Emails continue to be a primary form of communication among meeting and event professionals, but many don’t realize how much time they spend writing and reading them.
Here are eight tips for effective email management, adapted from a list compiled by Endless Entertainment, a nationwide event production company.
1. Process your email only once each day: Most professionals check their emails several times each day because they rely on it for their work, and want to know if something requires their immediate attention. This is necessary, but it’s best to choose specific times of the day—such as first thing in the morning, just after lunch or the last thing at the end of the day—to respond to nonurgent emails.
2. Not every email needs a reply: Many people send informational emails that don’t require a response. In fact, in many cases, a response is not expected. It’s not necessary to respond to all emails, and remember that doing so can take valuable time out of your day.
3. Create template email replies: Meeting and event professionals receive a wide assortment of emails, many of them require similar responses. So, they can save considerable time by creating template responses, such as requests for information, thank you messages and event feedback.
4. Use email filters: A considerable amount of time can be saved by using filters that automatically sort email. You can use as many filters as you want; simply identify the term that needs to be found and how emails containing the term should be sorted.
5. Apply the one-minute rule to your emails: If it will take you less than one minute to reply to an email that requires a response, reply immediately so that you no longer have to deal with it. Many emails can be handled in this manner, enabling you to quickly clear much of your inbox.
6. Snooze the email if it requires a longer response: By snoozing emails, you can temporarily archive them until you’re ready to respond. You can choose a time for these emails to reappear at the top of your inbox, and then deal with them.
7. Limit the time you are spending on your email: Time yourself the next time you check your emails to find out how long it takes you to process, read and respond to them. Ask yourself if the time was well spent, and if not, establish new priorities. Also, remember that just because someone sent you a long email, it doesn’t necessarily require a long response.
8. Unsubscribe from unwanted emails: Meetings professionals often sign up for newsletters and feeds while cruising the web. If you find that you’re not making good use of these sources, unsubscribe. Any time you spend dealing with them could be put to better use.