Email is the main communication system for many people in office. Personal emails like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook.com are also popular. People used to communicate over email more than any other communication options. Normally we need to manage multiple email accounts, one for office and another for personal. We get hundreds of emails daily in our inbox. A good email client is necessary to manage our email in daily basis. Also there are many methodologies to manage emails. What type of work you are doing with email on that basis you need to manage email. So email management is different for everyone. But there are common rules. After all you need to decide which strategy you will take to manage your email.
I have found some good articles on email management. I will give links later in this post. What I found in common from these articles is, if you want to make your life easy then you need to manage your emails more effectively. Who can manage email efficiency, can also maintain a good work life balance and can get more time to spend with family.
You can get many useful options in Outlook to manage emails. You can create folders, categories, flag emails, create rules and many more. But the basic is, every time you are checking your email, you need a zero inbox.
Every email need some action to take. After getting an email you need to read it once. Then follow the below steps to process it.
- if it is not important to you, delete it.
- if it is important and you need it for future references, archive it.
- if it is important and you need to give a reply and the reply will take two minutes then do it now.
- if it is important and you need to give a reply and the reply will take more than two minutes then deferred it and schedule a time to reply.
- if it is important but you need to forward this to someone else to do the action item then delegate it.
I use an archive folder to store emails which I think someday I need for reference. For deferred and delegate emails I use flagging system in Outlook.
Some more readings:
- How to hit Inbox Zero every time you check email
- Scott Hanselman’s Complete List of Productivity Tips