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Email productivity 101


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Email productivity 101

  1. 1. Email Productivity Ernie Svenson & Dane Ciolino
  2. 2. Who are these guys?
  3. 3. Ernie Svenson BigLaw - 20 yrs Solo Practice - 5 yrsDigital Signatures are easy ErnieTheAttorney.netto make
  4. 4. Dane Ciolino Alvin Christovich, Distinguished Professor of Law, Loyola Univ.
  5. 5. Agenda Processing email Not Outlook specific (for the most part) What’s possible? Best practices How to efficiently manage information minimize “information overload”
  6. 6. Email OverloadThe average corporate executive gets between 50and 100 emails every day... 6
  7. 7. Email challenges Not built for mass communication “Email bankruptcy” Unified messaging increases load
  8. 8. Processing emails
  9. 9. GTD system: inbox process Delete Defer Suspend for later Delegate Act Review
  10. 10. First Run Delete liberally (it’s fun; try it!) Flag important stuff No responses now Only exception: critical email Acknowledge receipt: say you’ll respond later
  11. 11. Batch processing Process once or twice a day Only check few times a day
  12. 12. 67%of emails are neverprinted out(which means 33%of people do printout their emails)
  13. 13. Friendsdon’t let friends print out emails
  14. 14. Incoming emails
  15. 15. Filtering is key(& the cure to “information overload”)
  16. 16. Folders (manual filtering) A few are okay; too many are bad Outook folders have definite limits The “inbox” is a folder; not built to handle the volume that many people impose on it. Will crash Outlook, or corrupt files
  17. 17. Smart folders (auto filtering/rules) filter inbound & outbound based on sender, recipient, or subject line “Unread emails” is a smart folder “Flagged folder” is smart folder
  18. 18. Outgoing emails
  19. 19. Readability is Job #1
  20. 20. Before composing ask: What action do you want reader to take? Who really needs to be notified Do you need to change the subject line? Topic shifts happen; adjust subject line Is this really a calendar appt?
  21. 21. Response type Email (obvious, but not always optimal) Phone call best for hashing out indefinite stuff if you’re driving if last minute change (can’t assume people read email as it comes in)
  22. 22. Upon receipt of email Don’t respond right away (usually) Quick responses = fast paced ping pong matches Acknowledge receipt & promise reply soon
  23. 23. Composing emails
  24. 24. Writing that works Kenneth Roman Joel Raphaelson
  25. 25. Body of email Brevity, simplicity No more than 6 sentences (ideally) Use short, common words Use short sentences Get to the point quickly!
  26. 26. Replying effectively Inline quoting is optimal Avoid “Reply All” Before hitting “Reply All” make sure you weren’t bcc’d Be careful with autocomplete e lv ft Proofread carefully to see if you any words out
  27. 27. Addressing Avoid using “Reply All” Specify who email is really for (if sent to more than just those who need to take action) Use of blind copy (bcc) for large email sets (& send to yourself)
  28. 28. Subject line(the most powerful tool for clarity)
  29. 29. Make clear & compelling Study Wall St. Journal headlines: learn to craft enticing subject lines Consider putting message in subject line for short messages Send separate emails for separate topics If need long email, then use headings
  30. 30. Attention-getting examples Re: your AT&T International Roaming Charges Re: what seems to have once been your car To my former sexual partners, as required by law
  31. 31. Ending emails Write "thanks," or "cheers" or "best wishes" & then your name Make use of signatures (you can have more than one) Always give your phone number Don’t need your email address there No graphic signatures
  32. 32. Missing attachments & the David Sparks solution
  33. 33. Work backwards Attach the file first Next, fill in the body text Create a succinct subject line Last, address the email (thus avoiding sending without attaching file)
  34. 34. Sending large files Services that specialize You Send It SugarSync, or Dropbox Adobe SendNow (Outlook Plug-in available)
  35. 35. Out of office msgs (avoid them; they’re out of style)
  36. 36. Spam(a really hard problem to solve)
  37. 37. Phishing scams “Social engineering” Never click on links from banks or password-protected sites Navigate to site yourself Scammers getting more sophisticated Password managers help (e.g. 1Password, or LastPass)
  38. 38. Summary Develop a good process; make it a habit Strong subject lines (change if needed) Separate emails for each topic Learn & use shortcuts Be careful with bcc, and auto-complete Don’t use inbox as a warehouse
  39. 39. 39
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