Managing your emails
Hopefully you have actioned last week’s blog and used your time effectively and to your greatest advantage. Now, let’s have a look at what we can do about those pesky emails.
Let’s start with logging on in the morning or even worse, when you’ve been away from it a day or two. Cue the ‘OMG everyone on the planet has sent me an email!’ response.
The first thing you can do is create a folder and call it ‘for replying’. Any email that will take time to go through, if it’s not important, move to the ‘for replying’ folder and deal with it later. If you’re using the time management tip from last week you could action this for 30 minutes each day.
Any emails that are just information, such as monthly newsletters, mark them as unread and leave them for a later time.
This works really well in organisations that have a lot of internal emails, but it will work anywhere. It may take some time and effort but will be well worth it. Communicate to your colleagues to use clear subject descriptions so you can determine what it is and decide when to read it. Also, if you’ve had emails back and forth with the same title but the subject changes, change the subject title. This way you know what you’re talking about and it makes it easier to look for in the future.
If you’ve got the facility to categorise your email like G-mail, set up a colour category system and colour code them relating to the type of subject, this way if you’re looking for something in the future for whatever reason you can just sort by category.
Use the tools you have, such as ‘read receipt’ and ‘urgent’, but make sure your colleagues only use the ‘urgent’ tool for when something really is urgent, otherwise every email you get will be ‘urgent’. Using the read receipt just gives you a heads-up on whether that person has received and read your email.
Taking your iPad out with you can be a surprising benefit when it comes to emails. You never know when you’re going to get stuck in traffic, sat waiting to see somebody who’s running late etc.
We don’t all have the same problems with emails, but if you’re like me and you find you spend a lot of time reviewing and responding to emails, these techniques can save you a lot of time over the week.
Next week ‘Timely Effective Meetings’. I’ll put down a few things I do to get the most out of meetings and how I keep them from taking too long.
If you’ve read anything in my last two blogs that you think may help you, put it in to action.
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