Emailing is an effective means of communicating both for business and personal use. It can provide a type of quick response communication for a variety of questions or can be used successfully for mass-communications. When you stop work to respond immediately to every email studies show it takes a full 2 minutes to be back to your previous level of concentration. Two minutes here and there adds up to a significant amount of time.
The difficult aspect of emailing is managing the mail. There is a knack to it and here are six ways I’ve come across that really do make sense;
1) Incorporate Gmail into your business email. This will give you further flexibility and give you the opportunity to send and receive emails via your domain address through Gmail, and the process for setting this up is quite simple.
a) Create a Gmail account for your site.
b) Head to your current client and forward all your incoming email to the Gmail account.
c) In your Gmail account, go to Settings –> Accounts. Under ‘send mail as’, click ‘Add another email address’. Enter the details for your email@example.com account.
d) Complete the verification process.
e) Make your ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ address you default for ‘send mail as’.
2) Organise your folders with labels. Such a ‘To Do’, ‘Important’, ‘Boss’, ‘Networking’ etc. Archive as much as you can so you don’t run out of space and delete unnecessary items. It is possible to also put these folders in such as order that you prefer. By adding the ‘@’ symbol at the beginning of the word such as @Important, this will push the folder to the top of the list, above all folders that begin with the letter ‘A’ as can been seen below.
You can also input a ‘rule’, very simple to do, to force all emails from for instance ‘Cam’ into the ‘Cam’ folder. This helps with sorting of emails, with the more important emails being more obvious to you. To find out more information about rules, simply search rules for outlook folders and there is a wealth of information.
3) Process in batches once or twice a day and work your way to zero. This will give you sufficient time to work on the other non-email related tasks and prevent being side-tracked by incoming emails.
4) While working your way through your emails, read it and then answer it. We’ve all done it, read an email we didn’t like the look of and thought ‘I’ll do it later’ completely putting it off until the last minute. This is not productive and no longer how long you wait, the email will always be there.
5) Write, Re-read and send. Keep your emails short and sweet by delivering the message in the email with a suitable salutation and closing. Have your signature with functional links pre-set so you don’t need to re-write it with each email. Once you have written your email, re-read it for typos and other errors and send. Don’t ponder over it for too long because majority of the time, the changes that are made to these emails are rather insignificant anyway.
6) If you must, use a bridging email. A basic email to say thank you for your email, it has been read and it will be responded to ASAP will fill the gap between when it has been received and read and when it can be responded to when you work through the other more pressing emails you have.
Hopefully these six points have given you some ideas on how to work through the mounds of emails we receive. Best of luck!
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