Getting to Inbox Zero - Email Management Strategies
episode001 – Introduction to the Marketing Tips for Translators Podcast
October 6, 2015
Episode 70: Effective communication skills for translators
October 19, 2015

Episode 69: Getting to Inbox Zero – Email Management Strategies with Karen Tkaczyk

Inbox zero?

Inbox zero?

Do you ever feel stressed when looking at all the emails in your inbox? I know I do. My inbox also functions as  my to-do list sometimes. I have a dear colleague who frequently says she has no emails left in her inbox at the end of the day, and I wanted to find out what her secret was. In this episode I am happy to welcome back Karen Tkaczyk, a French into English translator to share some of her tips on becoming more organized and efficient with email.

In this episode we cover the following:

  • Karen’s system for managing emails
  • Tools to manage emails
  • How to get to inbox zero, where our inbox is empty at the end of the work day
  • Email filters
  • Flagging emails
  • Following up on emails

Useful links mentioned in this episode:

I hope you found her tips useful. I have started implementing some of them already. Please let me and Karen know what you thought by commenting below and you can also share what works for you when managing emails. Thank you for all your comments and especially a huge thank you for voting for this podcast in the Community Choice Awards. Marketing Tips for Translators won for the second year in a row. Thank you! Have a wonderful week!


Karen works as a French into English freelance translator (MITI and ATA-certified). Her translation work is highly specialized, being entirely focused on chemistry and its industrial applications. She holds an MChem in Chemistry with French (University of Manchester, UK), a Diploma in French and a PhD in Organic Chemistry (University of Cambridge, UK). She worked in the pharmaceutical industry in Europe, then after relocating in 1999, in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics in the US. She became a professional translator in 2005. Karen is the current administrator of ATA’s Science and Technology Division.


TranslaticsThis episode is sponsored by Translatics. Professional and beautifully designed business websites for language entrepreneurs. Think big. Jump on the right clients’ radar with your own attractive website. An investment that lasts. Book your free consult at



  1. Hi,
    I mentioned David Allen and his website during the podcast. This is a great resource.

  2. Hi Tess and Karen,
    I really enjoyed this episode – thanks for putting it together.
    I was so happy to hear that you both use Outlook! I do too, and I love it. However, my IT guy is very anti, he says it’s unstable when the file gets big, and that I should move to something else.
    That may not be a problem for you Karen, because it probably works differently on an Exchange Server, but Tess, have you ever had any issues with that? I just let my emails archive themselves, but do either of you do anything special on that front, like deleting either automatically or manually after a certain time, removing attachments before you file them or anything like that?
    I was also interested in what you said about synching email across two PCs or with a smartphone. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but by that do you just mean the inboxes, or the entire folder structure?
    Thanks again for the work you put into this really great episode!

    • Hi Caroline,
      Indeed, I have not had any problems. If you are concerned though, use the “Clean Up” function under File/Cleanup Tools and archive older files. That will shrink things for you.
      I do mean that the entire folder structure is duplicated across my laptop and desktop, yes, as MS Office is installed on both and they synchronize whenever I am at home. That’s a major benefit compared to using webmail or email on my smartphone. Yes, I can check email in those places and reply, but I don’t have the same file structures there that allow me to clean up my files and stay organized. I use a very lightweight laptop when I travel and my email simply synchronizes when I get back home.

  3. […] makes a professional linguist? Going into and beyond the obvious skills & qualifications Getting to Inbox Zero – Email Management Strategies with Karen Tkaczyk A web of trouble: Why Google Translate and website translation don’t mix Newbies, clients […]

  4. […] Karen recently chatted with Swedish – English translator Tess Whitty for her podcast series, “Marketing Tips for Translators”. You can listen to the episode here. […]

  5. Very interesting. Thank you for the 2-minute rule!

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