Book review: Managing in the E-mail Office, by Monica Seeley and Gerard Hargreaves
You have implemented a robust system of anti-spam filters and e-mail content management software, yet still everyone is complaining of e-mail overload and you need more server space.
So what can you do to help users, including yourself, save time at the inbox and reduce the cost of e-mail overload? The answer lies in educating your end-users to manage themselves.
There are two types of e-mails: noise e-mails, which are internal spam, such as jokes, and information e-mails, which are the ones you need and which add value to how you do your job. The information to noise ratio is a direct reflection of your e-mail persona.
Types of e-mail user include "Pat the pen" (prefers either to talk or write and whose e-mails go unread for days); "Julie the e-mail junkie" (prefers computers to people and tends to micromanage); and "Justin just online" (adores IT and always asks to be copied in on everything).
Educating users to manage their e-mails more effectively can reduce the time spent by up to one and a half days a month for each user - time which can be devoted to other business activities.
Five tips for effective e-mail:
Don't send too many e-mails to "check on progress"
Manage your most precious asset - time. Reduce the number of times you check your inbox
Deal with, delete or delegate
Prioritise what information you really need to do your job
Talk to people who work near you instead of e-mailing them.
Managing in the E-mail Office by Monica Seeley and Gerard Hargreaves is part of the Computer Weekly Professional Series. To order call 01865-474010 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This was first published in May 2004