Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How To Productively Manage Your Email Filing

Guest Post by Neen James

courtesy of blogs.houstonpress.com
Every minute… every hour… your inbox grows! Despite you best endeavors; no matter how many times you check your blackberry or iPhone … it keeps on coming!

Email is an essential part of our daily communications with other attorneys in the firm, paralegals, support staff and our clients. To increase your productivity and avoid wasting billable hours, try these quick strategies for email filing and avoid the guilt factor of a huge inbox!

Set up folders to file important information – establish a folder for every case, client or project you are working on. Once you have read or actioned the email, determine where it should be filed so you can quickly access it in future.

Color code your incoming email – learn how to change the color of incoming email so you can look at your screen and quickly identify important emails. You can allocate a color for your managing partners, supervisor, clients, staff and colleagues so you know which emails to action first.

Establish rules for incoming email – there are options in email software to manage all incoming emails. If you receive spam, set up a rule for the incoming email address to automatically be sent to your deleted items.  You can set up rules for newsletters you subscribe to and automatically file in a folder to read later. This helps you manage your inbox to prevent a feeling of overload from the number of emails you receive each day.

Read and delete – if you do not require the email for future reference, once actioned – delete it.  Don’t allow emails to stay on your inbox screen – it will only make you feel like you have more work than necessary. Be disciplined and file in a folder or delete.

Regularly clean out email – you use a lot of firm server space with email, each month empty your deleted items.  By doing this regularly it will help manage your email.

Spend 15 minutes – invest 15 minutes every week to filing your actioned or reference email. Completing this important task each week will ensure your inbox will only list those emails requiring your action.

Email filing is an important part of our daily workload - don’t let it get out of hand. Choose to boost your productivity by allocating time to reduce your inbox and feel a sense of achievement once it is completed.

Neen James, MBA CSP, is the President/CEO of Neen James Communications, LLC. An international productivity expert and native born Aussie, Neen delivers engaging keynotes that have educated, and entertained audiences with real-world strategies that apply in all roles, whether at work or in life. Neen also provides one-on-one consulting and mentoring to women on a variety of business issues and topics. To find out more about Neen, visit her at http://www.neenjames.com/.

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