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Author : Kara Whaley

That is the total number of emails in my inbox.

That is the number of emails I see when I open up Gmail, give or take a few depending on the time of day.

I have used Gmail as my sole email provider since 2007. When I started my business in 2014, it was truly a no brainer that I would continue to use Gmail services. If you are like most entrepreneurs and solopreneurs I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with, you and your inbox have some…issues.

You suffer from unread-email-itis, too-many-emails-itis, and (worst of all) no-system-itis.

You feel like you are constantly struggling to get clients, and then when you do, you waffle about, nearly miss the email, forget to reply, take way too long to reply, it’s not good. It’s not entirely your fault. Your inbox is insane. It’s okay. The hard part is realizing there is a problem. You cannot be expected to run a business (effectively) out of your Gmail inbox when it is in a constant state of disarray. Could you live or work (well) in a home that was full to the brim of unwanted newspapers? I’m guessing no. You wouldn’t be effective at your job, and you certainly wouldn’t be happy.

So, you’ve got these problems, but what are the solutions? You clicked for the solutions, after all. Well, since you asked so nicely.

1. UNSUBSCRIBE with reckless abandon. A tidy inbox is a happy inbox. If find yourself deleting emails consistently from a certain list – unsubscribe. You are not paying anyone a kindness by staying on that list. They are PAYING to send you their content. Opt out and save your sanity.

2. LABEL everything. One of my biggest inbox success “secrets” is a well-used labeling system. This way, it gets emails out of your immediate inbox and archived (saved for later), and you can easily find the email you are looking for based on the label(s) you\’ve created. Do not use them sparingly. Use them with abundance.
3. CRM in style. All successful business use a Customer Relationship Management software solution or tool. You should be no exception. I really love to use Streak CRM for Gmail, because as the name suggests, it “lives” insides Gmail. That\’s what I want my CRM, without any additional logging in to another platform, or syncing of emails, Streak is super powerful, and keeps my business game strong. When business women ask me to strategize with them and help them get more clients, I ask to take a look at their inbox. Solving these simple inbox issues makes a world of difference when you are running a business. When you are utilizing a CRM, labeling your emails, and have less junk floating around, you’re streamlined! You are no longer working against yourself, because you’ve found a way to make your Gmail inbox do work for you.

Kara Whaley | Genius Business Strategist | Kara Whaley helps young nerdy girlbosses make their business kick ass with strategy and wit. She can be found on Twitter sharing her business strategy tips and tricks. Visit her website to learn more about her Pure Genius Sessions and how you can transform your business, or idea, into something pure genius

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