You might remember when we had to write letters for all our written communication. They took a long time to write, they would take a long time to send and the response also took a matter of days not minutes. Email is not all good news though so here are some tips to help you out.
It's amazing how many people I know who don't take advantage of email rules. Rules allow you to treat emails from different people or with different content in different ways. In essence, they help you to prioritise your emails more effectively.
If you are anything like me, your inbox could receive as many as 70 to 80 emails every day. Most of those emails will be inconsequential such as advertising or SPAM emails. Your SPAM filter will do its best to save you some time, but even the best SPAM filter is far from perfect. So how do you deal with that number of emails every day? Use Rules!
The key to working effectively in any email client is to clear your Inbox as quickly as possible. Long lists of emails in your Inbox have the affect of sucking the energy out of you each time you look at them. Using rules will help you to keep your Inbox trim and terrific by sorting emails into other folders as soon as they arrive. This takes them out of the root or the main part of your Inbox and puts them somewhere so you can process them.
For example, you know when you get an email from a key client that you need to act on it pretty quickly so create a folder for that client and a rule to send all emails from them to that folder and you will instantly be able to spot, prioritise and process emails from them.
Conversely, why not create a folder from people who you know don't expect an instant response. You can treat these differently when it comes to processing your work.
When you set up your email client it will default to a setting which will notify you when an email drops into your Inbox. You may have noticed the box that appears on the bottom right of your screen with the name of the sender and even a sneak preview of their email content.
I have one word of advice - Get rid of it. This is one of the worst offenders when it comes to time wasting. You're in the middle of a report that has to be done by noon and an email arrives. Your priority is the report you are working on, so there is nothing you can do about emails that arrive unless you finish your report earlier than you expected.
So why have the notifier? All it serves to do is distract your train of thought into either processing the email immediately or worrying about the fact you need to do it but can't. Either way you lose.
Most of us will make use of auto-responders when we are away on holiday. If you are using Outlook in a network environment, this is called the 'Out of Office' tool. It will send an email response to senders letting them know that you are unable to get back to them as you are not in the office.