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Bloggers Let’s Get Organized : Email

Are you one of those bloggers that just can’t seem to get your email organized? I decided this year, after almost 4 years of blogging (and that probably still makes me a young blogger), I wanted to do some emails to help other bloggers with different aspects of blogging. We are starting out with getting organized and not missing due dates. I did a previous post on how to get organized using a calendar. Today I’m going to tackle how to keep your email organized. We all know as bloggers our email is one of our most important tools.

Organized Email


I hear so many bloggers say they have hundreds or even thousands of emails to go through in their inbox. I cringe and wonder, “How do they stay organized?!” My inbox is my to do box, or my need to read box. If my inbox was full of emails I would miss so many opportunities, sometimes acting quick is the difference between getting an opp or not. I use folders to organize my email, and I mean lots of folders.  I don’t know all the different mail systems but I’m familiar with Gmail and Outlook and I know both of them have folders. I use this system at work and at home. Here is a snap shot of my email box, which is Gmail.


Organize Your Email with Folders

I use lots of folders and lots of filters. I love Gmail because it is online and I can access it no matter where I go. Let’s start with folders. As you can see on the left hand side I have created several different folders.

Contracts/Sponsored Posts – I keep all campaign and sponsored post in this folder. Under this folder is many of the companies I work with. If I do campaigns on a continuing basis for a company I create a folder for them so I can organize who I’m working with such as Lunchbox, Social Spark. The Motherhood, etc. Even further is the “applied for” this is only for a few companies where your original email has the ‘apply for’ opportunity and you need to save some of that information such as Mom Central and Glam Media. This lets me distinguish between those I’ve applied for and those I’ve been accepted for.

So once I’ve accepted a campaign I first put it on my calendar (remember how to get organized using a calendar) I then file it in the corresponding folder to reference later when the campaign is due or if I need to purchase supplies I can find it easily.

I also have a set of folders dedicated to my giveaways and reviews so that I know at what stage in the process I’m at with each product.

Inquiries – is for when I am negotiating with someone and I no longer want to see it in my inbox. I normally keep negotiations in my inbox until we have decided to work together. However when I have a lot going on I will file it here for follow up later in the week.

Waiting on Products – If we have agreed to work together and I’m waiting for a product to arrive I will move it to this folder.

Post Ready/Posted – These are what they state if I have a post ready and it is scheduled I will move it to Post Ready. Once it has posted I will email the rep, if it is a giveaway it will move to Posted so I can reference it when a winner is selected.

From here I have a few more folders you can not see. Once I’ve selected a winner I will email them and move them to…

Winners – this folder is where winners have been notified by I’m waiting for them to reply.

Once I’ve emailed a rep that I’ve selected a winner I will move the post with the conversation with the rep to…

Company – this folder means I’m waiting for the rep to email me back. This seems like a lot of folders but this helps me know that I’ve replied to a winner and that the rep has replied back to me that they have received my winners information. I always ask for confirmation. By keeping the email in a folder I’m able to access it easily should a winner follow up with questions or shipping status.

The other folder that is important to note is :

Need Payment – I move all emails that require a payment into this folder until I have received payment. The reason I do this is again for easy access to the email trail. This is not however how I keep track of who owes me what and when it is due I will have more on that in another post in the near future. So look for Bloggers Let’s Get Organized and Get Paid! coming soon.

As you can see much of this is just moving emails from one folder to another as I make my way through negotiating, accepting, and doing. I also love Gmail because you can use the conversation threading so that all emails with the one subject will stay together and can easily be moved into each folder.

Using Filters to Organize Your Email

Without filters I would have thousands of emails flowing through my inbox on a daily basis and it would be impossible to work as I would be going through email constantly. I belong to some Facebook Groups, Daily Deals sites, and other places where I want emails but I don’t necessarily need to read them right away. The new tab system in Gmail does help with this but I still prefer to use my filters.

I have a folder for each Facebook group I belong too. I set a filter so that all emails coming from that group will skip my inbox and be filed directly to my folder. This way it is not flooding my inbox, but yet I’m not missing what is going on in the group because I’m receiving emails.  Have you ever been on a thread that has like 150 comments and your inbox is nothing but people replying to the comment? This will help with that. Here is a photo of a filter that can be found under the gear in the right hand corner>Settings>Filters

Email Filters

You can see that I have selected to skip the inbox and apply a label. On the previous page I told it to do this to all emails with a specific set of words in the subject line. Now all emails from this specific group will filter to a folder and skip my inbox. When I’m ready I can scan through the emails and keep up with my Facebook groups without flooding my inbox.

I also do this for comments on my giveaways since I don’t necessarily need to answer them but yet I’ve asked readers to comment. I will filter this to skip my inbox as well. What the filters do is kinda file things for immediately so that I can reference them when I’m ready. The labels on the left will be bold if there is email filtered their that you have not read so it will still be noticed.

How do you keep your email organized? Has this article been helpful?

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About Colleen Shibley

Colleen Shibley Mother to 3 kids, wife to an awesome & thoughtful husband, beach lover, book reader, working woman by day, and blogger by night. Blogging from sunny South Florida passionate about travel, good food, entertainment, and enjoying family time...[Read More...]


  1. I guess I kinda organize how you do but I do that part via my planner, not by folders in my inbox. Having to move them from folder to folder would never work for me because I’m too dang lazy! I am super impressed with how organized it keeps you though. Clearly it works great for you!

  2. Mine is UTTERLY unorganized, I’m going to try dividing it up like you suggest and see if that helps. I sometimes have trouble keeping track of it all!

  3. WOW! You are really organized. I have a few folders. After reading this, though, I have gone and tried to create a filter. What a great idea for those messages that I can read later.

  4. You are really organized! I have folders for certain things but not to your extent! Thanks for sharing your tips!

  5. I need a different client. Roundcube doesn’t cut it.

  6. I use lots of labels and folders and I also set up stars so that I can mark when things are done (yellow star), when I’m waiting on something (green check) and something that’s really important gets a yellow exclamation mark. It helps me visualize at a glance where the e-mails are in my to-do list.

  7. My inbox is a mess but I have tried folders and tend to forget about it once it’s filed. I kind of use my editorial calendar to keep track of posts due etc. Then I use the search button (Gmail has an awesome email search engine) to find the emails I need. That kind of answers how those of us who have thousands of emails stay organized. Most of the emails in my inbox are ones I thought I’d get back to and never did or contacts waiting to be added because it’s the emails that allow me to go back and find old sponsored post contacts etc.

    Great tips though!

  8. It’s really interesting to see how others handle their email. I would lose emails and forget them if I filed them like this, I worry. But I don’t have a system that works flawlessly either. Still searching…. :)

  9. My email is a disaster. I really like your idea of making folders for Facebook emails to go directly to. I have way too many FB email.

  10. I use Thunderbird as my email client and use tons of folders and sub-folders! I wouldn’t stay organized otherwise.

  11. I star an e-mail that I need to get back to & file my e-mails in folders once read & or followed up on. I also use search to locate something quickly. I love the filtering suggestion & will do that right away. Thank you.

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