Managing e-mail

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If you get and send 100 e-mails a day, you probably spend an average of 100 workdays a year on e-mail. If you could manage to reduce the amount of e-mail you send and receive by 20%, you’d free up 20 workdays a year to use for other, more productive or fun activities, writes Anne Fisher in her May 17 column.

Is your inbox overflowing? What do you do to keep your e-mail under control?

  1. Make use of the junk mail filter. Block (certain) e-mail addresses or “subject lines” from outside the office – unwanted humour and chain e-mails all get this treatment!
  2. Before writing an email quickly ask yourself if email is really going to be faster than the phone. You might not have a net savings of time, but usually you’ll communicate more effectively and build a stronger relationship.
  3. Change your setting so that you only pick up e-mail every few hours. This will give you more time to focus on tasks without e-mail interruptions – and don’t worry – there is no such thing as an urgent e-mail!
  4. For short messages – put it in the subject line – ‘Team Meeting 10am rm 236 tomorrow’ – says it all and the e-mail does not need to be opened
  5. Use Google Desktop Search to find e-mails rather than the search function in Outlook – it is a gazillion times quicker.

Have you got any top tips you can add to the list?

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