Tips for improving your email productivity

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Recently on our Mexico Facebook channel, we posed a simple question that generated several responses, many of which surprised me and made me rethink about how we manage our email. Is it the master of our time?

Having an empty inbox is not something we need to impose, but managing our inbox so that email doesn’t dominate our working day is essential. Let me share a few tips with you that can help you to achieve it.

Managing your inbox with the 3 folder technique.

It’s a simple method that aims to ensure that we spend the least amount of time on archiving our emails. How long each day do you spend archiving your emails? There are people who create folders by topic, by departments, by projects, and add subfolders to those folders… the list is endless and often you don’t know where to save an email because it probably complies with the requirements to go in more than one of those folders. The 3-folder system I propose is:

  1. Follow-up: Those emails you need to manage during the day without anyone else’s intervention.
  2. Hold: Those emails that you need the reply or supervision of someone else to be managed.
  3. Archive: All answered emails go in this folder

Thanks to powerful search engines in the leading mail managers, you can find your emails quickly without losing 20% of your time archiving.

Short, concise emails addressed to the right person.

There are various currents of thought that seek to improve email effectiveness, like the one of the 3 sentences in which they assure that with 3 short paragraphs you can transmit the message, improving productivity and effectiveness for both the one writing and of course, the person receiving it. As Albert Einstein said, “Everything must be as simple as possible, not just simple.”

If an email becomes an unending conversation, change the font!

Emails are meant to transmit important messages, from one person to another. When it involves too many people in “email chains” or when it becomes more a conversation rather than a transmitted message, maybe it’s time you question whether it’s the right channel. For that, an Enterprise Social Network is the solution.

Reduce notifications and email subscriptions as far as possible

Your email shouldn’t be saturated with notifications from other social networks or subscriptions you read. The most important thing is to not become saturated, we should use email intelligently so it doesn’t become the only task that dominates our day, rather we can spend our time on our daily tasks. Don’t fill it with mails that you delete without reading.

Compose the message subject properly

The email subject is the way to communicate the topic you are going to discuss with the recipient, it’s the first impression and what will make the recipient decide when to open it. A good option is to write the subject after composing the email, include the topic you cover, try to use keywords.

You can improve your productivity and enhance your work performance by managing your email properly. Let me close with a quote from Berto Pena: “Email isn’t a place to be. It’s a place to act. Read, process, decide, assign, and exit as quickly as possible so you can DO.”