Top tips from Mesmo Consultancy (and Associates) on how to save time and improve business and personal performance by ‘Taking Control of your Inbox’ and using proper business email etiquette.
Have you set an Out Of Office message which meets the 3S standard: simple, short and secure.
Simple and short – just one point of contact and please, please make sure that person is around. More than one point of contact and you might find yourself divulging confidential information and increasing the risk of a breach of business security. Secure too, because it doesn’t immediately alert any cyber criminals to a potentially empty home.
Email etiquette for the best Out Of Office messages – ‘I will not be in the office between X and Y. If your email is urgent, please contact A, otherwise I will deal with it on my return.’ That’s the polite message.
I do know some people whose message reads ‘I will not be in the office between X and Y. If your email is urgent, please re-send it on A, as all incoming emails during this period are automatically being deleted’.
Actually, I think that’s a great way to manage the email overload. What do you think?
Have been ruthless with my own email management techniques by emptying my inbox over the last few days. All newsletters over a week old (opened and unopened) have been deleted. Any of specific interest have been moved to folders. Spent time too reducing the email overload in my sent items. Those which have to be retained have been filed either in the client or project folder (eg those with contractual implications). Even the e-christmas cards are now in a folder. For more ideas on putting your inbox on a diet see my latest Silicon.Com column ‘Five Ways to Start an Email Weight Loss Campaign over Christmas‘.
Two more reports now suggest that social media as an alternative to email is not growing as fast as it should: Radicati Group’s latest industry survey and informal research from Brian Solis. This despite the fact that Facebook and Twitter usage continues to grow. Meanwhile for business, as IBM found, email is still the preferred media. Even although the IBM study found that 48% of respondents felt they suffered from email overload.
Why is this? One explanation might be the Generation X and Y. By and large business is still tilted towards more Generation X employees many of whom are not comfortable with social media and have not been educated how to use it properly. A second explanation might be that all alerts about new information on social media/social networks still comes by email. This in turn drives up the email traffic. One way to manage this aspect of email overload is to create rules to divert all such alerts away from the inbox and to a folder.
However that still leaves the need to educate Generation X.
What do you think?
Good to hear that at last the Government is rationalizing its spending on IT systems and hardware. However, further substantial savings and efficiency improvements can be made if they educated people to use the existing systems properly. After all, one hours training provides a five hour gain in productivity!
For example, what is your level of Outlook IT fitness? Are you Bronze (only just get by and often need help), Silver (average, can do what you need to do) or Gold (know lots of tricks to save yourself time)?
To audit your Email IT Fitness email me and I can send you a link to our on-line Email IT Fitness Check.
How do you address a Knight in an email? Should their email address reflect they are ennobled eg sirfred@? This is the questions posed to David Tang as agony uncle in the Weekend FT. The person sending the question was annoyed because his business email address did not reflect his title. Are some people just too full of their own personal importance? One client does have a personal email address of sirfred@, but he is the most unassuming person you could meet. Maybe pomposity is inversely related to self-importance.
From an email etiquette perspective, I suggest the title is reflected in the salutaion ie Dear Sir Fred.
What do you think?
Tags: email etiquette