Stemming the Email Tide

Stemming the Email Tide by Laura Stack

Email may be the ultimate double-edged sword of the Information Age. It's never been easier or cheaper to communicate, which seems wonderful at first glance. Productivity should come easier than ever, right? In many ways, it does. But ironically, cheap and easy communication also means the signal-to-noise ratio is worse than ever. With email, we have to filter out the productive datapoints from the static of spam, lengthy threads, endless CC strings, single replies of “thank you,” and noisy “Me To” people. On the one hand, we don't need email adding more to the information blast we face daily. On the other, we do need email to receive new tasks, deliver our work, stay informed on developments in our field, maintain contact with coworkers, network with colleagues, serve our customers, … [Read more...]

Email in Black and White

Sometimes technology seems more trouble than it's worth (e.g., the spam clogging our email inboxes). You already know how to blacklist spammers, marking them as junk or creating a rule to send them straight to Deleted Items. But do you whitelist? Set up a new email address dedicated to inbound messages from your work team and protect it with a whitelist. 1. While in the secret account, open your e-mail client's Whitelist feature. You'll usually find the Safe Senders option under Filters or Junk Mail settings. 2. Create your whitelist. Add ONLY the addresses of project teammates, your manager, key partners, and major clients who will use the “secret” email address. 3. Change the FROM field when responding. One click sets the From field back to your regular email address, so … [Read more...]

Is Your Inbox Out of Control?

If you use Microsoft Outlook, we have the solution for you!  Join us on Friday, April 12 for the EMAIL STACK ATTACK live webinar. Laura STACK is going to show you how to ATTACK your email STACK.  Find out more about this hands-on class will help you take control of your inbox. What will you learn? If you've ever asked yourself, "What do I do when I." * Already have an appointment on my calendar and someone sends another email related to it. How do I keep from copying/pasting all the time? * Have a Task already created, and then I get an email with additional instructions about it. How do I merge the two? * Am right in the middle of typing an email and promise someone I will do something. How can I make a reminder about that while I'm creating the email so I don't forget? * Have thousands … [Read more...]

Email and Productivity at Work, Part II

"My first reading of an e-mail is actually a screening process to determine what needs attention...I'll decide on the spot what to delete and what needs that second reading prior to taking action." -- Junior Morales, poll respondent, Puerto Rico "Depends on the message. If it's spam or FYI, then once is enough. If it's asking specific questions that need thought and/or research to answer, then as often as needed until it's clear how to proceed. " -- Davyd Breeskin, poll respondent, Washington, D.C. Several months ago, I posted a poll on LinkedIn asking how many times a day my followers checked their email. The results were rather eye-opening, and as you may recall, I blogged about them in early October 2011. Because I found those answers so intriguing, I posted a follow-up poll in … [Read more...]

Organizational Skills: Email and Productivity

How often do you read an email before handling it? In other words, how many times do you click on an email before it before it’s gone from your inbox? Please vote in my poll. Thanks! … [Read more...]

Email and Productivity at Work

"I don't check my e-mail, it checks me to see if I'm still there." -- Ian Pattison, poll respondent, Canada "I never switch it off, and I also have a self-imposed policy of responding immediately if I'm sitting at my desk, however busy I am. " -- Wayne Andrews, poll respondent, United Arab Emirates "I like getting email. It is a diversion from a tough job or from a boring task. Stopping every now and then to answer email is like taking a break. If one appears to be a time waster, it gets postponed for later. " -- Lester Stephenson, poll respondent, USA As a productivity consultant, one of my chief concerns is what most of us mistakenly call "time management." Obviously, time comes in preset amounts for everyone and we use it up whether we like it or not, so we can't truly manage or … [Read more...]

Email Productivity

I'm curious to know how often you check your email each day. Please vote in my poll: Please comment; I'd love to hear your thoughts on the impact email has on your daily productivity. … [Read more...]

Organizational Skills: How to Process Email and Deal With Information Overload

        I was reading an article in Information Week appropriately titled, “Eaten by the Email Monster.” It links to several useful articles on how to handle information overload. I thought I’d add my thoughts on how to efficiently process email: the 6-D Information Management System™: 1. DISCARD = Delete it 2. DELEGATE = Forward it 3. DO = Reply immediately if it will take you three minutes or less 4. DATE = Needs work but not now. The key is to somehow get it out of your in-box. Pick one favorite method and try to be consistent, so you don’t confuse your brain about what you did with that email. Options: * Move to a process folder called “Action” or something similar. * … [Read more...]

Time Management Skills: Email Tips

Clarity in workplace communication is highly important in any format, and these days, more and more business is conducted through email. Therefore, it's beneficial to learn how to maximize the content of your email messages, while minimizing the possibility of confusion. You should start with an informative, keyword-rich subject line that grabs the reader's attention. Don't leave the subject line blank, and don't be vague or non-specific; on the other hand, don't overuse exclamation points or capital letters. Either might lead an inattentive recipient to think your email is spam, resulting in it getting deleted—something that might range in consequence from minor to disastrous. If you're replying to an existing email, don't change the subject line unless you must. Otherwise, the recipient … [Read more...]

Business Time Management For Sales People: Freeing Up Your Time to Sell

In sales, there will always be more things to do than time to do them. Working longer isn't going to save you. (I’d bet you’ve never gone to sleep at the end of a long day with everything on your to-do list completed.) To counter this never-ending battle, you’ll need to learn to be more efficient and get your work done in less time. Always keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if you worked a 12-hour day if 10 of those hours didn’t involve tasks that translate into revenue. To free up more time for client acquisition (asking for referrals, calling prospects, networking, etc.), you must decrease time spent on administrivia and increase time spent on the selling function. If you can figure out how to be more productive during the day and achieve greater results in less time, you can leave … [Read more...]