This is another post in the easier email series.
Now let’s make going through email faster. You can set up filters in many email systems which will automatically send emails to specific folders without you handling them. I have some filters which send unimportant emails directly to the trash and some filters which send minimally important emails to a folder I check once a week or month (these are the emails you get copied on because someone is trying to cover their butt). By setting the folders and filters in this way I can batch process my emails so I am not bouncing from one focus to another.
Be careful not to set up too many folders so they becomes another mess that is hiding important info.
Let’s train people to send better and less email.
To avoid setting up too many folders you should ask people to send less email. Some people like copy everybody and their mother when they send an email. I ask these people to think about what they are going to send me and ask them to take me off any mailing lists that are not important to me.
Some people like to send emails with too much info contained in them (these are the ones that you need to scroll to read them). You can visit with these people and and ask them to talk to you (phone or in person) to get through the topic. Or you can ask them to get to the point. There are many methods for communication and you can train people to pick the right one for the task. Also, if your reply email will be too long just call the person or go see them.
Finally, your email is not a text messaging system. Do not use email for a back and forth conversation. Call the person and discuss it. Do not waste time waiting for replies.
All of this trains people to better and more effectively work with you. It also trains them to make decisions on their own which frees up your time and allows you to get more meaningful work done without having to be part of every decision.