Clearing and efficiently managing emails has grown to become the requisite skill for any role. As these tips for efficiently managing email show, it need not be difficult

Whether it is Lotus Notes, Microsoft Outlook, or any other email client, the problem remains. How to clear email inboxes efficiently. With more emails than time, especially in the workplace these days, users find themselves constantly trying to manage email inboxes with varying degrees of success.

Email is instant and, with one click, a message can hit a seemingly infinite number of inboxes all at once. It’s a double-edged sword; messages can be timely, but they can also mount up quickly, leaving email inboxes overflowing in no time at all.

So how can users manage the mounting emails in their inbox? Well, clearing emails and managing email inboxes efficiently need not be hard. Following, are a few top tips for clearing emails.

Respond to Emails When They Are Opened

It seems such a simple tip, but it is one oft-ignored. The “Mark as Unread” functions in Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes are commonly overused to the extreme by users.

Clearing emails efficiently is in no way helped by reading an email and then marking it to deal with later. If an email is opened one of two things should happen; the response should be sent immediately or the email should be deleted or filed.

Setting up Email Inbox Folders

Setting up inbox folders is another excellent way to efficiently manage emails. Once inbox folders have been set up they can be used to store related emails that need to be kept, but which don’t need to sit in an inbox.

Common email clients like Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, and Email Lookup tools have simple wizards to help users set up inbox folders for filing emails.

Under this process the only emails sitting in an email inbox should be yet to be dealt with; the rest should be filed in a folder or deleted.

Setting up Email Auto-Rules for Inboxes

Automatic email handling rules set up in email clients are a terrific way to efficiently manage emails arriving in user’s inboxes. By way of examples, users might consider using rules to do the following:

  1. Rules to automatically accept meeting invitations (within certain parameters such as time and availability)
  2. Rules to immediately file emails with a certain subject line into a specific folder
  3. Rules to highlight in an eye-catching colour any emails from a specific sender

Again, common email clients like Notes and Outlook have simple wizards for users to set up auto-rules.

Using Email Out of Office Functions

Popular email clients such as Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office have out-of-office functions that should be used for efficiently managing inboxes whilst away from the office or on leave.

How does an out-of-office message help? Quite simply, it tells senders that, wherever possible, they should refrain from emailing the user for some time while they are absent. Clearing inboxes after leave is a far easier task when an out-of-office message has cut down the number of emails coming in.

Subscriptions to Email Lists

It’s ever so tempting for users to add their name to an email subscription list on a website to receive free information. In some cases, it’s a good idea. In many cases, it’s not. Minimizing email list subscriptions is a top tip for efficiently managing emails. After all, there’s no need to efficiently manage emails that never arrive. Think twice before subscribing to any email subscription lists.

Helping Others to Efficiently Manage Emails

It’s perhaps a form of cyber-karma or just good etiquette but reducing the emails sent to others and thus helping them to efficiently manage inboxes is a good practice. Perhaps they’ll learn from the example and follow in kind.

Thinking of others when it comes to email can go a long way as well. Below are a few simple tips to remember when emailing others:

  1. Think about whether a phone call or face-to-face chat would be a better approach than an email at times
  2. Don’t carbon copy (CC) or blind carbon copy (BCC) for the sake of it
  3. Refrain from sending one or two-word responses like, “okay”, back to a sender unless necessary
  4. Don’t send on every funny email to an entire address book. Besides the fact that most workplaces now screen email for chain-letter type messages, images, and inappropriate text, it generates an unnecessarily high volume of email traffic.

There are a multitude more tips available online for efficiently managing emails, these are a start.

The internet is a great place to start in finding more tips for efficiently managing email; start searching and it’s easy to see that email can be a valuable business tool, rather than a bottomless and overflowing inbox that seems a chore to clear every day.