Email has become the most used tool of the XXI Century, both for work and for personal use. Its daily use can become an overwhelming nightmare if we do not have some effective techniques for its management.
15 tips for an efficient management of email
- Before writing an email, take a few seconds to decide whether it is essential to do so. Avoid writing emails that do not contribute anything really important.
- Every email generates responses, and this provokes a filled inbox. Avoid the ping-pong effect. Shorten to avoid unnecessary responses and that the email will become a chat.
- When writing an email, be clear, concise and brief. If you need a lot of text, write it on a separate document and attach it. In the body of the email write a summary or conclusion, inviting to read the detail in the document.
- Be simple in tokenism and rhetoric. The email is a tool that requires that we are direct in order to be resolutive and productive. Be respectful and correct with a few words.
- The email subject is key to being productive. Use a short and concise format that will help you and the addresse to classify and understand what is in the email before opening. For example “Quality Report – GTS Plan – Draft”.
- Additionally, you can add at the end of email subject, one or two tags in order to catalog the email. This is very useful when you search. The tags are usually preceded by the # sign with a single keyword. You must be very selective with tags and don’t have a very large dictionary. Examples: #report #urgent #important #ProjectX #committee
- Create mailing lists for frequent emails. You will avoid forgetting to someone, entering the correct email address and you will save a lot of time.
- If the addresse is near, talk directly to him in person. You will save time and you will avoid the ping-pong effect and misunderstandings that generates an impersonal media, such as email.
- When you request something by email, try to attach screenshots, graphics or documents to explain very clearly what you need.
- Organize and classify your emails into folders, according to the frequency, importance and activity that you give to tasks. Create, additionally, two operational folders, called “Next” (for emails with immediate action) and “In Queue” (for non-urgent emails).
- Regularly check your inbox. If the email requires an urgent action (today or tomorrow), move this one to folder “Next”. If not required, move it to folder “Queued”. Your checking must finish always with empty inbox.
- Periodically check your folder “Queued”. If you identify an email that requires immediate action, move it to folder “Next”.
- Work with the emails contained in the folder “Next”. Check them and execute the most urgent first. If the action is complete, move the emails to your organizational folder that you created.
- If your mailer uses colors or symbols to classify emails, take advantage of these features using the criterion that you consider most convenient.
- At least once a year, check and clean up of old emails. Create a historical folder (for example, taking the year as a name), and move here the important emails you want to keep. The rest, delete them. As much space you have, if you trust in the search, you will also find emails are no longer needed and they will hinder you.
What is your experience managing emails? Any advice you want to share?