Showing items tagged with "wellbeing" - 3 found.

Email reminder – best practice

Posted Tuesday June 30th, 2020, 8:37 pm by

Email reminder, which is best practice, to add it to the task list or flag it?  Neither one is better.  It is about:

  • personal preference;

    Email reminders

  • how much time you spend out of the office looking at your inbox on a mobile device;
  • whether or not you are managing another person’s inbox;
  • level of added data you need about the reminder.

Here are the pros and cons of each email reminder process. This is an extract out the new book being co-authored with Meslissa Esquibel for Executive Secretary Magazine

1. Task List


  • Excellent if you like working from task lists.
  • You can add more information such as Categorize and notes – see diagram below.
  • You can assign the task to someone else.
  • They turn red after their due date.
  • If you are sharing your inbox or looking after another person’s task list, you can see the complete list.
  • For Outlook users, you can add extra information, including forwarding the task to another person.: see below


  • You need to complete the Task dialogue box.
  • Takes about 15 to 30 seconds longer than adding a Flag.
  • On an iOs mobile device the task list does not automatically show up.  You must add either the ‘Reminder’ or ‘To Do’ app.  The latter is the more sophisticated.

2. Flags


  • Quick and easy.  If you add Reminder date, they will be added to your Task List (even if the reminder is ‘No due Date’).
  • You can see all flagged items in the ‘For Follow Up’ (smart) Search Folder.


  • On a mobile device you must be add the Flagged folder.
  • For iOs users you need to add this as follows:
  • Open the Mail app./Tap Edit in the upper-right corner./Select Flagged./Tap Done.
  • If you also use the Task List this can become very cluttered.

Thus,as you can see which procees you use for an email reminder it is very much a matter of prsonal preference.  If you want more time saving tips like this why not book one of our Smart Email Management webinars or a one-to-one coaching session?

Tags: , , , , ,

Read this post... | Comment on this post

Notebooks to reduce business email overload and improve well-being

Posted Thursday September 28th, 2017, 5:04 pm by

I advocate that using a conventional notebook is one way to reduce business email overload. What will you do with an extra 45 minutes a day every working day? That’s what I asked participants at my PA-Life Training session this week. The top three responses were:

  • Take a lunch break.
  • Sleep more.
  • Have a walk.

Pukka Pads, one of my sponsors, provided some executive pocket notebooks as prizes for the day. One went to the ‘walk’ response. Why?

  1. Walking improves our well-being and fitness.
  2. Conventional notebooks help reduce business email overload. For example, when asked to do something, take ownership and remember (or make a note of the request) rather than asking the other person to email you.
  3. Pen and paper helps improve our powers of observation and creativity. A friend taught me always to look up at the tops of buildings to see interesting architectural features. Yet how many of us walk with our heads in a screen and see only the pavement? Conventional notebooks let you observe without worrying about battery-life and being distracted by new email notifications etc.

The digital invasion was predicted to kill off the stationary business.  However, look around a meeting or the office generally. It never ceases to amaze me the high percentage of business people who use a pen and notebook instead of a digital device. Recent statistics revealed that paperback book sales are rising instead of declining.  Judging by the number of notebooks and pens on office desks and given away as marketing gizmos I suspect the same is happening to stationary. Let’s hope notebooks and pens continue to help reduce the rising volume of emails too.

What do you prefer to use when either walking or in a meeting – pen and notebook or electronic device?

Tags: , , , , , ,

Read this post... | Comment on this post

Is email and social media effecting your health? Guest Post from Ann McCracken

Posted Monday March 11th, 2013, 5:55 pm by

Do you feel emails and social media are taking over your life? According to a University of California, Irvine and US Army Researchers, people who check their work email regularly exhibit higher states of ‘alertness’ and less focus than they do if they are cut off from email entirely.

Heart rate

Email overload heartbeat

Heart rate monitors were attached to computer users in a suburban office setting, while software sensors detected how often the users switched windows. People who read email, changed screens twice as often and were in a continuous “high alert” state, with more constant heart rates. Those removed from email for five days experienced more natural, variable heart rates but reported feeling isolated from on-going information.

Some suggestions to reduce these unwanted health effects could be:

  • controlling email log-in times
  • batching messages
  • using ‘unavailable’ auto replies to help set expectations of senders

Investor Harj Taggar weaned himself off email on his phone, and noticed a marked improvement in his concentration as a result. Independent research has also found that a large percentage of email adds little value to the individual’s or the organisation’s day.

When Thierry Breton, CEO and chairman of Atos, announced they would be phasing out internal email altogether, it was considered radical, but it has subsequently been shown to be a move in the right direction by Atos Consulting’s own research on workplace well-being and performance.

In one week, 300 people in Atos Consulting sent or received 85,000 messages. The majority of employees found the volume of email unmanageable and many of the messages unimportant.

One in four managers claimed to spend more than 25% of their time writing emails that add no value to their work. Simply reading these messages can swallow up 28% of time in a working day.

The research concluded – At best, they are a “productivity drain”, at worst, they result in under performance and employee disengagement.

If you can’t go that far you could try:

  • summarising the content in the heading, thus focusing the recipient on your message e.g.’Training confirmed for 12th February’ rather than ‘Forthcoming Training’
  • copying only those who should be aware of your message to reduce time wasting and request others do the same
  • resisting the temptation to read and forward ‘fun/cute/outrageous’ circulars and keep that for home computers

Email often results in mis-communication, as intonation and body language are missing from the communication. My own personal experience reinforces this and I find a quick telephone chat can enhance rapport and clarify meanings or talking directly to a colleague if they are in the same room/building is useful and may involve a little walking exercise.  Email is not a substitute for basic conversation with all the nuances you get from face to face interaction.

Constantly checking emails and social media removes an individual from contact with those around them and in a one-to-one or group situation, makes friends/colleagues feel secondary to the unknown person on the end of a smart phone or tablet.AMC logo

We cannot ignore 21st century communication but we CAN choose how we use it, ensuring balanced mental health and well-being.

Ann McCracken is Director of AMC2 and Vice President ISMAUK.  She is author of ‘The Stress Gremlins’.   This originally appeared on on

If either you or anyone in your organisation is suffering with stress ask us about how our Brilliant Workshop can hep you and your staff take control of your inbox and your day.

Tags: , , ,

Read this post... | 2 comments