Email at Work

by Barbara Buffton

Common questions

  1. How can I manage my inbox?
  2. How can I get off other people’s email lists?
  3. How can I find the emails I want when I have so many?
  4. How can I get other people to actually read my emails – and take the action I want them to?
  5. How can I get my staff to spend less time on emails?
  6. I’m addicted to email – how can I ‘wean’ myself off it?
  7. What do I need to know about email etiquette?
  8. How can I tell if an email is urgent or not? In other words, which ones do I open and act on first?
  9. Is it the law to have a signature on every email I send?
  10. I’ve just sent an email to the wrong person. Aargh! What can I do?

 

1. How can I manage my inbox?

  • Direct incoming emails to different folders
  • Cultivate good habits: archive, delete, divert or delegate as you click on emails.

More...

2. How can I get off other people’s email lists?

  • Unsubscribe where possible.
  • Be ruthless: question the relevance the emails have for you.

More...

3. How can I find the emails I want when I have so many?

Organise your emails into folders with meaningful titles or dates/deadlines.

More...

4. How can I get other people to actually read my emails – and take the action I want them to?

Key point: put yourself in their shoes: what would make you want to read your email?

More...

5. How can I get my staff to spend less time on emails?

  • Practise what you preach.
  • Introduce timed access to emails and/or email-free times.
  • Ensure they follow basic email guidelines to save time.

More...

More...

6. I’m addicted to email – how can I ‘wean’ myself off it?

Question your use of it on a regular basis: is this the best use of your time right now? Is this taking you towards your goals?

More...

7. What do I need to know about email etiquette?

The best advice is to remember that

  • Your email is representative of your organisation
  • Be more formal than informal unless you know the recipient really well.

More...

8. How can I tell if an email is urgent or not? In other words, which ones do I open and act on first?

‘High priority’ emails are not always the ones to open first, though if the sender is someone higher up the organisational hierarchy than you, you may wish to open that one first. The subject heading can also give clues as to priority.

More...

9. Is it the law to have a signature on every email I send?

Yes, in the UK, if it is a business email that you are sending. There are many security and legal issues to consider when sending emails.

More...

10. I’ve just sent an email to the wrong person. Aargh! What can I do?

Don’t panic. The best thing to do is to stay calm and ring the recipient up, explain the error and apologise. It is likely that we’ve all made this mistake at one time or another.

More...