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Email Lesson 10

Managing Email

Managing Email Effectively
Email has become a workplace necessity. It takes about a half minute to read most email messages, and as much as 5 minutes or more to respond. If you receive just 20 email messages a day, that's a lot of time spent dealing with email. Pagers, handheld "Pocket PC" devices, and cell phones are also capable of sending electronic messages. How do you handle all that email? This lesson will provide you with some tips to better manage your email.

Create Separate Accounts. Many people like to set up more than one email account and use these accounts for different purposes.

Some ISPs offer multiple email addresses as part of your Internet service package. This is especially useful if you want to use different email addresses for different purposes, or if each member of your household wants their own email address.

Learning to Deal with Email

Develop a routine.
Don't ignore your email, but you don't have to check your email every five minutes. Instead, schedule morning, lunch, and afternoon email sessions. Use email etiquette and try to take care of each email message with a single response. Use CC and BCC when appropriate.

Enable the preview pane for rapid review.
Many email clients offer a timesaving feature called a preview pane. Using the preview pane, click once on a message header to quickly preview a message (in a pane below the INBOX) rather than open it. However, simply previewing a message can trigger some viruses. Keep your Anti-virus software updated. Some programs allow you to set up your INBOX so the message header and the first few lines in a message display. This may be enough to handle the message.

Prioritize new messages.
Sort your messages by sender and date. Scan your INBOX for messages that need to be dealt with now.

Subscribe to one or two mailing lists.
A mailing list with just 25 members can result in lots of email. If you don't read your mailing list's messages, don't just click the delete button. Take an extra minute to unsubscribe; it will save you time in the long run.

Use folders.
Don't leave all of your messages in your INBOX. Create folders to help keep your email organized. You'll be glad when you need to locate an email sent months ago. Consider setting up folders with the following topics: now, pending, later, junk, bills, etc. Once you have dealt with a message, drag messages to the appropriate
folder. Some email clients allow you to automatically file incoming email into folders. Filters look for messages with certain criteria and put messages into appropriate folders.

Make it Easier

Get rid of junk mail.
Junk mail, or SPAM, is email that is sent to many people or groups, regardless of whether the recipients want to receive it. Don't bother opening it if you don't recognize the sender and/or the subject line looks suspicious. Junk mail filters can keep unwanted email out of your INBOX and deliver it to a junk mail folder. It takes a few
minutes to set up, but it is well worth it. Sometimes, non-junk mail messages get classified as junk and filtered into the junk mail folder. Review messages in your junk mail folder before deleting them.

Create a signature.
A signature is somewhat like an online business card. Include your first and last name, position, business, and contact information. You can insert your signatures after composing a message. It saves you from having to retype this information again and again.

Set up an Auto Responder.
Send an automatic reply to people who send you email. This is especially useful when you are away from your email (vacation, business trip, etc.).

Create ready-made responses.
Write text to answer common e-mail inquiries.

Keeping it Together

Use the address book.
The electronic equivalent to the traditional address book, your email client's address book is a convenient place to store individual email addresses, home and work address, phone numbers, and more. Most programs let you set up groups (a list of email addresses) for those you email frequently.


Use the calendar.
Your email client's calendar is similar to the traditional day planner. You can schedule events, list tasks, set up reminders, send and receive invitations, add holidays, and even customize the view. Take advantage of the group scheduling if possible.

Empty your Deleted Items folder occasionally.
Before permanently deleting messages, many email clients put deleted messages into a Deleted Items folder. Review the email in this folder before emptying.

Don't readily give out your email address.
Unless it's required, don't give our your email address. You could end up with a lot of unwanted junk mail. Consider creating a web mail account you use when shopping online, etc. When your web mail account becomes overrun with junk mail, simply stop using the account and open a new one.