Managing your emails

By JOHNNY CARCIOPPOLO / Community Columnist

Email is great, and saves a lot of time. You can use it to be more organized, set tasks and more. But, email can also get out of control and eat up a lot of time if you’re not organized. Here are some tips to help you keep your emails in check:

  • Use rules, filters, labels and folders – Remember that simple is better than complicated, so don’t go too crazy with these, but do create labels or rules and filter to help you organize your mail better.
  • Read emails and act immediately – When you open an email, take care of it immediately. Read it, then act. If it requires nothing, delete it; if it has something interesting you want to note, use a note-taking program to save it. If it has a task, copy and paste into your to-do list and calendar.
  • Set specific times for checking your email – Don’t keep your email notifications on all day long so that you’re constantly dealing with email. Instead, choose specific times during the day to check email, at the very least first thing in the morning, after lunch, and about an hour before the close of business.
  • Create separate email addresses – The great thing about email addresses is in most cases you’re not limited to how many you can have. Don’t go nuts, but do create a separate email for unimportant information such as business that requires an email sign-up to view information, or non-relevant newsletters.
  • Be liberal with the delete key – It’s tempting to save all those cool newsletters with great points and things to learn, but the truth is, you’re not likely to ever read them again.
  • Keep email replies short and simple – You don’t want to write really long emails to anyone. At the most an email answer should be about three or four paragraphs. If you include bullet points it will be easier for the recipient to act on.

A final idea is to outsource anything to do with customer service to someone else. That way you don’t even need to deal with it. Using these tips and tricks can help you manage your emails so that they don’t take up too much of your time and effort. Taming the email monster will pay off in many ways and give you back more time each day to use on more important tasks.