Business E-Mail Management
Business E-Mail Management
Tim Burress (E-mail Etiquette and Organization Specialist) gives expert video advice on: Why should I organize my business e-mail?; How often should I set my computer to 'auto receive'? and more...
Why should I organize my business e-mail?
You should always keep your business e-mails organised, as the dangers of keeping your e-mails disorganized, or having too much of it and too many e-mails and too many different files and so forth, is that you can't find the business e-mail you need, don't realise the value of the knowledge, or realise that you're passing a lot of knowledge through the business e-mail. Therefore people want more and more e-mail, or more and more knowledge. Indeed I should say people want more and more knowledge. And if they don't have a way to organize it, and find it readily or quickly to retrieve it, then what's the advantage of having your business e-mail if you can't find it?
How often should I set my computer to 'auto receive'?
Setting your computer to auto-receive can be helpful. There are some efficiency tips that people can set to help them be more efficient with processing business email. Indeed the computer comes almost in default mode to make you inefficient with email. One of the aspects you can change is your synch time, meaning how often your email synchs up to retrieve email off the server. Generally, that's every five minutes, so every five minutes your computer will synch up and pull emails off the central computer and send the ones that are yours into your outbox. If you move that synch time out, and this research was done by a gentleman named Thomas Jackson, he found that you can process more email by extending your synch time out to 30 minutes from five minutes. In other words, get your email every 30 minutes than five and you can get through more business email.
How does the 'notification' function of my e-mail account affect my work?
The notification function of your e-mail account can indeed affect you work. In some research done by Thomas Jackson, he found that you could process more e-mail by turning off the ding. The preset that we get on the computer shows a little icon in the bottom right when you've got mail, or the mouse may move, or you may hear a ding every time you get a business e-mail, and just like Pavlov's dog, we go to the e-mail straight away. Most of the time, the e-mail that we're getting, sixty-five percent of it, is unnecessary or irrelevant to us. Therefore we're getting distracted by someone else's priorities, it is these that pull us off the work we're working on and those distractions cost us sixty-four seconds per each distraction. It doesn't sound like a lot but when you're processing thousands of e-mails a year, sixty-four seconds per email distraction adds up to a lot of time. So disconnect the ding, turn off the symbols that you get, the icons, the emoticons that happen that notify you that you have e-mail, and you'll get more work done.
When should I use 'delay send' for a business e-mail?
You can use the delay send function for a business e-mail in a number of ways. It allows you to type an e-mail and delay it to be sent later, so some people use this to send e-mails at 3 A.M. in the morning to convey the image that they're working really hard, late into the night. But that's not often what the receiver perceives. Sometimes, the receiver will perceive that this person has no life outside of the business and they're doing all their e-mail all the time. So they can get concerned about an employee that's working all the time and too much of the time. Other people use delayed send function because companies put in a policy saying "No e-mail Friday" for example. They still do their business e-mail on Friday but they just delay the send until Saturday morning. So delayed send is an interesting feature that people have found to delay business e-mails for one reason or another. There's a very constructive way to use delayed send which is if you told me your birthday was in November Fifteenth and it's April, I might just type up the e-mail right now and send it but leave it as a delayed send to go out on November Fourteenth.
What is a 'preview pane' function of an e-mail program?
The preview pane function of your business e-mail account allows you, instead of just seeing the message itself and having to open it, to have a preview of the business e-mail. It opens a bit of it, and usually you have the ability to move that screen to the bottom of the email, or to the right or to the left. So you can see a little bit of the business e-mail before opening the message. It gives you the ability to sort of read a little bit into the context of the message.
What are the disadvantages of a preview pane?
The disadvantages of a preview pane within your business e-mail account is that it alerts and signifies that the message is open. So if it's a spam message, a spammer will know that you've got a live business e-mail address, because it's opened already in the preview pane.
What is the 'auto-preview' function of an e-mail program?
The auto-preview function of a business e-mail programme is previewing a bit of the message, but it's not actually opening the message. Auto-preview leaves it in the inbox and doesn't open a separate box to preview the message, but gives you a bit more of the context of the business e-mail. So in other words instead of just seeing who its from, the date and the time, and the subject line, you'll see maybe the first sentence, first one or two lines of the e-mail, in auto-preview. This is compared to the preview-pane, as you can still see as much of that message as you want by moving the auto-preview pane to see two to three inches of the business e-mail.
Should I use my e-mail program's preview pane or auto-preview?
Making a decision whether to use auto-preview or preview pane in your business e-mail programme is very independent. It's a very individual decision. Most companies advocate that you don't use those because, depending on the spammer, sometimes they can see if you've got your message open, if it's an alive business e-mail box by using one of those. Other people don't like to use the preview pane because it occupies some of their business e-mail inbox and takes away from seeing the other messages there. It is a very behavioural thing and so I would advocate whatever works for you. Most people want to see the preview of a message because the subject lines aren't clear and descriptive enough for them to know what the message is about, but if you enhance that then you wouldn't need to use the preview pane at all within your business e-mails.