "On Boss" through your writing Chrys.
Some great tips and reading.

Yvonne.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Way back when, I set up a "Writing" email folder and everything related to writing went in that. At the time, I never thought to break that up even more. Now, though? The amount of stuff in there is staggering. Sheesh! I better get to organizing.

Carrie-Anne said...

I don't believe I have any e-mail folders! You're so much more organized than I'll ever be.

sherry fundin said...

I organize my email folders too. I have them for tours, individual authors I deal with a lot, and anything else I have learned I want to have on hand. I go through and delete unnecessary ones once a year.
sherry @ fundinmental

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't have any folders either! Outside of spam of course.

Sarah Foster said...

Wow! That's really organized! I don't think I get enough emails at this point to need that many folders lol. I did have a separate folder when Hero Lost came out, though, to keep all of the emails with the other authors and the blog tour stuff organized.

Birgit said...

You are very organized! I have no email folders for my home. As for work, I do but not as clean as yours. Good for you! So many have no organizational style since they come in with a big box for me to look through.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I do use folders! Finally. I'm doing something right. LOL. I even have folders for personal things like the kids' school correspondence, order tracking, and coupons.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

The folders are a great idea. Yes, I have email folders for different subjects. Being the unorganized person that I am, I forget to put the information in them. Must do better. Thanks for the reminder. Guess I'd best go through my emails. Have a great day.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Chrys - I really should look into these ... you are thoroughly professionally organised = go to top of the class: something I need to aspire too - thanks for a great post reminder! Are you using gmail? Cheers Hilary

Chrys Fey said...

Copying and pasting them into a Word document sounds like too much work for me. LOL

Chrys Fey said...

I have an account with Yahoo, so I'm not sure what a gmail account is like.

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Yvonne!

Chrys Fey said...

It's a lot easier to find an email when folders are broken up into more specific categories.

Chrys Fey said...

It may sound odd, but I love my email folders. They come in handy daily for organizing and I go to them a lot to find information or email threads.

Chrys Fey said...

I also go through and delete emails I no longer need, such as for blog tours that have come and gone, about once or twice a year.

Chrys Fey said...

You should set up some email folders for IWSG stuff.

Chrys Fey said...

Keeping the emails for Hero Lost in a separate folder was a good idea. I would've done the same thing. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

A big box for you to look through? That almost sounds like paper mail. lol

Chrys Fey said...

LOL!! That made me chuckle. Everyone is different and is organized in their own way. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Sometimes in can be easier to just delete emails or not do anything after you send one or reply back to one. I really made it a habit. Now it happens automatically.

Chrys Fey said...

No, I'm not using gmail. I'm using Yahoo. I believe all email providers offer a way for you to create other folders, though.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I have e-mail files too, but so many for writing. I have a yahoo and gmail account and have files on each. It's really helpful.

Pat Hatt said...

I have a few folders for the main stuff and then one catch all one for the others. Think I have 10 years worth of emails on one account lol

Liz A. said...

I do keep email folders, although I really need to go through and update and reorganize them. They are very useful for keeping something on hand without leaving it in your inbox.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I love your organizational skills and your ideas for folders. Keeping things where they belong makes it easier to find something when you need it.

Teresa

Chrys Fey said...

Email folders do help a lot.

Chrys Fey said...

10 years' worth of emails? Yikes. That is a lot. lol

Chrys Fey said...

It is a great way to keep things orderly and keep the inbox empty. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Exactly. I use my email folders daily, and have had occasions when I had to look back at old emails.

Anonymous said...

I use email folders, but I don't think I'm that organized. I like some of your folders and might use them myself to be more organized.

Unknown said...

For a long time I only filed emails after I had read and resolved them, or read and evaluated them and decided they were information I needed to keep but not respond to, but in the recent past I've found that the growing volume of emails one receives grows to be too much. Fortunately I heard about another strategy, which I'm currently trying. The gist of it is look at an email for no more than 30 seconds and determine if it's something that can be resolved in under 2 minutes or not. If yes, go ahead. If not, or if you're not sure, file it away in a folder that is specific to the topic/nature of the email, and is exclusively full of unresolved emails. Then add a line to the "to do list" for that folder. Granted, it's quite possible that some emails may never get resolved, but as you say, if a year goes by and those emails are still not addressed, it may be they need to be reevaluated. It is staggering how much information can flow through a single inbox. And much of it is well intentioned, either a kind and free offer of information that may be helpful, or an opportunity/request, but at the end of the day, time (and mental energy) are always what is in shortest supply (I find).

Cynthia said...

You sound very organized! I organize my email folders by certain groups and topics. From time to time, I do a reorg and consolidate some of the folders.

New Release Books said...

Wow, you have all your organizing worked out.

Jacqui said...

