How to handle your email deluge effectively: four more tips

A number of tips were discussed previously (See my post of Nov. 6, 2006 with three tips and six references cited; June 16, 2006 and five tips; and Dec. 28, 2006 with additional suggestions and comments.). Some law departments have even taken training on e-mail effectiveness (See my post of July 20, 2007 on Capital One and two tips.).

A piece in the NY Times, Nov. 4, 2007 at BU 17, offers some more ways to take charge of your email inbox. For example, put limits on your viewing time. If you only devote 10 minutes to your inbox when you turn to it you should become more discriminating in how you use your time.

Second, use your software’s preview function so that you can quickly dispatch unimportant messages such as chain letters, jokes, and messages copied too promiscuously.

A third suggestion is to create filing folders and name them with nouns, such as “Morrison case” or “Will Superfund.” Don’t use adjectives, such as “Urgent” or “Low-Priority” because your filing decisions will vary by your mood.

Flag messages that are very important. This tagging might be done with color codes or flags but it lets you keep track of what is crucial.

Don’t hit reply too often. “The fewer messages you send, the fewer you are likely to receive.”

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