If you use e-mail regularly, you can appreciate anything that can be implemented to make this communication tool more efficient. Each day tons of information is conveyed back and forth… most of it is useful, but some of it is not. Here are some things that you can do to keep the volume down and the value up:
1. Use “Reply All” SPARINGLY…
2. Make sure that you only copy required parties
3. Drop people from e-mail strings that don’t need to be included
4. Avoid “thank you” to all when you only want to thank one person
5. Pick up the phone when it makes more sense
So why is it important to be so mindful of the messages you send? Here are some statistics regarding e-mail management and the average American’s workday:
– Typical number of emails sent and received by a business user: 600 per week
– The average American employee spends about a quarter of their working day dealing with email
– Three out of ten spend more than two hours and almost one in ten (8 percent) spend an astonishing four hours or more a day pouring over their Inboxes
– But despite this, it is estimated that 86% of people agree e-mail has made them more efficient!
Finally, how should you manage the influx of messages every day? One thing is for sure – you need a system. Don’t leave everything sitting in your Inbox! Here are some general guidelines:
1. Read each e-mail and… Delete! (Not all of them – just the messages you don’t need anymore)
2. For all e-mail not deleted:
– Reply now
– Mark for reply by the end of the day
– Convert to a task if you cannot reply by the end of the day
– File it in it’s appropriate folder
In the future, we’ll touch more on Folder organization and using Tasks and Calendar Items to keep your day more productive and organized. For now, we hope these tips have been useful, and remember – “Reply All” is not your friend!
By Erik Hudson, Contributing Blogger
Erik Hudson is a Corporate Operations Manager – Outbound Services for AnswerNet.