Getting Things Done – Part 3: E-Mail Management Made Easy

by admin on July 8, 2011 · 0 comments

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Nowadays e-mails are used all over the world. Whether it is for business or pleasure, everybody is able to communicate over this virtual channel. However, if you are used to receiving many e-mails on a daily basis then you may find it helpful to organise your inbox in an alphabetical or chronological order, which ultimately eases the searching and finding of e-mails.

Basic Requirements – IMAP

Many e-mails are accessed over applications, such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird as these help you to optimally manage your e-mail account.

Checking the transmission protocol in you e-mail inbox will help you to establish order. You may find it helpful to use POP3, although IMAP has more advantages as it constantly works in accordance with the server. For example, folders created in Outlook can be easily synchronized over the server. The bottom line is, if you do not want find yourself having to deal with many unread e-mails every time you visit your e-mail account, then it is recommended you switch to using IMAP.

Downgrading – Make Your E-Mail Inbox User-Friendly

Unfortunately, many users are unaware how much retail newsletters and automatic notifications from social networking sites can burden their e-mail accounts. Therefore, it is recommended to you use the Mailinator as a practical solution for dealing with unwanted newsletters and distracting e-mails. You could also train yourself to look on social networking sites once a day in order to see if you have any new notifications as another way of managing social network site spam.

Automate – Use Filtering Techniques

Numerous e-mail programmes provide filtering options which automatically distinguish between incoming and already existing messages. This particularly helps you to have a well-organised filing system.
It is recommended that you lay out filtering rules for every folder in your inbox as this will improve organisation and the folders can also be used for forwarding messages. The following criteria have proven to be particularly useful for an effective filtering structure:

• Sender (employer, client, family)

• Subject (project name, typical notifications, such as,“Newsletter”)

• Priority (if listed)

• Content (names, address, date)

Once the filter has been implanted you will witness just how much time is saved: your e-mails will be automatically sorted for you.

Achieve Order with an Archive Folder

Archive folders will also help you to establish order in your e-mail box. For example, all folders, which are no longer required (e.g. closed projects) can be categorised by year with the archive folder.

Stop Worrying – Delete E-Mails!

Many do not have the courage to completely delete e-mails as they fear losing important data and messages. In order to keep a better overview, you should nevertheless constantly refresh your inbox by deleting old e-mails.

However, these e-mails must not be completely lost as they can be comfortably “stored” in the trash can. Moreover, many e-mail programmes enable you to manually set the time length at which old documents should be kept which enables you optimal control over your e-mail account.

Dr. Zeitgeist's Tip!
Set the retention time of the trash can to around 90 days. What you don't use in 3 months has reason to be deleted!
Viktor Peters (c)Zafenat   Viktor Peters blogs on “Zafenat” about his life as a blogger. His blog is a true treasure chest of tips about WordPress, Home Office and independence. You can find him on twitter@ZafenatBlogger.

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