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Blog: The Organized Entrepreneur
Tips and Tricks for Managing Business Email

Email is perhaps the most used and abused business tool of our time. Used correctly, it saves time and increases productivity.   The unfortunate reality of email is that it is often used carelessly wasting time and damaging professional credibility.  The tips below offer some basic guidelines for using email to your advantage.  The most important element to email success is the same for all other areas of your career.  Be professional and aim for excellence in all you do.
Outgoing Email

     Use the subject line to let the recipient know as much about the content as possible.  For example, an email with the subject "For Your Review" is more likely to go without a reply than an email with the subject line "For Your Review Response Requested by EOD 8/4."

     Use a standard "template" to ensure that your emails are consistent, quick and purposeful:

1.       Detailed subject line (note what action is requested or FYI only)

2.       Brief greeting

3.       Summarize purpose of email and requested action

4.       Supporting details

5.       Brief closing

     Write your emails with the same careful attention you use when writing a letter.  They seem fleeting, but are permanent records. 

     Never send an email that only says "thanks", "see you later", etc.  They waste time for you and the recipient. 

     Only forward jokes and other humorous emails if you want to get hundreds in return. 

Incoming Email
     Establish a routine of when and for how long you will check email.  I recommend three times a day morning, right after lunch and at the end of the work day.  If your email program is always open, there is a constant source of distractions and you train your colleagues and clients to expect an immediate response every time.   
     Make friends with the delete key.  Not every email needs to be archived for documentation. Documents that are readily available online do not need to be saved in your email.
     Use folders to sort by topic. Folders designated for short term projects can be deleted when the project is complete.
     Set up rules to send recurring emails (newsletters, etc.) directly to the appropriate folder.  Most email programs are capable of scanning the subject line or sender and routing email to specific folders based on "rules" you have established.
     Unsubscribe to legitimate mailing lists and advertisements that you do not read.  (Caution: Do not unsubscribe to spam messages because it only confirms a valid address.)

posted on: 8/2/2008 8:30:00 AM by Shana Prichard
category: Business

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The Organized Entrepreneur

by Shana Prichard

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About Shana:

Shana M. Prichard, MBA owns realign, llc, a professional organizing firm. realign, llc provides small business organizing services including filing system design/implementation, desk and time management and QuickBooks set up and training. realign, llc also provides home-office organizing services to individuals.

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