Week 8 – Information Management: Afraid of Your Inbox? 5 Tips For Email Efficiency (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)

Clare Kumar Writes About Organizing Your Email Inbox – Photo Courtesy of GetConnected.com

Clare Kumar - October 6, 2010

By Clare Kumar

One of the most common frustrations in today’s work environment is the volume of email. I commonly hear reports of between 100-200 emails a day and inboxes with thousands of unread emails. Coupling email with portable devices creates the expectation of an immediate response – a pressured system.

Here are 5 tips to help you take control of your inbox and boost your email efficiency.

1. Unsubscribe

Be judicious about signing up for email newsletters. Just as with traditional magazines, if you’re not reading the articles, do you really need the subscription?

2. Use rules

To keep your inbox uncluttered, consider applying rules to direct emails to specific folders. This works well for the non-urgent material you wish to read or process later.

Paying attention to how you craft an email may take a bit more time upfront but will save you and your readers’ plenty. Do these three things every time and set an excellent email example.

3. Title meaningfully

Create a title that will quickly communicate the topic and help the reader find it again if necessary. Use a project name, for example, followed by a subtopic. When replying, append or modify the title to refer to your additional content.

4. Address purposefully

The “To:” category should include everyone you require a response from. Including them in the “Copy:” section conveys a “for your information only” feeling and your request may be missed.

5. Organize content

Communicate the purpose of the email and what you need from the reader concisely at the start. Use formatting to make it easier to read the meat of the message. Consider bolding dates and underlining actions.

The more email you send, the more you are likely to receive, so stop and think before hitting the send button. I’d love to hear how you cope with email – please share your inbox insights.

Coming up next in the series: Information Management Tips – 3 Simple Steps to Manage Your Contacts

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

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