Thursday, January 6, 2011

To-Do Lists and E-Mail

At first glance, they may seem unrelated, but To-Do Lists can greatly reduce your inbox clutter. Often times the reason an E-Mail is lingering in your inbox is because there is an action required in order to process it. Instead of leaving it in your inbox, and using the inbox as a de facto to-do list, make a note of the task required by the E-Mail in your to-do list, notebook, planner or whatever you use. The aim is to get the task out of your inbox. Make a reference to the E-Mail if necessary. Then archive the E-Mail and be done with it. This will get rid of a lot of E-Mail in your inbox very quickly. You still have to do the task, but at least it’s now on a legitimate to-do list and not keeping your inbox full.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Use Multiple E-Mail Accounts

Many people make the mistake of maintaining just one E-Mail account and use the same E-Mail account is for personal messages, business messages, sign up for subscriptions and other online services. The likelihood of a phishing* attack or a hacker installing malicious files increases because the number of spam messages is greater when all E-Mail from various people and agencies land in the same E-Mail account. As a result, the user has to be on guard at all times.

A simple way to address this problem is to use different E-Mail accounts for different purposes: personal, business, online mailing lists, and another for when you go shopping online. If you do not want too many E-Mail accounts, you should at least have a E-Mail account where everything besides work, friends and family letters are sent. Chances are that any spam that you might receive will mostly be concentrated on this particular E-Mail account. Be extra careful when reading mails received on this E-Mail account and you reduce your chances of a phishing attack or getting hacked.

*According to Wikipedia, phishing is the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Use the Right Subject line

Always use the relevant subject line for your email. Never use a subject like ‘Hi’, ‘Hello’ or other general words which does not convey the essence of your mail in few simple words. Also do not send a mail with no subject as this will not give any idea of your mail to the reader and he needs to open it to find the contents of it. This will not only wastes his time but also sometimes annoys him. Use only few words as subject relevant to your email purpose from which the user must get a little idea of what the mail is about and its priority.

Monday, January 3, 2011

E-Mail and Efficiency

E-Mail is a vital communication tool today. However, there is a possibility of spending too much time on E-Mail, thus reducing your work efficiency. Here is a tip to identify if you are spending too much time on E-Mail: First of all, maintain an E-Mail log, and record how frequently you check E-Mail.You can do this with a sheet of paper. Do it for about per week, and see how much time you are spending on E-Mail. Measure it against the average E-Mail received in your Inbox. If you are checking your E-Mail so often that you do not receive any new E-Mail till your third or fourth check, you are certainly wasting too much time. Try a pattern for checking E-Mail based on any pattern you can find in new E-Mails reaching your Inbox. If you discover that you receive most new E-Mails during lunchtime or just before closing time, alter your pattern accordingly. You will find yourself improving on efficiency automatically in a very short time!