North Alabama businesses are back in full swing, which means workers are once again receiving and sending countless emails every day. Emails have become such a necessity in today’s work environment that failing to manage them appropriately can lead to decreased productivity and increased risk of cyberattacks. Therefore, it would be wise for workers to take a step back and make sure they are processing their emails proactively.
Here are some good tips on how you can improve email management to ensure uninterrupted productivity:
1. Set aside time for email processing
The thing with managing emails is that once you let them get out of hand, they can be very difficult to get back under control. Make sure you set a regular time for cleaning up your inboxes and making sure all filters, rules, and templates are up to date. This will save you a lot of time down the road, especially during very busy workweeks.
Your email processing habit will depend on the volume of emails you receive per week. If you deal with more than a dozen emails per day, setting aside two 30-minute sessions per week should suffice. But if you only handle around a dozen emails per week, one 30-minute cleanup session every Friday will be enough.
2. Observe the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule — also known as the Pareto Principle — suggests that 80% of all outcomes come from only 20% of all possible sources. To effectively manage your inbox, you should focus on responding to and following up on the top 20% of your high-value emails. These should be the emails that lead to breakthroughs and maximum outputs for your organization; anything less value-generating should be given a temporary back seat.
Related article: The best email security tips you need to know
This doesn’t mean you should forget about the remaining 80%; the 80/20 rule only suggests that you should put the most effort into your most important tasks. You'll still need to process your remaining emails, and it'll help to address them according to their urgency and importance.
3. Avoid responding to every email
Not all emails deserve replies. Many emails — specifically junk mail/spam — deserve outright deletion, while many group emails don’t need individual acknowledgment. In many cases, not replying to these types of emails after a certain period has passed is acceptable. So use that to your advantage and save yourself the hassle.
For instance, you don’t need to reply with a “You’re welcome” to every single “Thank you” email you receive. Over time, you’ll have better nuance on which emails should get immediate replies, which ones can be replied to when things are less hectic, and which ones you can simply leave unanswered altogether.
4. Use email templates and filters
Email templates are an easy way to send information without having to type out entire paragraphs every time. By using templates, you won’t need to extensively proofread each email you send out. Templates are also a great way to promote brand consistency, especially if you correspond regularly with people outside of your organization. Lastly, templated emails improve communication, as regular recipients will have an easier time parsing the information you send to them.
Filters have a twofold benefit in that they help keep cyberthreats at bay while ensuring your inbox is free of clutter. With properly configured filters, you can sift through numerous emails quickly and focus on the important ones while automatically removing spam emails and the like.
Managing emails is a breeze if you do it proactively and maximize the tools available to you. Optimize your email processes by consulting with F1 Solutions’s IT experts. Contact us today to learn more about our services.