Monday, February 25, 2013

Best Practices for Managing E-mail

Microsoft research indicates the average Outlook user reads 1800 emails and deletes an average of 1500 emails per month. Other sources cite that many corporate users handle more than 200 messages a day. If this sounds familiar, you may be dealing with Email Overload!

How do you manage your email and keep your Inbox de-cluttered? Here are a few of my favorite tips:

Establish a Routine
Decide how and when you will handle your email. Will you check it two or three times a day? Some recommendations include once in the morning, mid-day, and after school. To avoid getting sucked back into your Inbox every five minutes, you may want to consider closing your email or turning off the automatic alerts.  

The Four Ds
When reading your email, decide whether to:
  • Delete it. If it isn’t important, delete it immediately.
  • Do it. If it can be done in two minutes or less, do it.(Respond, file, etc.)
  • Delegate it. If it isn’t for you or if you can, delegate it. (Forward)
  • Defer it. If you need to do it, but it takes longer than two minutes defer or hold off on it. (Consider using color categories and flags)

Eliminate the Clutter in Your Inbox
Ways to reduce email in your Inbox:
  • No Reply Needed or FYI Only. When you are sending informational messages that do not require feedback, discourage unnecessary responses.
  • Unsubscribe to electronic newsletters you don’t read.
  • Use the Conversation Feature. To use this feature, click on the View tab, then choose Conversation View. Read more about the Clean Up Conversation and Ignore Conversation here.
Reduce the Size of Your Inbox
In order to keep our email system running most effectively, the Tech Department is setting a limit of 2 GB for teachers and staff—which is typically plenty of space unless you have a lot of huge files. (Attachments with photos, videos, and all emails dating back to Y2K!)

I’ve been cleaning out folders and sorting emails and here are some quick, easy ways to reduce the size of your inbox.
  • Clean out Attachments.  Attachments take up a lot of space in your inbox and cause your mail to load slowly.
    • To find all the emails with large attachments, sort your mail by size or by attachments. File the important documents in your user directory (H:drive)and delete the rest!
  • Empty the Trash. Sort the trash folder by date and delete all emails from previous years.
  • Use the Auto-archive feature in Outlook. The archive feature can be used to move mail to another location such as your C:drive or a network drive.
The Instructional Technology Department will be sending detailed archiving directions to all campuses soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to post a question or contact the instructional technology specialist for your campus.

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