contributed by guest blogger, Dominique Baldwin, a2z Project Manager
There is no doubt that the introduction of email communications into our everyday business processes increased our correspondence efficiencies exponentially. Unfortunately, when your inbox is showing more unread than read messages, the task of sorting through everything is daunting to say the least. What you may not know, is that many email solutions have utilities to help you sort through the sea of messages. Here are a few of my favorites that help me organize my Outlook inbox (and life) on a daily basis:
- Rules and Alerts – This feature is a bit like having a helper elf to file your emails for you. You can create rules with a variety of triggers that automatically move emails from specific people or with key words in the subject line or body to certain folders; alert you when an email from a critical contact arrives; or even automatically delete bothersome emails.
- Categories – My task list is centered around specific projects and accounts and I keep a folder for each one. However, I make a point not to file any message away until I have completed the related task. In order to keep my primary Inbox organized at all times, I assign a color and category to each client and flag their emails with their categories. At any given time, I can sort by those categories and see at a glance how many items I have to address for any client account.
- Flags – An alternate method for organizing your task list through your inbox is to flag emails. You can apply a general flag to highlight important items or assign a date to the flag to remind you at a specific date or time to look at something. These are great for time-sensitive tasks as they serve as reminders of start and/ or due dates. You can also set a flag for the recipient of a message to ensure that they don’t lose track of the task in the abyss of their emails.