SPAM, and how to use it to be more efficient.

22 01 2014

“I have an answering machine in my car.  It says, ‘I’m home now.  But leave a message and I’ll call when I’m out’.” ~Steven Wright

 Nothing like a great quote from my favorite comedian!  I’ll use today’s forum to attempt to help some of you get a bit more organized, as I’ve heard from some that my sharing my email tips has helped them be more organized.  I’m talking to YOU if you’re one of the people that come in and have to scroll  wayyyyy down to see everything in your outlook inbox.  I get anxious when my in-box has a scroll bar to the right.  It happens about twice per year!  

Yesterday was a slow day, and I got 102 e-mails, each of which had to be dealt with between meetings.  Each of the 6 things remaining in my inbox I call a “project” – something that is chewy, and will take time to digest.  Everything else was dealt with using the SPAM technique below:

Scan (and delete) – my favorite kind!  It’s just an FYI.  Read it and get rid of it!

Project – These things that take the most time – and are still in the in-box above.  Either leave them in the in-box if you’re going to take care of them “soon” (like the items above), or pick a blank calendar time, and drag the e-mail into it.  For example, on Friday from 9-10, I have an appointment that says “review ABC contract prior to 10am meeting – I’m putting it off, but committing to get it done on time – and the e-mail with the contract in it is attached to the “meeting” (and not in my in-box).  This is a way of using your calendar as a task organizer, in addition to meeting organizer.  You should make these tasks marked “free” IF timing is flexible – in case someone wants to schedule an appointment .

Answer (and delete) – These are like the first category, but I have to reply with a Yes, No, Thank you, or to give a brief reply of directions, advice, my thoughts, or provide the info that was requested. 

Move (or file) – These are things that you’ll want to keep, but DON’T keep them in your in-box.  Create a good electronic filing system in “my documents” (make sure it’s backed up!), and drag the e-mail, or attachments there.  You’ll have them for reference when you need them, but they won’t be cluttering up your in-box. 

So, SPAM is the acronym.  Speaking of SPAM – when you get it, UNSUBSCRIBE, and it won’t fill up your inbox again.  And remember, when you delete things, you can still get to them for a few months from your deleted items (using search function, or sorting by date, sender, or subject). 

 Hope this helps… Speaking of deleting messages…

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Rubes Cartoons used with permission.  www.rubescartoons.com

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