The Dreaded Inbox (+ Email Etiquette)


I’d like to think I’m a master at email communication thanks to both my full time job and this blog.

For whatever reason, I’ve always loved email. I’ve always thought it was such a fun way of communicating, and over the years, I really think I’ve mastered email. Although it’s super easy to just look at your inbox, write an email, and hit send, there’s SO much that goes into effectively utilizing your inbox and also a proper way of communication with other professionals.

Organize yourself, girl

If my inbox is a mess, my life is a mess. Sometimes I find myself completely drowned in my inbox. I used to open an email from a brand, and if it didn’t require an immediate response, I would just mark it as unread. That wasn’t working for me. At my office, I use a star system. I use different stars/symbols for each and every email. If I don’t need to respond to an email, I archive it.

  • Orange star: Respond today — typically for current collaborations
  • Red star: Respond within 48 hours — typically for collaboration inquiries and/or events
  • Blue star: Someone else needs to respond — typically for my manager to respond to (or an invoice needs to be paid)
  • Blue “!”: Informative — typically for save the dates, press releases, collaborations that fell through/want to remain in touch, etc.

Make sure you re-read, and re-read again

There’s nothing worse than coming off the wrong way in an email. I recently had a situation where I sounded way too harsh to A FREAKIN’ SVP in an email. Thankfully, I sent the draft to my boss and she was like “GIRL CHILL”. I always make sure to re-read my emails not only to look for spelling and grammatical errors, but also to make sure I’m not coming off as anything BUT professional. I like to read an email, re-read it, and then come back to it a few minutes later with fresh eyes. Re-reading can only help you!

If miscommunication is happening, set up a phone call

When working with brands, sometimes miscommunication happens. Whether it’s playing email tag, asking a lot of questions, or just not getting the clarification you need, it could be better to set up a call. This not only ensures both you and the brand are on the same page when it comes to the collaboration, but also shows them you’re extremely dedicated to your work.

You should respond to every email

As a blogger, I get countless emails a day that aren’t personalized (just a copied and paste response). While it’s really annoying, someone still took the time to send an email to my account. I always try to respond to every single email that comes my way, even if I’m not accepting their collaboration offer, invite, product, etc. It just always seemed like the right thing to do. While it’s really hard to respond to email that don’t seem personalized, I still try to write a brief response. This often helps them not send follow up emails as well!

So there you have it — a few tips on how to maintain that dreaded inbox and how to keep things professional. Email is an amazing form of communication, but it can also be a huge stress. What are some of your go-to inbox maintenance AND email etiquette tips? Share them below!


photos by allie provost


meet dana

Dana is a born and raised New Yorker who works in the fashion industry. She created this space to bring you all things style and real life.

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