Email messages still are essential tools in business communication. But sorting, reading and writing email should not take up the bulk of your day. Here are some tips for spending less time on email messages:
1. As with paper materials, practice good time management and "touch" each message only once. If you don't have time to deal with a response, then set time aside within a few hours to do so – and meanwhile run through the list of meaningless messages and spam. Open any legitimate message, respond and then file it.
2. Speaking of filing – email software such as Microsoft Outlook makes it easy to maintain folders and even subfolders. It takes a few clicks to create a new folder to hold messages about a recent project. You'll save time referring back to important information contained in messages you keep.
3. Get rid of the junk. A 2014 Wall Street Journal article from Joanna Stern outlined the pros and cons of several tools designed to help stop the robot messages, along with tips on how to manually control some of the email madness. For example, Stern reminds readers that just trashing ebot messages won't make them go away the next day. There should be an Unsubscribe button in the message, but that takes more time than many busy people have to give. Find out if your email program has a one-click method for unsubscribing or marking a sender address for junk or blocked mail.
4. Check with your in-house IT or Internet Service Provider to manage and upgrade the spam filters that narrow spam recognition and decrease the number of junk messages that ever reach your In-Box. Just be sure to peruse these files a few times after you enact filters to make sure you haven't gone too far and blocked legitimate senders.
5. Be sure to check reviews and confirm legitimacy of any service or software designed to block or sort your email messages. Aside from the cost of such a service (which might be well worth the money), you will have to turn over sensitive data or let that third-party provider have access to your email.
Finally, learn more about how to improve your email responses and
composition of new messages on our blog. Or enroll in our online course, Email Writing That Counts! And feel free to call and ask us about our other email and business writing services. Just give us a call: 425-485-3221.