January 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm #148790
We all spend way too much time in email.
What are your tips on managing email? Any specific apps you use?
January 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm #148808
I’m a fan of
-Rapportive – shows you Linkedin and other information of the person who emails you
-Sanenow – kind of a super priority inbox that puts newsletters in a separate box, non-important email in another, and focuses you on the best stuff
-And just downloaded boomerang which lets you schedule emails
January 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm #148806
No apps, but I am the only one I know that has a blank in-box. I use the same time-management techniques that I used to keep my old paper in-box empty. The old 1-2-3 rule.
1 – Delete messages that are just for info or don’t require action – 10% of e-mails
2 – Deal immediately with items that take 5 minutes or less – 80%
3 – File long-term items that require follow-up or require research/in-depth analysis in a To-Do Box – 10%
Percentages may vary, but the technique is pretty sound. The proof is in the in-basket.
January 9, 2012 at 4:52 am #148804
Dale S. BrownParticipant
I also empty my inbox each day as suggested by Robert Allan in his book “Getting Things Done.” I have a folder titled AAnswerlater and another one for incubate. I either delete, file, answer immediately, or put it in my answer later file which then goes on my to do list.
Main thing is to not compulsively answer anything- and to call people if it looks like you will be e-mailing back and forth forever.
One other tip…create subject lines that tell people what is in your e-mail, especially on replies.
January 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm #148802
Never put the “to” addresses in an email until you are ready to send it. Do that for all email, all the time and you are a lot less likely to push the button by accident or send the snarky reply you don’t really mean to. Email lives forever, so it should be something your grandmother could read and not be embarrassed by you or for you.
January 9, 2012 at 8:03 pm #148800
Good tips Dale! I agree that you don’t want to react (especially if it is negative) to e-mails without thoughtful consideration. Give it a day or an hour to percolate or use the phone.
I also like the subject line that tells folks what you want from them.
I thought of another – I use Instant Messages or Text Messages for short inquiries or quick answers. Much faster and efficient because they are in real time.
January 19, 2012 at 6:56 am #148798
1) Insist that people sending me e-mails use *descriptive* subject lines; then use the subject lines to “triage” my e-mail as to what needs to be opened immediately; what can be put off; and what can possibly be put off forever if necessary.[this is my most critical e-mail management tip; as I get so many e-mails I’d never be able to handle them all no matter what]. A “descriptive” subject line need not always be lengthy, even, just accurate and with enough information to allow the reader to judge the e-mail’s likely subject in a general sense.
Example: “House Mark”, a two word e-mail title, is VERY descriptive; as is “Hearings”; both would indicate to me an e-mail to be opened immediately; whereas “That Thing On Tuesday”, twice as long a title, is completely and totally UNdescriptive and generally useless in judging anything about the e-mail or its importance/subject/urgency.
2) Folders. Folders. Folders. I have a wide range of folders for various topics; I also have an “Ongoing” folder for issues unlikely to be solved any time soon that aren’t otherwise specific and that I’ll need to access frequently.
3) The “search” function.
4) PDF’ing e-mails relating to tasks I haven’t dealt with as of when I leave so I don’t forget they exist during all of the *next* day’s crises.
January 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm #148796
I keep an empty email box by taking actionable steps on every piece of email I receive, using the GTD approach. Also, I have only two filing systems; Keep for One Year, and Keep Permanently. Once a month, I review the Keep for One Year and delete anything older than one year. I don’t subfile under Keep Permanently: I use keyword searches to find what I need. Keeps the filing process simpler, and very effective.
January 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm #148794
I’d agree wholeheartedly with this. It only takes one accidental tap of the “send” button on a half finished e-mail to make this rule your #1 rule!
September 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm #148792
Just wrote a post – 9 tips on being great on work email – leveraging the tips here – check it out – https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/9-tips-on-being-great-at-work-email
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