Email Management

The other day I asked my manager to forward me some information on a new project that I would be leading. She was unable to send it to me for days because she was in what we affectionately refer to as: Email Jail.

Email Jail defined here is when your email is so full that you can\’t even send a message; aka: over your quota. It\’s a common problem that isn\’t new. When I got my first email account in 1993 it came with a quota.

For better or worse, email is how things get done today. It\’s a quick, efficient way to communicate; but on the other hand many of us feel buried in an avalanche of information and messages that we don\’t want or need (and I\’m not even talking about spam email, that\’s another topic all its own). Some people I work with have thousands of emails in their inbox, with several hundred of them never read.

This was never more apparent than recently when I received a message notifying me that a person who I sent an email to with a \”read receipt\” had deleted it without reading it. I was offended. How could they dismiss me out of hand without even reading my email? But my annoyance turned to disbelief when I saw that the email I had sent them was from 18 months ago.

Really? 18 months? My email sat in your inbox unread for 18 months? My inbox currently holds 167 emails. Having a clean email inbox didn\’t happen overnight, but it wasn\’t hard to do. Here\’s an idea I had in 2007. It\’s a start.

Remember, the first step is to remember that you are powerless over email. The second is to get your inbox under control. There is very little you need to save that is over one month old. Use your email\’s folder structure and other functionality to sort and track the important emails. Open every email you get; even if only for a quick 10 second glance to get the gist… you know know whether or not it\’s important.

Take the time to do these simple steps. It may be painful and time consuming at first, but it\’ll be worth it in the long run.







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