How to Manage Your Email & Inbox – Lessons 31-35
Could it be possible that you are addicted to e-mail? Do you get withdrawal symptoms if you haven't received an e-mail within 15 or 20 minutes? Do you constantly feel the need to look at your Blackberry or iPhone? If you have answered yes, you might be addicted to e-mail overload. Wasn't the world less complicated before e-mail arrived? Well, whether you like it or not, it is a reality. E-mail is here to stay and it is only going to increase in the weeks, months and years ahead. That's why I have put together my new book called "The E-mail Manual". It is the book you should have received when you first started using e-mail. I think if everybody had a copy of this book on their desks and read it before they started using e-mail, there would be a fewer problems and issues with using and managing e-mail. Please enjoy these 5 email strategies. Be on the lookout for my other articles on how to better manage your e-mail and reduce the size of your inbox.
31. Learn to tell urgent email from unimportant messages
The problem with having a very active Inbox is that it won't take too long before you starts overlooking Email. So learn how to flag the important Emails and give them priority attention.
Those other lower priority Emails can usually wait to be reviewed and answered after lunch. Seriously, unless you have nothing else to do, don't waste huge amounts of your valuable time with low priority Email; especially before midday.
32. The value of using a ‘‘Read Receipt''
A powerful companion to setting an email to high priority is to request a read receipt once the recipient of your email has read it. In this way you can confirm that your message got to your recipient and that they have read it (or at least seen it).
While people get annoyed with seeing too many read receipts in their Inbox, they do serve a useful function. Because you ask the reader to take the step of sending you an acknowledgement, they will probably consider that your email has some importance to you.
WARNING! You should use read receipt with some care and discretion. You should not use it if you feel there is any chance it might offend or be considered a bit too pushy.
Never use this function for trivial Emails.
By the way, consider the fact that you are probably not going to get an email back on every read receipt that you send out, so use it only when the issue under consideration needs fairly urgent attention or confirmation.
33. Don't rely only on a ‘'Read Receipt''
While using read receipt can be useful, remember that getting a read receipt doesn't mean the recipient read or even understood your Email.
If your reader didn't have preview on, they may not have understood what was in your message. If you need someone to read, understand and then action your Email, it's best to follow it up with a phone call.
34. Clean out your ‘'Sent Items' folder often
A Sent Items box with thousand of Emails is of no value and just makes your email system slower. Once every couple of weeks review your Sent Items folder and if there are any messages that you want to keep, move them to a folder.
Any other Emails in your Sent Items folder that do not need saving can be deleted.
35. Learn what you should do if you lose an important email
Outlook (and most other email programs) can help find lost or misplaced Email. For example, all sent Emails go to your Sent Items folder.
Even if you delete an Email, it doesn't leave your computer, it goes to your Deleted Items folder. So before you panic, look there first.
If you believe the email you are looking for is gone from your email program, you can first of all check with your IT department or internet service provider. Sometimes there is a backup service which means that the IT department or ISP might have a copy. This request will be time consuming and not 100% guaranteed, so why not call the person who sent you the message, explain your situation and ask if they could resend the Email. This option is usually faster.