Source: WikipediaI’m getting way too many emails daily and I’ve been pulling my hair on how to handle it. Finally, I turned to blogosphere for advise and found some good tips.
Using Outlook effectively by Flexible learning community
A blog by Itzy Sabo analyzes the causes of email overload, discusses strategies to cope with the constant bombardment, and provides practical tips for getting the most out of our email programs
ReadWriteWeb Analyzes Five Methodologies to Deal with Email Overload
“MULTIPLE EMAILS AND FILTERS
I have mastered email management (I’m also a bit OCD).
I set up multiple accounts that all come in to the same email client, but this helps filter.
I’m very specific about who gets what email address.
Only friends, family and active business associates get my main email address that I protect.
I have an “events@” email address that I use to sign up for Concert Notifications, Art Gallery Openings, etc.
I have a generic account I use to sign up for stuff online (that’s the one I also use for blog posts like this).
I have another one for “contact me” on my website and a different one for “contact me” on my blog.
FOR MY EMAIL CLIENT I USE APPLE MAIL, but I know similar filters exist for other email apps. In Apple Mail they are called rules.
I HAVE SET UP 48 RULES. Many rules then have as many as 20 or more parameters. Parameters usually include “FROM”, though ones set up for spam also have hundred of parameters for words used in subject lines.
When an email comes from a domain of one of my clients, it is automatically backlit with a RED bar (emails from my wife come in red text).
Emails from any social media site that I’m a member of come in with the text labeled by the color of that site’s branding (teal blue for Linked[in], bright blue for Facebook) and are then further filtered into a folder of Social Media website notifications.
All “Second tier” communication gets further filtered into a folder in the left panel. I have 36 folders. About half of them are there for automated filtering. Other, like my “family” folder, I move messages to manually after I have read them.
If the email comes from a link on any of my own websites, it is highlighted in yellow.
I have filters set up for my attorney, my bank, my accountant, etc.
Therefore, only “important” emails are seen in my main in-box, and those are all colored coded based on who they are from. At a glance, I can tell if there is something actionable I need to attend to.
If a piece of spam does manage to get through my many layers of spam filtering, I use the “bounce” feature, so to spammers my account(s) appear to be dead addresses.
If I’m hunkered down doing work, I shut everything down. Email IM, phone on vibrate and screened, put on headphones and get to work. Otherwise I’m pretty accessible.
People I do business with, and friends, are pretty good about knowing what info should be emailed, when to IM or TXT, and when is best to just pick up the phone. Email me for anything that needs to be documented or scheduled, IM me if you see I’m online or otherwise TXT me with on-the-fly updates/info, and call me if you need to discuss, or if there is an emergency. Generally these things seems like common sense to me, and I guess my friends and clients are smart people because they all seem to practice these procedures without being told or explained.
I’ve been practicing this kind of email management for many years. I did not sit down one day and create all of these rules, filters and folders. I started doing so years and years ago, and my system has just evolved with my needs. This explains the complexity. To sit down and set this up from scratch might involve a couple hours analyzing what kinds of emails you get from who and how to prioritize and best organizing them. A half day of setting up rules, and a few days of tweaking.”
All hail Chris!