The email folders idea is why I prefer a local drive email program to one in the cloud. My Outlook account has emails from a decade ago that I'm not yet willing to part with. Yes, the file size is crazy but I have multiple terabytes of space so I have no worry about that!

Raimey Gallant said...

I do organize my folders! One of the things I'd like to do eventually is not have my writing-related email commingling with the rest of my stuff. Great post (and it may have inspired a post on a related note from me ;) )

emaginette said...

I have one suggestion if you're interested. Delete 'rejections' and replace it with 'passes'. It made it easier for me. Less personal. :-)

I love my email folders too. hehehe

Anna from elements of emaginette

Chrys Fey said...

That's interesting. I always read my emails and resolve them right away because I have publishers, editors, clients, and bloggers I need to communicate with. If it's an email that needs a response, I reply. If it's one that's junk (as we all get those) I delete it right away.

Chrys Fey said...

Awesome! Use my folder examples to organize your email account/emails. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Very smart, Cynthia!

Chrys Fey said...

I try. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Emails from a decade ago? Wow! I'm sure there are emails I'll end up keeping for a very long time, too.

Chrys Fey said...

I'm looking forward to the post that this one inspired. :)

Chrys Fey said...

That's a good suggestion! You're right. "Passes" is a much better term. Thank you!

Lee Lowery said...

Organization is in my genes. I've always had email folders, pretty much the same way you have yours set up. I still have paper files, too. My current WIP notebook (a big 3-ring binder) has gotten a bit overwhelming, so I'm moving some of it to a second notebook. I need to have my information at my fingertips or I get edgy.

Loni Townsend said...

I've gotten out of habit with organizing my emails. Lately, it's all been "eh, just go in the big bin and I'll deal with you later." Of course, that just leads to more procrastinating!

Elle Marr said...

How interesting! I love that you're so organized, and can totally see the need for deleting emails once a year. I should really adopt that good habit! Thanks for sharing.

Erika Beebe said...

Fey's sparklers is the cutest title! I used to spend time organizing email folders but now it's just spiraled out of control. Sigh. Thank you for the reminder to get myself organized again :)

Magic Love Crow said...

You are truly organized! Good for you!! Big Hugs!

Louise said...

I have a few folders to organise my emails, and I'm sure as I get closer to finishing a book the number will grow :) It feels much more organised than a cluttered inbox, and more efficient than deleting everything in case I need to come back to things later!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

You have done way more organizing than I have--and I can totally see the value. I need to do something much more like you have.

Chrys Fey said...

I have a few paper files, too. :)

Chrys Fey said...

And procrastinating can lead to a big problem. lol

Chrys Fey said...

Thanks, Elle! And you're welcome. :)

Chrys Fey said...

Thank you, Erika! I thought of "Sparklers" because of the sparks I use as a theme and image for my brand.

You're welcome. ;)

Chrys Fey said...

I try. Thanks!

Chrys Fey said...

I hated having a cluttered inbox of opened emails that I didn't want to delete but didn't know what to do with them. Email folders to the rescue!

Chrys Fey said...

Give it a try and see how you like it. :)

Iola said...

I do use email folders. I also have multiple email addresses - personal, business, author, reviewer, junk (although I do find they overlap e.g. people will send a review request to my business or personal email, because that's the address they have).

I also use a free tool called Boomerang to help manage emails I don't need to deal with right now e.g. review requests. And yes - I still haven't reviewed your book! I haven't been reading as many craft books this year, but that means I now I have a backlog and need to get on top of them.

Toi Thomas said...

Yes, I organize my emails. I have folders for each event I do, guests for my blogs, special projects related to specific books, etc...

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Interesting! I didn't even know that you could organize your e-mails into separate folders. But then again, I'm always far behind when it comes to technological stuff. I do, however, have multiple e-mail accounts: two for my two jobs, one for my personal e-mail account, and one for my blog account. Partly it's because I'm afraid that if I put them all in the same account, I might accidentally reveal my online alter ego as Neurotic Workaholic, and incidentally, that did happen once when I sent an e-mail to my students; fortunately, none of them seemed to notice or care because they didn't say anything about it.

Mandy said...

Do you use the Google Email folders where it sends your emails to the correct folder right away? Like "promotions", "social", and "primary"? Or a roll up service like "Unroll.me"? I don't know how I handled email before Unroll.me. Then again I get a lot of junk email, some of which I occasionally want but most of which I don't. I do love using folders though. And using the star feature for important emails. It's much easier to find emails you want/need when they are in the correct folder and starred, if they are important.

It's crazy to think how much email has changed in the past 10 or so years. Even crazier if you think about further back than that! Wonder how it will change in the next 10 years? Will it become more intuitive? Or will it be more of a privacy risk?

Charity Rau said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing!