Jul 12, 2016
3 Tactics to Convert Email into a Productivity Tool
Email generally has a reputation for disrupting focus and destroying productivity. With these three smart email tactics however, it is possible to wrest control of your time and effort from your email and boost your productivity many times over!
1. Choose a clear or actionable subject line
If you have ever received an email with the subject line "Meeting" or "Reports - Urgent" and the email body proved to be long, you are probably familiar with the frustration of having to comb through the entire content of the email to figure out what its point is. Save yourself and those you correspond with, time and effort, by declaring the crux of your email in the subject line. For instance, instead of "Meeting", you could probably say "Meeting on <date> at <time> - Q2 Revenue numbers discussion–", or instead of "Reports - Urgent" you could say "Q2 Sales reports required today". Such clear or actionable subject lines will not only make recipients more productive, but will also ensure you get the desired action.
2. Use the same words / phrases in multiple emails? Don't type!
Do you find yourself using the same or similar content regularly in your emails? Get smart and take a shortcut. In Outlook, you can use the 'Quick Parts' feature to save frequently used content that can be accessed in seconds (see how). Similarly, Gmail has the 'Canned Responses' feature (look for it in Setting > Labs > Canned Responses inside your Gmail inbox) that will allow you to effortlessly insert frequently used text any time you need it. If you use neither Outlook nor Gmail, you can still choose to save your frequently used content as a signature and insert it into the body of your email any time you need!
3. Create an efficient follow-up system
One of the biggest email time sucks is keeping tabs on who owes you a reply and / or to whom you owe a reply. Many users resort to notepads, to-do lists, etc., moving emails to a 'Follow-up' folder or even marking themselves in BCC to be able to track emails that require replies.
While these are admirable attempts to gain control of one's mailbox, they consume so much time that the benefits are significantly eroded. A wiser choice would be to use an Outlook Add-In (such as FewClix :) that will instantly enable you to monitor and follow-up on emails that require follow-up.
Click here to get the FREE FewClix Personal Edition and stay in control of your mailbox and your time!