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Get a Handle on Email

August 27, 2008 10:00 PM
From LA Times

How can a hapless e-mail addict wriggle out from under the weight of a bulging in-box? Here are some tips from specialists:

Turn off the alert noise. That can help you escape the addictive cycle of reflexively seeing whether something interesting came in.

Limit the number of times a day you check e-mail. "Where it's one an hour or once a day…check e-mails at intervals as opposed to constantly reactive," says Deva Hazarika of the Information Overload Research Group.

Use clear subject lines. "Hey" as the subject requires someone to open up the e-mail to find out what the message concerns. But "4:00 meeting cancelled" is easily digested. 

Clear your in-box frequently. File e-mails into appropriate folders.

Do not create too many folders. The more folders users have, the less efficient that storage and retrieval become.

Meet with co-workers to discuss reducing e-mail traffic. That may include not sending nonessential messages or "Ok, thanks" replies. 

Don't publish your full e-mail address on blogs or other Web pages. That way, robots that crawl the Web looking for e-mail addresses to spam won't detect you.



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