How many times have you sent an email and never got a reply? Hundreds and thousands right? Don’t be one of those people who doesn’t reply.

We all get inundated with messages, but unless you’re a rock star getting millions of fan mails every week, there is time to get back to everyone if you know how to manager your inbox.

It isn’t just common courtesy; getting back to people quickly has amazing benefits for everyone. Below are the reasons why it’s so powerful and some tools to help you get the job done.

1. It shows respect and gets respect

There are so many messages out there, never to be replied to, lost forever in some far off Galaxy (or just in forgotten about in some overloaded server).

You wouldn’t ignore someone if they stopped you in the street, so why ignore them on email?

Get back to people quickly to show respect, and in return, they will respect you to.

2. It shows others you’re professional

No matter who you are or what you do, if you don’t get back to people, you lose professionalism.

By being super attentive with your responses, you show your colleagues, bosses, existing and potential customers that you are the real deal and worth investing in.

Be known for being professional by getting back to people quickly and you will secure a long and lucrative career and always please the people you work for and with.

How to manage your inbox by replying quickly

3. It shows efficiency

Linked to the point above, you can show the world how efficient you are in a deeper sense by just replying quickly.

People know that if you take ages to get back to them, and need to be chased for the simplest things, that will relate to all areas of your work and you could be deemed as unreliable.

You don’t want to be know as ‘the person who never replies’ as it will tarnish people’s perception of you and result in you being branded as ‘not efficient’ in all areas of your work, not just messaging.

If you know how to manage your inbox, you’ll soon get recommendations like this:

How to manage your inbox and get good reccomendations

4. It instills trust

If somebody is considering working with you, whether a colleague, boss or potential customer, getting back to them quickly can ensure you get instant trust and be known as a reliable person.

Making that little effort to respond will grow your reputation amongst your peers and mean they trust you to get the job done, especially if you’re working remotely on your own.

See: How to convince your boss you should work remotely

5. It means your recipients will be likely to work with you again

Who wants to work with someone who doesn’t reply? Or someone who does reply but by the time it comes through you could’ve sent a pigeon with the message?

People want to work with fast thinking, fast moving people. Obviously you need to prioritise your workflow, but using the tools below, you can learn how to manage your inbox and master the art of responding quickly. In the process, people will want to work with you again and again.

Tip: if you can’t get to people straight away, send them a one liner to say, you’ll be in touch asap.

So now you know the why (it’s not rocket science, hey), here’s how to manage your inbox.

Plan time slots for responding

You’ve got too much on, I know the feeling. But when you get up in the morning, try to plan some time to get through your emails.

After a quick check of emails on my phone after I wake up, I typically start my day at just before 09:00 and spend a good 30 minutes to 1 hour attacking my emails. If you’re using a tool like Slack, you’ll already have far less internal emails to get through so you’re on the right track.

Aim to have a responding session around 4 times per day. That way you can focus on your tasks without distraction, then have a good stint at getting through your messages in bite sized chunks.

Clear your inbox

Stop deleting those newsletters when they come in and just unsubscribe. If you’re not interested, why are you clogging up your inbox? My rule is:

If you delete 3 consecutive newsletters from the same person/company without being interested enough to read them, unsubscribe

Hit unsubscribe at the foot of any newsletter you don’t want to receive. As someone who sends newsletters I’m shooting myself in the foot by saying that, but honestly, it’s for the best.

Alternatively, use a tool like unroll.me. That way you can get all your ‘junk’ in one round up email every day rather than tons of separate emails.

I developed a workflow to master the art of Inbox Zero. It helps me stay on top of things, be super organised and productive. See the workflow here:

How to Master Inbox Zero in 7 Simple Steps

Used canned responses

If you’re one of the 1 billion people using Gmail, you can use canned responses to make your life much easier when it comes to responding quickly.

Go to your Gmail settings, find the ‘Labs’ tab, search for ‘Canned Responses’ and click on ‘enabled’.

That way you can create templates which allow you to reply much faster than typing the email out from scratch.

If you’re not using Gmail, you can use Google Sites to create and store your canned responses. Then simply search for your canned response to copy and paste into your message.

Use a task management tool

DaPulse is a work life changer. I used to champion Redbooth as my go to tool, but since setting up DaPulse and rolling it out to the team, I’m confident we are using the right tool for the job.

Help your messaging productivity by setting tasks in DaPulse to remind you what needs to be done when, then you will never forgot to get back to people.

Use a CRM

I currently use Contactually as my CRM. Although there are some bugs with it and it’s under development, it is useful for managing your contacts and setting up what are known as Programs and Pipelines.

For example, if you need to send a series of emails to a bunch of contacts, you first create the email templates you need, then set up a Program, add your contacts to what they call a Bucket, and have the program automatically trigger the emails to send every time a new contact is added to a particular Bucket.

This automates the workflow and means all you need to do is add an email address to trigger what would have been many minutes of work.

Use the right machine

If you work 8 hours per day on a computer, you need the best machine. Otherwise it’s like a mountain guide wearing flip flops all day. Not very efficient.

I used PC’s for many years until changing to a Mac around 5 years ago. I have been hands down much more productive on a Mac than I ever was on a PC.

Once you go Mac, you never go back

Not only do they perform well, they are a joy to work on, and importantly, a pleasure to type on. And no, Apple aren’t paying me to say that!

Once you go mac you never go back

So you know how powerful replying quickly is and you know how to manage your inbox, your friends, colleagues and associates will soon think of you as super organised, efficient and timely.