E-mail use is down 28% in the past year, according to a new survey. Bet they didn’t look at your in-box!
Most people are still plagued by more e-mail than they care to handle in the course of a given workday. And as long as that alert keeps popping up on your screen, folks will want the best tips and tricks to manage it.
Here are the four best e-mail management tips we’ve found … did we miss any?
Tip #1: Tailor your subject line to the action you need
Subject lines are critical to getting your message read and keeping track of the messages you receive. Still most people don’t put a whole lot of thought into their subject lines. Your best bet: Lead with the main purpose of your message. For example, start subject lines with:
- “Delivery” if you’re delivering a report or information
- “Request” when you have a question, and
- “Info” if you are simply sharing information.
Tip #2: Keep checking e-mail only two or three times a day
Forget what you’ve heard about setting your auto alert for every hour. As long as you’re not expected to be e-mail accessible all the time, turn your e-mail off completely. Then only log on at two or three set times a day to read and act on what you’ve received. Worried people will think you’re blowing them off? Consider putting a line right under your signature that identifies the three hours of the day you check e-mail.
Tip #3: Create a ‘5-minute folder’
And when you do check those e-mails, you’ll want to move some of them to the “five minute folder.” That’s a folder in your e-mail for messages you can act on in five minutes or less. That way, not only can you come back to this folder when you have just a small block of time to work on e-mail, but you’ll know exactly how much time you need to do it.
Tip #4: Use an attachment reminder
There’s little as embarrassing as sending an e-mail with an attachment … without the attachment! Plus it wastes both your recipient’s time and yours when you have to send yet another e-mail. Fortunately many e-mail programs now have an attachment reminder feature: Outlook, Gmail, etc. Or you could create one on your own.
If you have another e-mail management top tip, share it here.
Adapted in part from this story.