How to Avoid Email Overload
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How to Avoid Email Overload

16th July 2013
By Jacqui Beel

We now live in a world where email is so ingrained into our lives it’s almost impossible to remember what we did before – how did we communicate with one another?!

Well, as we move in this advanced technological world, email is so common place that we often end up with so many electronic mails that an inbox can be full to bursting (check out your inbox and see how many messages you have – now imagine them as actual mail – on your desk – I bet you could no longer see your computer screen!).

How to Avoid Email Overload

How to Avoid Email Overload

Emails are the devil in distraction – you know you have loads of work to do whether that be writing, or selling, or analysing, but an email pops up and you decide just to have a quick read – 4 hours later and your still on the issue from the email you just sneaked a peek at. And email never disappears, now you can access them on the go wherever and whenever you like – they’re taking over the world.

Here we give you our top tips for avoiding email overload.

1.    Is email the right platform?

Email is great when you need a formal answer to something, or multiple people need to be included in a conversation. But what if you just want a quick chat to check something or you need to share thoughts and ideas? iMeet provided by Powwownow was developed with this in mind. The instant message function means you can quickly chat through ideas without having hundreds of emails. It also offers a video and screen sharing function to help develop those conversations. There are hundreds of tools like this on the market, such as Skype or iChat.

2.    Use the rules

Sometimes you get distracted by emails that don’t even mean anything. Always set up rules in your inbox – if you know you are signed up to daily news alerts, or Google alerts etc., then set up subject or sender rules, so they automatically fall into a folder on their own. That way you can review them when you have time. Reducing the ping-ing in your inbox.

Also, don’t forget to archive your folders. Depending on how good you are with emails anyway, if you archive them every few months, you know where they will be if needed, but without the overwhelming, 100,000 in your inbox to scroll through whenever you need to find something.

3.    Think before you press send

When sending emails, think about what you are putting into the email before you press send. You don’t want to be responsible for clogging up someone else’s inbox. We are all a little guilty of thinking of something and just ping-ing a ‘quick’ email to the recipient and before you know it at the end of the day they have 50 emails from you. If you have an urgent question, then ok, but if they aren’t urgent start a draft email and keep adding the questions to it throughout the day and then sending it all in one. It will make all your lives easier.

Another thing to consider is lengthy emails – if you take this approach, remember that people tend to scan emails for the relevant or needed information – so do headings, add bullet points, be brief and to the point in your statements. Whatever you can do to make the email clearer, will ultimately make for less emails in the long run.

Is email burdening your life? What other tools do you use to try and reduce the amount of emails you send?