Monday, June 11, 2007

Managing Your Email

I was talking with a friend this weekend about email and how people use it. Yes, I was bitching… So, here are a few tips that he and I came up with for people to manage their email.

Touch Each Message Only Once
Begin by instantly turning every message into an action. Drag the message either to the To-Do Bar or to the Calendar to make it part of your work. Dragging messages to either place creates a new item containing the text of the e-mail.

Second, delete it! Remove processed items from your Inbox after they're in the To-Do Bar or the Calendar. The best choice is to delete items. If you can't give up your attachment to past messages, move them to an archive folder where they won't distract you.

Need More Than 2 Minutes? Drag The Message To The To-Do Bar
If you have a group or various groups of people who may need to see and act on messages, keep track of them using contact categories. When you need to delegate tasks, you can address a single e-mail to all of the contacts in a single category by dragging that category to the Inbox

Automate Repetitive Tasks
In striving to touch each message only once, you may become aware that you send the same message repeatedly to many different people. The Quick Parts feature can help in that quest. Just select the text you want to use as a Quick Part, click the Quick Parts button under the Insert tab and choose Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery. To use a Quick Part, simply choose Quick Part and pick your message from the Gallery.

Don't Repeat Yourself; Address Everyone At Once
Organize your actions each day by dragging items from the To-Do Bar to the bottom of your daily calendar. This allows you to achieve balance between scheduled appointments and ongoing work. If you can do what a message requires in less than 2 minutes, just do it.

Try not to use BCC
If you are going to blind carbon copy someone, Don’t! After you send the original email to the person, use Forward to send the information to the other individual. This will also allow you to put in additional comments.

Do you really need to Reply to All
I don’t know how many times I have seen this. A message goes out to everyone one in the company or building about something important, like “your lights are on”. And someone hits the “reply to all”… Then the flood gates are open. So, ask yourself this question, Does all these people care about what I am about to send?

1 comment:

Doc M, phd said...

Great suggestions! I have set up a very detailed list of folders to store emails in so my inbox doesnt get too full. If an email doesn't obviously fit in one of the folders I set up, it gets deleted.

And these folders are stored locally as opposed to the network. So I never go over my mailbox size limit and I have access to them when I am not on my companies network.