6 Tips to Managing Your Email

Email ManagementMuch of my work is delivered to my email inbox. It’s one of the first things that I check each day, because from there my entire day as a REVA (real estate virtual assistant) can change. Creating a solid email system that works is possible and will result in increased productivity.

Use Your Subject Line

Managing your email is not as difficult as it seems. I learned this tip from a Realtor® who is frequently away from his desk and gets much of his email from his iPhone. Be very specific when you create your subject line. Keep it simple, but keep it direct. Have you completed a listing coordination assignment? You title could be: 12345 Main Street :: Online

Think Before You Compose

Be clear and be concise, and you won’t invite 10 more emails asking for clarification. To do this, you must put yourself in the shoes of the recipient. Have you given them enough key information for them to move forward with your request? A little forethought before composing the email will keep down the requests for more information to a minimum.

Think Before You Reply

Again, are you being clear enough or are you inviting more questions? Are you answering all of the questions posed in the email. Ideally, they would have numbered their questions, but this isn’t always possible, and sometimes it’s just a matter of preference.

Avoid Wordy Emails

Okay, this is as much for the recipient as it is for you. Wordy emails will take more time to construct and will take more time to read, so put what you need down in as few words as possible. Keeping your wording to a minimum makes your email easier to follow.

Of course, there are times when you will need to be more detailed because of the project involved. For the most part, though, keep it simple.

Handle It Once

This principle works great with snail mail, but you will achieve amazing results if you apply it to email. Determine one of the following things to do with each piece of email. Answer it, delete it, or file it. Your email will not pile up in your inbox if you deal with it once.

Think Like the Postal Service

Though it might seem so at times, none of us deals with as much mail as the postal service does each day. You can manage your email using the same principle. The postal service uses a sorting system, and we can do the same with our email client.

Sort each email into three or four categories.

  1. Deal With It Now – answer it and get it out of your inbox
  2. Informational – will need for future reference
  3. Handle Later – email with due dates and time frames
  4. Junk Email – get rid of it

Managing your email is not difficult. Taking a few simple steps now will prevent you from experiencing email overwhelm later.