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Processing and Organizing Your E-Mail in Microsoft Office Outlook 2007

Success Factors for Processing and Organizing E-Mail

Here are success factors that you should keep in mind when you process and organize e-mail.

  • Use the E-Mail PASS Model to help you create meaningful e-mail messages so that recipients understand your communication and its purpose. By writing clear e-mail messages, you can effectively move toward your objectives and reduce e-mail volume.

  • Use the To, Cc, and Bcc lines effectively to reduce e-mail and increase the effectiveness of your communications.

  • Use the Subject line to help recipients anticipate the purpose of your e-mail even before they read your message.

  • When you open an e-mail, make a decision using the Four Ds for Decision Making: delete it, do it in less than two minutes, delegate it, or defer it to a SNA category. Never close an e-mail message back into the Inbox!

  • Schedule uninterrupted time to process and organize your e-mail each day so that you can empty the Inbox. If you can process 60 messages in an hour and you receive 50, it’ll take you less than an hour to process your e-mail for the day.

  • Ask your direct reports and co-workers to respect your scheduled e-mail processing appointments.

Each person can choose to become part of the e-mail solution. The results are so huge that it’s impossible to ignore them and hard not to be motivated by them. Our statistics prove that departments can reduce the total number of e-mail messages in employees’ Inboxes by as much as 81 percent, reduce daily e-mail volume by as much as 26 percent, and increase work/life balance by as much as 25 percent. Education works, and so take the time to change your approach and work with your team to help them do the same. Everyone will benefit and you’ll inspire change throughout your company.

To reinforce the behavioral changes you learned in this chapter, we developed an add-in software product, Take Back Your Life! 4Outlook Plug-In. This product makes it much easier to file and find information, use the PASS model, move e-mails into the Task list, reduce key strokes, and offers coaching support. You can download this from the Products page on our Web site at www.mcgheeproductivity.com, or go to the MPS Products page at the back of this book. This product currently runs on Microsoft Office 2000, 2002, and 2003. We’re just completing the 2007 Microsoft Office version. Stay tuned.

On to the final chapter, “The Prioritizing and Planning Phase.”