Determine What The Sender Needs From You Asap

Ask yourself:

  • What’s the meaning and the value of the message?
  • What action does this message require of me?

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Time Management

Suggested Email Structure
  • Greeting
  • Pleasantry
  • How you got their details, call back and reason for email
  • Body Topic: Situation, Benefit, Call to Action
  • Closing line
  • Signature
Habits For Efficient Email Processing
  • Do – If it’s actionable, execute the task and archive.
  • Delegate – Forward it on.
  • Defer – Decide to do it later (snooze it until a concrete time).
  • Delete – If possible, do it to reduce your inbox.
  • File – If necessary, tag it and set a reminder for later to process items in that tag.
Tips To Reduce Frequent Email Checks
  • Check it at 11am and 4pm to make sure it isn’t the first thing you do (and get sucked into) and also so you have a clear inbox by the end of your day.
  • If your to-do list is already overflowing, add email checking times to your calendar.
  • Close your email software.
  • Don’t use an email browser client, because it will be too tempting.
  • Use a desktop app with no easily accessible shortcut.
  • Hide your email app on the last page of a folder full of apps you never go to.
  • Unsubscribe from or filter away the stuff you never read.
  • Disable email push notifications on your phone.
  • Check emails twice per day to limit the time it takes to check and switch tasks while batch-processing your emails.
  • Structure your emails in blocks to allow for automation of parts of it.
  • Use canned responses for repeated answers.
  • Archive nonurgent messages to reduce your inbox.
  • Quote the sender’s email in chunks, replying to each section to avoid confusion.
  • Separate your to-do list from your inbox.
  • Use a pattern like ‘verb the noun with the object’ in your subject lines to make it more efficient for others to read it.
  • Clear your emails by the end of the day so things won’t accumulate for the next one.
Quote the sender's email in chunks
  • Only use enough quotations to establish the context.
  • Your reply should come below it.
  • When possible, cut and reformat the quoted text.
  • Get tasks out of your email and into a task manager.

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Create an Email Productivity System

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Some people like to use folders with specific actions (do, delegate, reply), while others prefer the deadline-driven approach (today, tomorrow, next week).

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IDEAS

These are internal notifications, emails from the corporate office or from team members who want to keep us "in the loop." 

If you see your name in the "cc" field instead of the "To" field, chances are it's an FYI email. Consider filing it in a "To Read" folder, and tackle it when you have time.

E-mail is not a substitute for conversations.

Avoid asking open-ended questions and save yourself from the “boomerang effect” (that’s when you invite more email into your inbox than you intended, as a result of having sent out an email in the first place). Be concise in your message and specify the TL;DR and/or requested action upfront.

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