I love the New Year… and making New Year’s Resolutions. It feels like you get a brand new start to getting things right. Getting organized is the second most popular resolution (Losing Weight is #1) so we’re going to give you a series of posts on saving time by getting your emails organized this year.
What are the main reasons that email takes so much of our valuable time?
I am going to look at the common reasons. I’ll also give you some basic ideas on solutions that we will explore in more detail in later posts.
1. It is difficult to know what emails are important
Because of the sheer volume of emails, it is difficult to know which emails we should work on first. As a result, we spend a lot of time on unimportant emails… while important emails stay undone.
One solution for this is to only keep emails in your Inbox that you still need to work on and use Outlook’s flags to highlight more important emails.
However, unless you are very disciplined, you may find that you still end up with too many emails in your Inbox.
2. It takes too long to keep emails organized once we’re done with them
We need to keep emails or future reference. We need to keep them in a way that makes them easy to find in the future… and we need to be able to keep all related emails (sent and received) in a way that they are easy to retrieve them together when we want them.
The easiest thing to do is to create folders for your emails and then drag and drop them.
However because this process is very manual, many people tend to leave the emails in their Inbox or Sent Items folders which makes emails harder to find… and also harder to work on (see point 1 above).
3. We spend too long writing the same emails over and over again
A lot of the emails that we write are very similar to emails that we have written before… at least parts of them are the same. Instead of automating this, we tend to redo the same work over and over again.
For example, I often need to send our bank details to corporate customers. Typing it in each time (even if I copy and paste) can take 30 seconds or more (I need to find the old email to copy from first).
Outlook has some things built into Outlook such as Quick Steps and Quick Parts that can eliminate most of this rework for you.
A quick question for you…
I am going to do follow-up posts to offer solutions to the problems we identified above. I want to make sure that I focus on topics that you are actually interested in.
Please leave a comment below and tell me..
What email related issue is wasting (costing) you the most time?