Email Management Strategies: What's yours?

There is no doubt that most, if not all people in business these days use email most of the time. Whilst the amount of email people receive varies between one person to another, I doubt that everyone handles there email in the same way. Some might read emails at certain times of the day, some might read them as they arrive, some use folders with rule sets to sort emails, some manually filter through their inbox …etc

I’m interested in knowing what strategies you use for managing emails at work or otherwise but mainly at work. Hopefully this post can be a collection of different strategies/best practices of managing emails!

Here’s what has worked very well for me recently and sometimes leads to me having 0 emails in my Inbox most mornings! Yes that’s zero emails and not zero unread emails!

My Strategy Steps
*Setup personal folders for all regular senders I receive emails from or ones that I’ve received a large number of emails from over a period of time (only needed to do initially)
– Breakdown the list of folders into separate groups for example *
Business Team
, Development Team & Test Team and having the relevant people under each folder
– Create rules to automatically move emails from my inbox into the folders created in the previous step and apply them to move as many emails out of my inbox as possible.
– For none regular email senders that belong in the above groups I create an *Other *folder where I manually move emails there once I’ve read and processed them.

You may be wondering so how do I find emails that relate to ProjectX or ProjectY. *Well, that’s where *Search Folders come in! After all my emails are filtered by sender into the respective team & sender folders and the remainder manually handled/moved to where they belong. If I need to find an email or a group of emails based on a certain project or topic I do so by using the search folders.

The above points sum up how I manage my emails and it has worked very well for me recently as it allows me to easily spot and priorities reading and responding to emails based on sender and subject …etc.

What’s yours?