As with any tool, mail must be used properly. It may take some time to set up, but it will save tens of hours in the future. Because if you do not know how to manage an email account effectively it can give you lots of stress, waste of time and productivity. The main tips in email management:
- Do not be distracted. If you have opened a letter, start working on it: reply, forward, etc. If you close it and do something else, it will be marked as read and you will simply forget about it. And when you remember, first you will need to find it, then you will have to read it again – that is, in fact, do a double job.
- Block time for mail. Allocate a strictly defined time during the day for mail. Otherwise, you will be engaged in mail from morning to evening. You may not even notice how quickly time flies when you are busy reading emails. Remember: if something is urgent, people will call you. Better to set up the time when it’s convenient for you to check the inbox. Therefore, there is no need to sit in the mail around the clock. Turn off notifications about incoming messages and check your inbox two to four times a day – at a time when it is convenient for you, and not for those who write the letters. Remember, all hot topics can be discussed by phone.
- No long letters. Do you want your emails to be answered quickly and specifically? Then write briefly and to the point. The essence of your request or proposal should be in the first lines, or even better – in the first 15 words. And make sure that the subject line reflects its content. The answer is usually twice the length of the question. Respect your recipients – don’t write long letters to them. You will also save your and recipient’s time. Alternatively, you can send a voice message or make a short call to reduce email overload.
- Use acronyms – these are common abbreviations. For example, NNTR (No Need To Respond) or FYI (For Your Information). If your recipients are not familiar with these designations, write simply – The letter does not require an answer, etc. Otherwise, you will spend an extra 20 minutes reading dozens of letters like “Ok” or “Thank you for the information.”
- Sort emails. If you can reply to the message right away, do so. If the letter does not require an answer, delete it. If you need to think or do something about a letter, mark it specifically. Review the flagged emails and solve related tasks once a day, and then unmark them. If you don’t want to manage emails manually, you can use an email cleanup app like Clean Email. It will organize your emails into relevant bundles to apply actions to email groups instead of managing individual messages.
- Do not multiply copies. Copy only those who will work on this letter. The abundance of recipients “for show” will only overwhelm you with unnecessary responses to which you will have to react.
- Don’t write letters for unimportant reasons. Usually, in such cases, it is faster to just talk to a colleague or your friend. Plus you do not need to wait until the person notices your letter and answers it.