Email Tips -- Inbox 911!!!


Email Tips 1

Email Tips -- Inbox 911

In this “age of instant communication,” isn’t it odd that a lot of communication is:

gets lost,
becomes ineffective,
seems meaningless,
or is downright frustrating?

How many emails or text messages do you receive in a day?

  • 10 or fewer?
  • 11 to 30?
  • 31 to 50?
  • 50 to 70?
  • More than 70?

Do you feel you spend too much time reading and responding to emails/text messages and too little time on business, important projects or your family?

Take heart, you’re not alone! The email tips on this page will help.

Emails and text messages have, for a lot of people, taken the place of telephone calls or face-to-face communication. This can be problematic insofar as getting your message across correctly to the recipient.

With all this communicating, how much is really being effectively communicated?

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According to communication experts, the most effective form of communication is still face-to-face because much of the intended meaning behind a message is subliminal (facial expressions, body language, etc.).

The next most effective means of communication is a phone call. While you miss the body language and facial expressions, you can hear the tone of voice which can provide a clue to the intended meaning of the message (stress, hurt, anger, frustration, etc.).

Email messages tend to be more effective than text messages. Why? Most people who send text messages tend to utilize acronyms more than in an email message. Acronyms such as “LOL” (laugh out loud), etc. may be meaningful if you know what the letters stand for but, if you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t, the meaning is lost and you leave your recipient confused and possibly frustrated.

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In these modern times, however, email and texting are here to stay (at least until the next generation of geek-communication is invented).

It’s unlikely that email and texting will go the way of the dinosaur any time soon. So, how many emails are too many? Good question!

Surveys taken by communication and human relations experts state that 50 emails per day is the maximum number that most people feel they can handle before becoming stressed. Your number may be higher or lower, but that’s the average for most.

So . . . if you find your email inbox is full to over-flowing, here are some tips on how to deal with that avalanche of emails. (email tips below)

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Email Tips -- Check e-mail less often:

  • When you are able, reduce the frequency of your e-mail checks. Consider checking your inbox every hour or two instead of each time a new message arrives.
  • If new e-mail messages “pop up” as alerts on your desktop, try turning off desktop alerts so that each new message doesn’t interrupt your work.

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Email Tips -- Prioritize messages:

  • If you receive more than 50 e-mails per day, some messages are may be crucial while others may be less important. Others may be junk. Try assigning color codes to certain types of messages. This will enable you to more quickly determine which are urgent and which can be handled later.
  • The “Rules” feature in Microsoft Outlook automatically manages arriving and sent messages that meet the conditions you set in the rule. You can choose from a number of conditions and actions by using the Rules and Alerts Wizard.

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Email Tips -- Set a good example: Feeling overwhelmed by e-mail? Your colleagues probably are too.

  • Ensure e-mails you send are not over-informing recipients – perhaps a daily update on projects is sufficient, rather than multiple messages throughout the day.
  • Carbon-copying (“CC”ing) recipients is common practice, but the message may not be relevant to some, so double check to make sure all recipients actually need the information you are sending.
  • THINK before hitting “Reply All.” More often than not only the sender or a small handful of people need to know your reply.
  • Resist the urge to send “me too” and “thank you” messages – especially via Reply All.
  • Always resist the urge to forward jokes, hoaxes and the like – the only way to stop SPAM is to not forward it.
  • Before you send an e-mail message, edit it down to short sentences, add bullet points, and be concise. Remember many people read e-mails on their phone or other mobile device. When someone opens your e-mail they should know within 10 seconds or less what your message is about.
  • Ask before you send large attachments. Resize photos for e-mails whenever possible. Online free tools such as RESIZR make it very easy.

    Just for fun, check out these email/texting acronyms: NetLingo

    Happy communicating!

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