Email Tips

From Slashdot – E-mail As The New Database

A few email tips I try to live by (Score:5, Insightful)
by prototype (242023) on Friday April 22, @06:48PM (#12318604)
(http://members.shaw.ca/bsimser)

These are a few tips I’ve found on the net that I’ve picked up and try to follow.

  • Remember, your Inbox is your Inbox. It’s not your To Do list. You don’t use your paper inbox as a filing system, do you? (Okay, maybe you do. So how’s that working for you, anyway?)
  • Block out time to “process” email. And when you do, “process” it. Don’t spend more than a minute or two on an email–and don’t start down the road of firing off two or three emails for everyone you get, or diving into a project after you get to email 13 (“oh, ya! I owe him a project plan!” or “I should blog about that…”). Put it on your To Do list, and keep processing your inbox. If you can’t do that, there may be other kinds of help available.
  • Don’t use your email as a filing system. And for heaven’s sake, don’t rescue a co-worker who is looking for something you happen to have tucked away in an email folder. Let them rescue YOU! If someone else owns a document/plan/conversation, let them store it for you. Chances are if you need it, someone else has it.
  • Ignore Incoming Email until you have time to process it. Can you imagine if snail mail was real-time? Would you wait by your house’s mailbox, and open each piece of junk mail as it came in? Thank goodness it only comes in once a day! And even though you pick it up daily, I bet you process that “inbox” only a few times a week. Change your default view on Outlook to open to your Calendar and Task List, rather than your Inbox. Turn off the popup toast and reminder sound when email comes in. Don’t respond immediately to each incoming email.
  • Pick up the phone once in a while. You’d be surprised at how much you can get done in a phone call rather than on email.
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