Sorting your email

We’ve all been there, our inbox and sent items containing hundreds of emails, some forgotten, some requiring attention and some so old that you should of deleted them. Perhaps you are not even using an address book.

This all could be made worse by not using a database to manage contacts and notes.

Being in support I see this all the time. I highly recommend anyone in business to start using a database for contact management as it goes beyond what your email client can do. Being able to select options from multiple fields, mail merges and so many other features is extremely useful.

Email client tips:

– Use the Junk mail features of your email client

For instance in Thunderbird you can train your email client to recognize junk mail. However your manage junk (spam) email, make sure the software is setup correctly.

– Create sub folders

Excellent way to seperate internal company email from external. You could create folders such as prospects, projects, clients and even archive folders. Then with a sub folder in clients for instance for specific clients.

– Use an inbox assistant / message filter

Setup your email client to automatically move pieces of email to folders for you. Very useful for when using multiple email addresses in one profile. Also good for if you are on a mailing list and you like to keep the emails. You can even setup your email client to automatically respond to emails, not just when you are on holiday. For instance if a small business or sole trader a simple plain text email to anyone who emails your support or sales addresses with relevant information, then followed up shortly by a specific email or phone call.

– Start ‘tagging’ your email

You can select options for individual email such as important, to do, later. Whatever the options your specific email client uses, give it a try. Anything you mark as important do first and then so on.

– Use the address book

Some people leave emails sitting in their inbox so that it is easy to reply to that person. It is also easy to add a contact to your email address book. Often just a case of right clicking on their email address in the ‘from’ field and adding that way.

– Archive

Some people choose to delete email after a set time or to even archive email in quarters. Such as 2007Q4 etc. Also don’t forget about your sent items.

These tips could of gone further, but if you are not using any of the above features, they are a good starting point.

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