4 Tips for Taking Control of Your Email

Here are a few tips on managing your email. I know not everyone can use them all (for example, if your business uses email to alert on issues, you really can’t just turn off notifications and check your email later) but hopefully you will be able to take a few of threse tips and start to get the email beast under control – and stop letting it interrupt your productivity and creativity.

  1. Turn off notifications
    Turn off all notifications so you aren’t tempted by the alert of incoming messages. Without notifications, you will probably check messages a few times a day instead of a few times every hour.
  2. Replay selectively
    Don’t hit “reply all” as it tends to create long and increasingly random strings of comments, many of which you probably don’t even need to see. Instead, respond only to the message’s creator. If you are the creator, let recipients know they should respond only to you. Copy people only when necessary, and keep the number to a minimum.
  3.  Avoid BCC
    Instead, send your message to the intended recipient, then go to your Sent items and forward the message to the people you wanted to blind copy. This cuts down on embarrassing moments for everyone.
  4.  Automate!
    Many people use pre-defined signature files containing their contact information at the end of every message. In much the same way, you can create and use templates containing standard responses to messages you receive frequently, such as speaking requests. Simply create templates with what you want to say and enter them as signatures in your e-mail program. Or use rules and filters to handle it. Another option would be to usee a macro program like PhraseExpress (Windows, Free), Typinator (Mac, $), TextExpander (Mac, $), Lifehacker’s Texter (Windows, Free). (My personal favorites are Texter on Windows and TextExpander on Mac)

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