Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Top Tips: Efficient Emails

Being a PA taught me lots of useful organisational skills and tricks for managing multiple tasks and demanding workloads. I love things to be organised and so am always pleased to find ways of making things easier!

Some of the things I picked up have been helpful in making me more efficient when it comes to my illustration business - and the quicker I can get the admin done, the more time I have for drawing and selling! One of the most valuable things I learned has been how to effectively deal with a bursting inbox. As I mentioned in my last post, it is easy to let things slip a bit, so today I have sorted myself out and spring cleaned my hotmail.
Here are 6 top tips for efficient emails:

When things appear in your inbox it is easy to get overloaded and for important emails to get lost in the sea of messages. Creating subfolders is a great way to get organised. File things into the appropriate section so you know which to prioritise and which ones need acting open.

Flagging the things that are important is another way of categorising the ones that really need your attention first and noting things that have a deadline. They can still be popped into subfolders but can also be filtered so you can see the important things at a glance.

I love the preview pane, rather than wasting time clicking into each email it is much more effective to get a glimpse of what the message contains as it enters my inbox. Makes deleting the rubbishy emails a lot faster!

Arranging your emails by different categories is really useful. I often arrange by Sender when my inbox needs clearing as this allows me to get rid of things in bulk - e.g. old newsletters from the same sender. Arranging by size can also be handy if you need to free up some space in your folders.

What you send out is as important as organising what you send in. It's really annoying trying to hunt down people's contact details and wastes a lot of time - adding your details to the end of your emails makes it a million times easier to get in touch. And is priceless in spreading the message about your products or website. I put my website on mine as it links through to all of my networks and details.

To stop your emails getting lost in other people's inboxes -  and help get responses to your messages -  make your subjects clear and concise. If people know what the message contains or that actions is required it is easier to get the response you need.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but I've found these simple adaptations to how I use my inbox have saved me lots of time searching for emails and mean I don't forget to action the things that are important. How do you manage your messages?


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