Ten Tips to Gain Control of Your Email Inbox

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Answer all emails (important or not) that you can right away and then delete or archive. OK, what about a request for a document that will take you five days to produce. Reply right away. Let your correspondent know that it will take five days to produce the document, then archive the message. That clears it from your inbox. That is a completed task. Now, the message is no longer new or a call to action. Wait, you say, you still have work to do. You still have to create the document and send it to your correspondent. That's true, there certainly are follow-up actions. But the inbox is not a trigger for these follow-up actions. The follow-up is not an email (among far too many) in your inbox wasting away -- forgotten forever (or until your angry correspondent sends you an angry reminder because you missed the deadline). You have other tools (or you should) for following up -- project management software, workflow tools, even creating tasks in Outlook are better follow-ups than a stranded email in your inbox.

Just as much as you need to control your dog, your temper, your appetite or anything else that doesn't behave exactly the way you want it to, you need to control your email inbox, too. Carlos Pardo, CEO of CapApex, an enterprise software consulting company, discusses four warning signs of an out-of-control inbox and 10 tips to gain back control of your emails. An out-of-control inbox has repercussions, so keeping emails under control is crucial to ensuring superior customer service and response time, efficiency with work flow, and avoiding unnecessary stress.

So is your inbox out of control? Heed these four warning signs if you are continually encountering some of these problems:

  • You are in a never-ending race to catch up with your unread or unanswered emails.
  • Your colleagues or business partners constantly need to remind you to answer important emails.
  • You miss deadlines that were clearly stated in a message that is wasting away in your inbox.
  • You periodically do a "spring cleaning" of old emails that you never even opened and have no idea about their importance.

"The underlying idea in controlling your inbox is having an empty inbox. Easier said than done? Perhaps, but take a good look at your work place. Who are the most productive workers? Your colleagues with messy offices or those who keep a tidy desk? It's possible to gain back control of your email inbox and as a result you will be more productive, efficient and be an overall better employee or business owner," shares Pardo.

There is no one solution for everyone, but these 10 tips will help.


Related Topics : Vulnerabilities and Patches, Resellers, Broadcom, Broadband Services, Supercomputing

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