Only check messages twice a day; get off as many mailing lists as possible. Valid tips for email management, but — yawn – you’ve heard them all before. You probably haven’t heard these.
Email is a bigger time suck than ever before. And while many messages are vital to Finance, it’s easy to be consumed by that little ping every time you hear it.
That’s why any technique that can slash the time spent on email is a godsend for Finance staffers and well worth passing along to all your people.
We’ve scoured the Web for the cleverest ones out there. Not only do they minimize the distraction email poses, they can even save you time when you do need to use email.
Take a look and be sure to let us know which ones you found most helpful.
1. Treat email like a P.O. box. You don’t have every single piece of snail mail handed to you as it arrives. But that’s what having the auto send/receive function on is like. Start thinking of your email inbox like a P.O. box. When you want your email, go and get it, by logging on and checking.
2. Know the optimum number of times to check. That being said, twice a day probably isn’t realistic. And if you want your finance staffers to be responsive to both internal and external customers, they probably need to check it more. So what’s the sweet spot for workplace emails? Experts say checking anywhere between four and seven times a day. Most departments should be able to scale back to that.
3. Create an auto reply for repeat responses, with a twist. Your A/P staffers may feel like they’re going to lose it if they have to tell employees what the current mileage rate is again. But there’s a great way to save time when emailing a reply. Some people suggest creating templates with answers to frequently asked questions, so when A/P gets those inevitable questions, they can open it up, copy and paste. But we can do you one better: Try using the auto signature feature instead. Staffers probably have a signature to go out on all their outgoing messages. But you can create multiple versions. Why not make one that contains the answers to these all-too-common questions your department faces?
4. Create a shortcut for the most frequently emailed people. If you email a particular vendor, customer or other business partner often and you work in Windows, here’s a shortcut for you:
- Right-click on the desktop and select New > Shortcut
- Type the email address of the person starting with mailto:
- Name it (Email to JSmith) , and
- Hit Finish.
You’ll see the icon in your desktop for sending an email. Clicking it will open your default Desktop Email client.