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Five Tips for Making Your Email More Efficient

Submitted by on Thursday, July 25, 2013

We’ve got a favorite saying here at CMIT Solutions: “Email is the lifeblood of business.” Why? Well, after an early period spent toiling in the technological shadows as an intra-office messaging tool, email has become the communication backbone of companies small and large. Very little gets done without it — but very little can get done if your inbox becomes a significant time suck, as well.

That can happen due to both external and internal reasons. You might receive emails you don’t need or want. In their subject lines, senders might not accurately reflect the content of their message. Or messages might simply be longer than necessary.

On the other hand, you might bear responsibility for letting email decrease your productivity. Do you put off checking email because that new-message alert never stops pinging? Or read a message and say, “I’ll deal with that later”? Or treat your inbox like a to-do list or reading nook?

If so, this week’s QuickTip contains several email efficiency tips that can take the pain out of the process. And if you require more than just a fast fix, CMIT Solutions offers numerous professional services that can make your inbox more seamless, secure, and systematized.

Here are five tips for making your email more efficient:

1)   Schedule dedicated email time. Some people like to tackle their inbox first thing in the morning. Some prefer to wait until the workday is over. Some are sporadic checkers, keeping up with each new message as it arrives. Whatever your preference, pick a system and stick with it. From a productivity standpoint, scheduling email time makes sense, allowing you to enter the right frame of mind and concentrate on getting the job done.

2)   Process each email as you read it. Some messages require an immediate reply. Some require the scheduling of an appointment or meeting. Some require the simple act of archiving or deletion. Whatever the requirement, fulfill it the first time you read a message and resist the temptation to “save it for later.” There’s no better feeling than clearing your inbox — and no better way to achieve that than through immediate action.

3)   Embrace filters and folders. Hundreds or even thousands of emails clogging up your inbox? The best way to keep them efficiently organized is by setting up filters or folders for different areas of your workflow. These can be arranged by topic, contact, message format, or any number of criteria to reduce the size of your inbox and make retrieval exponentially easier.

4)   Set an example by staying on subject, keeping it brief, and always being polite. Find yourself lamenting that one contact that always writes rambling novels disguised as email messages? Show him or her how to “do as I do.” This includes using concise subject lines, maintaining a clear “one subject per email” policy, expressing your ideas clearly using short sentences or bulleted lists, and paying attention to tone. No one needs a lecture on email etiquette — leading by example is always preferable.

5)   If your needs extend beyond intuitive efficiency tips like these, CMIT Solutions can help. Your trusted CMIT partner offers a host of professional email services, including centralized, compliance-satisfying encryption; searchable archiving and recovery tools; and powerful anti-spam protection. Call or email today for more information on CMIT Email Encryption, CMIT RADAR, and CMIT Anti-Spam.

Next time you find yourself overwhelmed by a flooded inbox, take a deep breath, employ the tips outlined above, and then call CMIT Solutions if you still need assistance. From the smallest solution to the biggest, we can help. Email is the most crucial communication tool around — shouldn’t it work for you and not against you?

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