I love email! To me, it’s one of the most convenient tools available for running a virtual business of any kind. I’m not sure how I ever functioned without it. Unfortunately, I’m also one of those individuals that has to check my email frequently throughout the day, rather than scheduling specific times, only once or twice a day. In the following article, “More Ways to Deal With E-mail,” Karen brings up several great points about how to handle email, like creating folders for specific clients, projects or subjects. I take it one step farther by creating a “to-do” folder for each client, and keep all relevant email in the “to-do” folder until it’s been handled and ready to go into that client’s regular folder. There are a ton of other handy-dandy little tricks I learned while taking Outlook for the Entrepreneur, a great class given by Paul Wagner, The Software Magician. If you still have questions after reading Karen’s article, or decide handling your email is a task you’d rather not have to deal with at all, send me an email … email management is just one of the many services I offer my clients, and I’d be more than happy to tell you more about it!
More Ways To Deal With E-mail
by Karen Susman
Keep your inbox empty. Don’t use it as storage. (That’s a joke, right?)
Your inbox should hold only new, unread messages. Some experts
suggest using your inbox for older messages that you need to act on.
This is sort of a to-do list. This works only if you actually take
action on these e-mails and then file or delete.
Read e-mail once and then delete.
Create e-mail folders for specific clients, projects or subjects. Get
e-mails out of your inbox and into the correct folder.
Use “NRN” (No Reply Necessary) in subject lines when you don’t need a
If you receive e-mails that include quote backs of all previous
e-mails on a subject, you only need to save the most recently received
e-mail. It will include the whole e-mail trail.
Read newsletters as they come in and then delete. Don’t save them.
(Except for this one, of course.)
Have a two-minute action rule. When you open an e-mail, if the action
required by the e-mail takes two minutes or less, do it now. If it
will take longer, add it to your outside the computer list of to-do’s.
Create template or boilerplate letters or paragraphs that you use
often. Some software programs have a function for doing this.
Otherwise, you can do this yourself and save to a file called “E-mail
Use Act, Goldmine, Outlook or other programs to sort your e-mails
In Mark Hurst’s report from 2003, Managing Incoming E-mail: What
Every User Needs to Know, he says the secret is keeping your inbox
Hurst gives specific steps for reaching e-mail nirvana. He says it’s
simple but not easy. Instead of quoting all his points here, you can
download this free 38-page report at
I liked the report because it’s useful for e-mail management software
users and the rest of us.
E-mail is only going to get more ubiquitous. For some, it’s
depressing and anxiety producing to see it pile up. It’s just one more
source of intrusion and clutter. For some, it’s ego enhancing. “Look
everyone. I’ve got more unanswered e-mail than you do. I must be more
important.” If you’re a procrastinator, e-mail action is just another
thing on your “To-Do Tomorrow” list.
Well, gotta go. I’ve scheduled an hour now to clean out my e-mail
inbox. It’s drudgery, but it will look so nice when I get it emptied – until tomorrow.
Karen Susman, Speaker/Author/Coach, works with organizations and individuals that want to maximize their performance and quality of life. Check out her free tips and articles at www.karensusman.com. Karen can be reached at 1-888-678-8818 or [email protected].