Taming The Beast – Making E-mail Work For You – Part 3 of 3

The first installment of this series focused on the Pavlovian response we’ve developed with e-mail – the constant need to check it – and recommended that we turn off the new message alerts and regularly batch process our e-mail in the same fashion that we process our postal mail.  The second installment drilled down into how to better craft our e-mails.  Specifically, we found that placing only one subject in each e-mail we send greatly reduces the risk of miscommunication (and it’s cousin – wasted time) and increases the ability to find and file individual e-mails.  We also concluded that writing strong, clear and communicative subjects in the Subject field of each e-mail sped up processing time and facilitated filing and retrieval.

This third and final installment will address another pesky behavior we’ve developed with e-mail and we’ll learn a nifty feature in Microsoft Outlook which many of my clients say is the best trick they’ve every learned about Outlook.


Taming The Beast – Making E-mail Work For You – Part 2 of 3

Getting Up To Speed

Part 1 in this series looked at how our love-hate relationship with e-mail developed.  It proposed changing our perspective to better align our expectations with what e-mail actually is and does – a modern way of doing something we’ve long done otherwise (send communiques).  Finally, the first missive provided two suggestions to help you regain command of e-mail by reducing the stress it causes and by increasing your efficiently when using this powerful tool.  I refer you to that article for a more in-depth discussion of those topics.

This installment turns to individual e-mails and looks at a couple of tips that will make each e-mail more effective and efficient.


Taming The Beast – Making E-mail Work For You – Part 1 of 3

Modern Desktop


When I first began penning this article, I thought it would be a quick missive on the need for a change of perspective on e-mail, as well as some suggestions to make our use of this powerful tool more effective.  About half way through writing it, though, it became obvious that there was much more to be said. 

The result is this three-part series with a more in-depth discussion about the roots of the e-mail problem and the substantiation for the suggestions presented.  It is my hope that readers find some new insights into how we can remodel our relationship with e-mail and its sister technologies – texting and posting. 

In the end, these tools are here to stay and it is our choice about how we want to integrate them into our lives. Using e-mail productively can make very good use of our time – the only truly important non-renewal resource we have.