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Greetings,

 

Yesterday I went on an interview and they mentioned that they receive 1000 or more e-mails a day.  I was asked how I would manage that volume.  Since I worked on jobs where I received 500 or more e-mails per day I had a little insight on the question.  I told them I would setup outlook rules filters and folders. I would seperate by project or person by priority.  Sometimes e-mails are also from server alerts so I would seperate that too.

 

How do you handle mass e-mails?

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I am going to let Andy stab at this question. He is totally organized regarding email.
Email overload is a HUGE issue facing many business professionals. 1,000/day is definitely on the extreme side. I recently read that Bill Gates receives over 4 MILLION emails a day (many of which are spam) -- he obviously has some amazing tools (and people) at his disposal to deal with that kind of volume.

Flagging and filtering messages from key team members, key clients, etc. is very important (wouldn't want to miss an important email from you boss).

Setting up filters and folders is definitely part of the solution. Ensuring that you have excellent spam filtering is also important (which is one reason I like gmail).

Another idea that some deploy is using different email addresses for different purposes (allows for easy filtering) -- a friends/family address, a work-only address, a "social-media" address etc. Works for some.

Another thought -- Send LESS email yourself. Pick up the phone if a "dialogue" is in order or if something really important needs to be conveyed. For every email that YOU send, studies have shown that you get a BACKFLOW of three to five emails (for every one you send, you get three to five responses over a relatively short period of time).

Just a few ideas....
Marleen .... one more thing. Our Community Home Page features an RSS Feed in the left-hand side bar: "Managing the Email Monster" -- which picks up posts from one of our Community Blog sites providing daily tips for managing and handling email.
I'll take a stab at the question. I would first have to ask myself how many of these emails do I really need to respond to? Are they for information purposes? If the answer is no, and I don't really need to know I would have them deleted or go into a dump folder. If I have to act on something and it can be done relative quickly, I would have a to-do folder for those emails and set aside time to respond to only those emails. Then I would have a folder for emails with long term actions where perhaps I have to coordinate with others.

The main point is to have your email system tailored for you. I personally set priorities by high, medium and low; then by amount of time to complete task. My system works for me and I keep my inbox pretty clean, rarely does it go beyond two pages.

Think of emails like Key Performance Indicators (KPI's), on a dashboard of your car. Some emails you want to be aware of constantly and need to respond to quickly, like the speedometer. Others you will need to be aware of, but not all the time like the gas hand. And then there are others that you need to have access to but don't need to worry about checking constantly like the temperature or battery indicator. This process will help you remain focused on the most important task at hand without getting overwhelmed with indicator overload. One last thing, if you have emails that are of no use, have it go to spam or ask the sender to remove you from the distribution list if it does not apply to you.

Or you can continue recieving a 1,000 emails a day with no system, which is like driving your car at night with no lights and the sunvisor across your windshield. Any system you set up is better than no system at all.
Howard, Great advice. I hope I am in your HIGH priority folder! FYI - Marleen lives in your surrounding area - you two should network in LinkedIn.
What was that Carrie?! I didn't get the email. (smile)

Of course, you all are high on my list of priorities. And I am always willing to make myself available for networking purposes.

Marleen, we are connected on LinkedIn, so please don't hesistate to contact me if you ever need assistance. That goes for anyone else that would like to join my professional network.
Excellent advice Howard. I really like the KPI perspective .... dead on!
His consulting background comes into play!!
Thanks Andy!
These are all great advice and if I get that job I will really need this. ;) Thanks
Best of wishes! I hope you get it!
Thanks, Howard. I will certainly let you know. I have not received a no yet so we shall see.

Marleen

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