It seems that no sooner do I clear out my in-box than a whole new batch of messages pop up. As managing my e-mail has started to take an ever increasing amount of time, I have taken a step back to figure out some ways that I can be more efficient in managing my e-mail and thus hopefully help my recipients with theirs.
I am trying to adapt a send fewer e-mails, receive fewer e-mails mindset. Here are some email organization tips for trying to limit the number of messages sent/received each day.
Before sending an e-mail, I ask myself the following questions:
Does the recipient need the information that I am sending for a specific purpose? I am trying to avoid sending e-mails containing trivial or redundant information.
Is it really necessary to express my thanks via e-mail? I am now using this type of situation to connect/re-connect with people over the phone.
Does my e-mail completely address the questions that have been posed? Unless it is really necessary to provide a piecemeal response, I am compiling all of the information requested and sending it in one message.
Who really needs to receive my e-mail? Whenever possible, I am limiting the distribution to the essential few who need to be included. If it is necessary to send the message to a large group, I am asking the recipients to reply only to me instead of the entire list. I can then compile the responses and determine the most efficient next step.
Do I need a reply? If no response is required, I am advising the recipient of this in my message.
By implementing these email organization tips, I am using my e-mail time more productively. Next I will be focusing on the quality of the messages being sent.