5 Essential Email tips for being more Organized, Productive and safe from embarrassment at work

By: standss , Jul 10th, 2013

It’s hard to believe that 6 months have already gone by for year 2013… and the next 6 months will pass by even faster.

To ensure that we all continue to be organized and productive for the rest of the year, we decided to share with our readers the 5 essential tips to be organized, productive and safe from embarrassment at work.

If you missed out on any of the following tips earlier, this is your chance to look at them and apply it to your work for the rest of year.

Tip 1: Avoid filing emails in the Outlook Deleted Items folder

It is strange but we found out that a lot of people file their emails in the Deleted items folder (outlook’s rubbish bin).

Yes, the deleted items is referred to as a “folder” in Outlook but it is not for the purpose of filing/storing emails which you would want to refer to later.

We do not store anything in the rubbish bin in the real world to grab it out later right… then why do it in the virtual world.

Here’s why you should NOT file emails to the Deleted Items folder?

Tip 2: Easy Email Search Tricks in Outlook

Jumping from folder to folder in Outlook was old-school style of finding emails which wasted a lot of your precious time. Outlook has improved its search over the years so finding emails is now easy particularly if you know some tricks to help you get more accurate search results.

Check out some of my favorite search tricks here.

Tip 3: Mark Outlook Emails Read only after you actually read them

Every morning, the first thing we do in Outlook is skim through the new emails in the inbox to see which ones need our immediate attention and which ones can be dealt with later.

But while you click through each email, Outlook marks this emails as “Read” and removes the bold highlight… this makes the emails less visible to you and moves them further down as you continue receiving emails through the day. You could end up losing sales because you forgot to reply to the email, end up with frustrated customers due to lack of response and find an inbox that is stacked up with non-responded emails.

Here is a simple setting in Outlook which lets you set a minimum time that you need to be on an email before it is marked as read (I have set mine to 5 second).

Tip 4: Use Outlook Search Folders to never miss an Important Email from your Boss/Client

How many times have you not responded to an email from your Boss or an important client because the email got buried under other 100’s of emails in your Inbox?

Probably because you clicked on the email and Outlook marked it as Read as discussed in Tip 3.

You can easily solve this by using a feature built directly inside Outlook called Search folders.

Find out more about what Search folders are and how to set them up in Outlook

Tip 5: Avoid Common Emailing Mistakes that make you look unprofessional and waste precious billable time

Please raise your hands if you are guilty of committing any of the following mistakes:

  • Forgot to attach a document to an email message.
  • Clicked Reply when you meant Reply-All and wasted precious time re-sending the email to each recipient
  • Click Reply-to-All when you meant Reply and disclosed information to unintended recipients.
  • Forgot to write a subject.
  • Emailed someone using the wrong email address (for those of us with more than one email address).
  • Fired off an angry message that you later regretted.

This may seem small errors but if you are running a business, these seemingly “small errors” can make you look unprofessional and waste precious billable time.

Find out how to avoid this emailing mistakes here.

To keep you (our readers) organized and productive for the rest of the year, we will share some more popular tips in the next post.

I hope you find this tips useful.

Let us know what are your plans for the second half of the year to have a better Outlook by leaving a comment below.

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