In this years I’ve been overwhelmed by emails several times. Studying and experimenting I’ve found a set of best practices that I want to share with you. It’s not the complete list but something that you might have not thought previously.
> Pay attention to the ‘x4 effect’: for every email that you send, you will have to handle 4 emails in average. This means that if you end 100 email per week, you will generate in your own inbox 4×100=400 emails. So if you want to cut the number of emails you receive, stop sending!
> Disable the ‘reply to all’ button: if you can, ask your sys admins to disable the reply to all button for the whole company. If you can’t, at least disable your own (every email client has its own tricks on how to do it). ‘Reply to all’ is the evil especially because more addresses are in the CC line, more people fell the need to add someone else!
> One single address in TO : if you want an answer back it has to be clear who’s in charge of the answer. If you ask to more than 1 people, no one (or even worst everyone) will consider himself responsible for that answer.
> Beware of the CC line: there are obsessed people (often bosses 🙂 ), who feel a physical need to answer to any email no matter if there is a question in the email or if the question is for them. In that case I suggest not to put them in CC but forward the email afterwards: without much audience, they usually feel less the need 🙂
> Don’t use Bcc : I think is generally unethical and sometimes dangerous: you cannot control the person who’s in Bcc and who might answer unveiling to everyone your little secret
> Use Bcc instead of CC: this is an exception to the previous tip. If you need to TO or CC many people put them in Bcc (declaring it in the email): you will avoid the Reply to All effect
> Your inbox is not your tasks list : read every email just once and than do/plan and move it.
> Use filters and views in your email client: I’ve a way to filter unread emails looking for important and urgent once, find your own way (ex. mail from my boss are important, mail from certain people I know are always urgent ..). I always start reading these emails first
Which are your tips?