Too many business professionals waste valuable time constantly checking their emails. Sending emails may also take more of time than is necessary too. Practice email organization and time management to save time when working with email.
Keep in mind that every email does not have to be read when it comes in. For most people checking business email can be done three times during the day – when coming in at the beginning of shift, before or after lunch, and before leaving work for the day. However, people in a customer service or support job may need to check their email hourly, such as at the beginning of each hour rather than every minute of the day. The old time management rule for answering inquiries was within 24 hours, however with the technological advances today, by end of business day or each work shift may be a better practice.
If an email is not going to be answered on the same day that it is read, because it requires more thought time than can currently be given to it, use the reminder or tickler feature in email system indicating a deadline so the reply requirement is not forgotten. If the email does not indicate a due date, ask for it or at least let the sender know when they might expect a well considered response. Also, it may take a little more time upfront when composing emails, but it can save time and confusion later if when sending business emails, professional email etiquette should be followed.
Although it is true that there is no need to check to email as often, no one should not let their inbox get too full. A full inbox takes more time to clear out in the future. If an email requires a response, don’t keep people waiting too long for an answer. If it does not require a response, decide if there is a need to keep the email or trash it immediately. Always clean the inbox out at the end of each day at s set time. Also, if emptying the trash folder is not set up on an automatic timeframe, empty it out at the end of each day too.
When keeping emails for future reference, be sure to make folders for filing them. Having folders created for active projects or teams makes it easy to quickly retrieve important communications and forward them when necessary. It is also easy to quickly remove all those old emails when the project is complete or team is dissolved by deleting the folder. Some email tools allow sending emails from particular people directly to a folder to make checking project tasks during a designated time during the work day. Not only can folders be set-up and sending emails to them the sender information, filtering emails into specific folders based on a word in the subject line is also possible.
As a final time saving tip, when sending mass-emailing to a particular group or team of people on a regular basis, consider putting their email address together in a group ID to make completing the “To” field for outgoing messages quicker. So practice better email organization and improved time management working with email. Don’t be one of those business professionals who waste valuable time checking emails more often than necessary.
NOTES: For information on email etiquette, please see article titled “Encouraging Email Etiquette – Do’s and Don’ts.” For more details on group IDs, see article titled “Get Emails Out Faster Using Group Names as Addresses.”