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Managing Your Email at Your Home Office

Aug 17, 2007
E-mail is a part of your professional image, just like the clothes you wear, the letters you write and the handshake your offer. Are you overwhelmed with the e-mail messages in your in-box?

According to the e-mail usage forecast, the average number of mails will double in the next four years, as it has become the number one communication method. To keep yourself floating in this e-mail flood, you have to follow some simple and easy rules.

Clean your in-box: - The e-mail which has come to you can be read once, then it should be immediately deleted, which means you will have less e-mail clutter to wade through. The best way would be to clean up your email box once a month. Make folders for each client, project or subject area, rather then leave them in your inbox. Once response and action is taken, delete the e-mail or file it immediately, as this will bring in lot of clarity in your work.

By 2006, customers are expected to receive 1,400 junk mails every year. So scan the e-mail and immediately delete the Spam mails that are not required. Activate the rules in your e-mail software program, so that your unwanted mail is discarded before you even see it. Rules functions automatically on incoming messages and you can ask for this service to be applicable to all messages containing a certain subject heading. Junk mail and Spam is going to stay, so the best way to cope with this problem is to minimize it as much as possible.

Make time and prioritize your mail: - Create a fixed time slot to deal with e-mail. By quickly scanning e-mail, you can deal with it immediately and not pile it up. Decide on what is important and respond immediately and leave the forwarded or joke mail to be handled later. Most e-mail software programs have an option called flag that allows you to identify the high priority e-mail messages.

Checking time: - Check your e-mail twice or thrice daily. Reading and replying to the e-mail messages can take up the whole day and it can cause major interruption in your work. Deal with the e-mail only during certain intervals, so that you are able to concentrate on important business.

E-mail folders: -Save your e-mail in your e-mail software, by creating folders. Once e-mail is read, you can transfer the message to an appropriate folder. Consider setting your e-mail folders similar to your files in your filing cabinet. Having a similar filing system can help you remember where the information is stored. Dont create many folders, so that you dont have many options to choose from and you dont have to scroll much to see the other e-mail files. In that case, consider sub-filing under the general topics. To make your work easy, you can create a folder called clients and then create subfiles.

Action file folders: - You can create e-mail folders such as follow-up, action and pending. This key can help you check the e-mail folders daily, weekly or urgently.

Avoid printing: - Avoid paper pile-up by not printing useless e-mail. Take time to deal with e-mail on your computer, rather than printing a hard copy.

Formulate templates for your regular and routine replies and last but not the least, use the telephone whenever necessary, unless you want to send the same e-mail message to a group or you want to keep a record.
About the Author
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