Tips To Manage Your E-mail Better

Tips To Manage Your E-mail BetterTo some, managing your e-mail may seem very easy. A post on the subject may seem repetitive. However, to others an e-mail inbox may be the source of a lot of stress. I receive many, many e-mails each day and I’m sure many of you receive even more than I do.

Some days I want to just close my laptop and run away (don’t worry, I actually love to receive e-mails, but sometimes they can be overwhelming).

Usually, I wake up to a few hundred e-mails each morning, and that doesn’t even include the hundreds of e-mails that automatically are sent to my Junk folder.

The weekends are a little lighter, but there are still a lot. Some of these e-mails are just coupons (ooooh Victoria’s Secret has a SALE today?), some of the e-mails are blog posts that are sent to my inbox, some are questions/compliments from readers, and the rest are usually business-related e-mails.

The last three categories are my favorite types of e-mails to receive.

Here are my tips to manage your e-mail inbox more effectively and efficiently.

 

Delete the junk immediately.

The first thing I do when I open up my e-mail is that I delete all of the junk right away. This way I feel a little less stressed because a lot of clutter has been eliminated.

 

Unsubscribe.

Do you find yourself constantly deleting e-mails from the same company all the time? Why don’t you just unsubscribe? It will save you the hassle of having to delete their e-mails every day for the rest of your life. I’m sure that there are at least a few e-mails that you could unsubscribe from.

 

Create specific folders.

I don’t have the best memory in the world. If you tell me that you e-mailed me, I may not remember it. Placing e-mails in certain folders can help me remember what the e-mail was about without me having to read a single word of the e-mail.

So, this is why I like to create specific folders in my inbox. Once I receive and respond to an e-mail, I try to archive it if I can (unless the job is still ongoing and I know I will pull up the e-mail all the time).

Different folders could include:

  • Awaiting Payment. This is of course e-mails where I am waiting payment.
  • Payment Received. These are projects that are completely done with where I have received the payment and nothing is needed from me for the time being.
  • Blog related. These are e-mails such as questions or compliments from readers.
  • Business Leads. These are e-mails from potential clients.
  • Wedding related. Yes, I have a folder dedicated to wedding stuff. There are so many e-mails related to the wedding!

 

Hire someone.

If you absolutely hate e-mails or if you are too busy to answer them (such as if you are on a break or vacation), then you may just want to hire someone. I have had a few people in the past month ask me to completely manage their e-mails, so this is not out of the ordinary.

What tips do you have for e-mail management?

 

Pros and Cons of Self-Employment

Pros and Cons of Self-EmploymentSelf-employment has been pretty awesome for me so far. I wouldn’t change a single thing. A question that many people ask me is whether or not I would ever go back to working for somewhere else.

The answer is NO.

Even though my answer is no, there are a few cons of self-employment. But that’s okay, because there are plenty of positives of self-employment as well.

Working for yourself is a pro in itself.

Being in control of what I do is wonderful. It’s nice to know that what I do has a direct impact on my future (I guess that can be scary as well). I can do what I want, when I want.

Being able to create your own schedule is a pro.

I love being able to make my own schedule. I don’t HAVE to start work at a certain time each day, which is nice. I used to hate the mornings, but now that I work for myself, it doesn’t bother me anymore.

No more commute is amazing!

I really hate bad drivers. My morning commute almost always made me mad because of all of the crazy drivers on the road. I don’t know how some of you who live in bigger cities do it (such as with the notoriously bad drivers in Miami or Chicago), I would go absolutely nuts.

Not having a commute also means that I can save that time that I would be driving and work instead. I also don’t have to pay for gas to drive to work. It wasn’t a ton of money to drive to work, but it was around $150 to $200 each month.

Not having a designated vacation is both a pro and a con.

Being self-employed and being able to work from my laptop means that I can work from wherever and take a vacation pretty much whenever my budget allows for one. However, it can be really hard to separate work from life/vacation. This usually means that I work a lot while on vacation.

Losing benefits is a con.

When you work for someone else, they tend to do a lot of things that you may not think about. They pick out the health insurance, handle taxes, and more.

When you no longer work for someone else, you also lose all of these benefits. You will have to pay for your own health insurance, taxes (and they will be higher now!), any retirement matches and so on.

Income may not be stable, which is a con. 

With self-employment, the thought of my income completely drying up the next day does pop into my head every now and then. It’s not something that I’m constantly thinking about, but a slow day does sometimes make my mind wander.

Do you want to be self-employed? Why or why not?

 

Financial Tips For The Self-Employed

Financial Tips For The Self-EmployedWhen I had my day job, I worked with different business owners every day.

I learned a lot about what went into a business, mistakes that business owners made, and a lot about business finances.

I’ve personally seen businesses succeed and fail, and I’ve seen businesses make plenty of finance mistakes that still make me shake my head. I think my day job really helped make the transition to self-employment much easier.

Here are my financial tips for the self-employed:

Keep your business and personal accounts separate.

The other day, I almost bought a personal item on my business PayPal. Even though it was something small, I simply don’t want the finances mixed and then be confused later. I’d rather just completely keep them separate so that I don’t have to go through each and every transaction later and wonder if they are a personal or business expense.

Also, if you go through your transactions a year later (such as when you are doing taxes), it can be pretty hard to remember what is what.

Keep your receipts.

When you are doing your taxes at the end of the year, you will have want to keep your receipts. You can of course file them physically into a folder, but these days there are many apps and software out there where you can just scan your receipt.

Set aside enough for taxes.

Everyone doesn’t pay the same amount in taxes, so it’s hard to say exactly what you will have to pay. ¬†Many different things can affect how much you owe. Whatever you think that you may owe, make sure that it’s enough and you should be paying your taxes quarterly if you are supposed to.

If you don’t know what you’re doing with your taxes, then you should probably hire an accountant, and possibly even a lawyer. Yes, a lawyer too. Lawyers can help with many business ownership gifting or sales, and there are tax lawyers out there that can help as well. Your accountant can probably help you determine if you need a lawyer in some cases.

Save for retirement.

When you work for someone else, sometimes it’s a little easier to save for retirement. Your boss may provide a company match, and there may be some other retirement plans offered through your company. However, when you become self-employed, everything is up to you. Make sure you are still saving for retirement.

Have an emergency fund.

I’ve said this plenty of times. Make sure you have an emergency fund! As a self-employed person, you may have a bad month, and a well-funded emergency fund will help you worry a little less.

What financial advice would you give to the newly self-employed?