Better email management – email tools
10 questions – with answers – to self-diagnose how good you are at managing and staying on top of your email.
1. How quickly do you expect a reply to your emails?
Be realistic when waiting for others, establish norms in your office (for how long to wait), and send informative holding replies instead of overly-speedy mistakes.
2. Are you suffering from email addiction?
Limit your checking e.g. to every 60–90 minutes. Reward yourself when you keep to it.
3. How many folders do you have for your email?
It’s worth having lots and lots, for easier tracking and retrieving
4. What’s the balance of your email inbox: ‘background noise’ emails vs. necessary information ones?
Unsubscribe from the former, to decrease the ratio between the two.
5. What’s the max number of times you open an email without actioning it?
Be careful if more than two: try to deal with emails in whatever way (or delete them, delegate or defer) first time around.
6. Are your emails always understood? How quickly, and at what cost, can you get the conversation back on the right track?
Improve your writing’s clarity. Think about using the phone when an issue is complicated, delicate, or there are several options, etc.
7. Do update your subject line as the conversation changes?
It’s good practice, and lazy/confusing otherwise.
8. Have you ever missed or deprioritised an email because of the number of receivers?
Use cc appropriately; ask to be taken off irrelevant lists, etc.
9. Have you sent/received an email without the necessary attachment?
Add the attachment first. Only send relevant attachments (multiple ones are confusing), or refer people to an intranet document etc.
10. Ever sent an email you regretted?