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Thinking Outside The Inbox


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Tips for better use of your companiy's time. Email Time Management

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Thinking Outside The Inbox

  1. 1. Thinking Outside the Inbox Email Time Management Best Practices
  2. 2. Avoid being distracted by email <ul><li>Turn off sound and pop-up notifications. </li></ul><ul><li>You'll be stressed if your work demands focus and you're constantly interrupted by email. </li></ul><ul><li>How to: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On the Tools menu, click Options . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options , and then click Advanced E-mail Options . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Under When new items arrive in my Inbox , clear the check boxes. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Avoid addiction <ul><li>Increase interval between checking your email </li></ul><ul><li>Strike a happy balance between constant re-focussing and being available. Ideally, check for new email when you're ready for it. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Let recipients know what to do <ul><li>An email recipient should know whether a reply is expected or not. </li></ul><ul><li>Be explicit in what you need them to do </li></ul><ul><li>Be short, to the point. K-I-S-S. Spell out the options of what you want so that they can reply in a single exchange of emails. </li></ul><ul><li>Structure your message… make action requested clearly delineated. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Let recipients know what it’s about <ul><li>Make sure that the subject line matches the contents of the email </li></ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An email can be easily found again later if the Subject line accurately describes the topic. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Users can prioritize reading and taking action. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A well-chosen Subject line makes it easier to find the email weeks later when you and your recipient have forgotten the Subject line but remembered the topic. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For example, 'Subject: Ruling on MDL 1148' is more precise than 'Subject: Court Ruling' </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Limit the amount of information <ul><li>If multiple unrelated topics are required, consider using multiple emails so that each topic can proceed without being cluttered by the other topics. </li></ul><ul><li>  When replying, quote only the relevant parts of the sender's message. Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You make your email easy to read. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You shift the burden for making email easy to read from the recipient to you. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Avoid Over-Distribution <ul><li>Limit email distribution to those who need to see it. </li></ul><ul><li>If no action is required by certain recipients, put them in the “cc:”, not the “to:” field </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t reply to all unless everyone needs to see the response. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Email is not a conversation <ul><li>Avoid sending email replies like… </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Thanks” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Will do” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ OK” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>We trust that you understood, will take action, or are thankful for what was done… So save your time and theirs! </li></ul>
  9. 9. FYI … <ul><li>To cope with expanding volumes of needed email, cut back on unnecessary email. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid sending FYI emails </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Frequently we send email to keep others informed. Receiving unwanted email decreases productivity. Ensure that you are aware of the effects of FYI email and to use it sparingly. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Word your emails thoughtfully <ul><li>Why? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email is a permanent record - what you say and how you say it is not retractable. Ask yourself if the wording of the email represents what you intend to convey; can you stand behind it if it's misunderstood? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An email may be forwarded to others, or copied to a public bulletin board. Is the wording dependent upon context? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask yourself if there is any section you would not wish to be identified with, if it were removed from the surrounding context. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Email lacks the cues and context of conversation. Tone and intent are easily misinterpreted, and remarks misunderstood. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Reach out and touch some one… <ul><li>Use phone or in person when possible.  It is more efficient </li></ul>
  12. 12. Tools You Can Use <ul><li>Categories </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can categorize mail by topic and/or sender </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flags </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can flag emails for follow up </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rules </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can automatically categorize or file mail from specific senders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Folders: Use folders for low priority email, like newsletters or personal items. </li></ul>
  13. 13. How to use Flags
  14. 14. How to user categories
  15. 15. How to use rules
  16. 16. How to find an email <ul><li>Search tools </li></ul>