Monday, February 25, 2013

How to spend less time dealing with email

Have you ever given thought to the amount of time we spend dealing with emails?  We track all our time, whether it is billable or not, so we know exactly how much time we spend or waste on it!

One thing I have noticed is how much easier it is to find an old email if there is a sufficiently detailed subject line.  It is also imperative to limit the subject of an email to as few topics as possible.  It can actually be more efficient to send multiple emails to the same person if the topics are widely divergent.  For this to work, people need to start fresh email threads when the topic changes rather than continuing to "reply" to the same thread. 

Another trick I have been taught is to look at your emails from latest (or newest) to oldest if you are in email catch-up mode.  This allows you to see if some items have been dealt with or answered by someone else and therefore your response isn't needed.  It seems unorthodox to read your email in this manner, but try it-it works!

Another tip is to limit your "reply all".  Take a moment to consider whether everyone who received the email needs your response.  We all spend a lot of time reading and deleting emails that we really didn't need to receive. 

If you are overwhelmed by the volume of emails you deal with every day, consider how many subscriptions you received via email and how often you get updates from Linked In and other groups.  Pare down your lists to the publications you really are reading regularly and unsubscribe to those you are not.

Do you have any other email tips or tricks?  Let us know!

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