Home > Ideas / Resources > Tips for Mastering E-mail Overload

Tips for Mastering E-mail Overload

Good article to sharehttp://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/4438.html

Other than that, on the technical side, some of the tools like filters will help too.

Categories: Ideas / Resources
  1. jianghsu
    04/16/2014 at 11:00 am

    * Use a subject line to summarize, not describe.
    * Give your reader full context at the start of your message.
    * When you copy lots of people (a heinous practice that should be used sparingly), mark out why each person should care.
    * Use separate messages rather than bcc (blind carbon copy).
    * Make action requests clear.
    * Separate topics into separate e-mails … up to a point.
    * Combine separate points into one message: Sometimes the problem is the opposite—sending 500 tiny messages a day will overload someone. If you are holding a dozen open conversations with one person, the slowness of typing is probably substantial overhead. Jot down all your main points on a piece of (gasp) paper, pick up the phone, and call the person to discuss those points. I guarantee you’ll save a ton of time.
    * Edit forwarded messages: For goodness sake, if someone sends you a message, don’t forward it along without editing it. Make it appropriate for the ultimate recipient and make sure it doesn’t get the original sender in trouble.
    * When scheduling a call or conference, include the topic in the invitation. It helps people prioritize and manage their calendar more effectively.
    * Make your e-mail one page or less. Make sure the meat of your e-mail is visible in the preview pane of your recipient’s mailer.
    * Understand how people prefer to be reached, and how quickly they respond. Some people are so buried under e-mail that they can’t reply quickly. If something is important, use the phone or make a follow-up phone call.

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