Email Productivity: Our Top Pro-Tips for Week 3

Annie Lillico Lewis
Brand Manager, Oi Software

Tips for working smarter, not harder, on email.

Around these parts, we’re pretty convinced… As a productivity tool, email just doesn’t make the cut.

If you’re like me and find that email consumes way too much of your time, see our email productivity pro-tips from Week 1 and 2:

  1. Clearing your email is not progress. So, establish your priorities before opening your inbox.
  2. Schedule dedicated email time.
  3. Don’t “check” your email… Process it.
  4. Close your email client and turn off notifications.
  5. Use software like Charlie to pro-actively flag urgent matters.
  6. Unsubscribe like it’s your day job.

Read on for simple and effective ways to better manage your email and quickly get back to more meaningful work.

Commit to reducing your email footprint.

Make the change… instead of sending an email, pick up the phone or walk across your office to personally deliver your message – even just once or twice a day. If every person in your organisation did the same, imagine the impact we would have on our collective inboxes.

Try not to respond to messages where you’ve been CC’d, unless you have something absolutely critical to contribute. Being copied in on a message means it’s FYI only for you. Leave the reply to the primary recipient and review the email during your next scheduled email time (because you did schedule time to review your email after our batch of pro-tips, didn’t you?).

And of course, avoid the trap of Reply All. Help others by removing them from group messages, where it’s not necessary to include them.

If you’re using an email collaboration tool like Charlie, this is all pretty easy. Because your business’ emails are centralised into a single-source-of-truth which is accessible to your entire organisation, you’ll never have to CC or send group emails to your colleagues again. You just log into Charlie and freely access the information, emails or attachments that you need, whenever you need them.

Use another tool altogether.

It’s probably a losing battle trying to get your clients and suppliers to correspond with you by any other means than email. But internally? Well that’s another story.

Get your people to give up on the sanctity of email. There are dozens of terrific messaging apps for business that turn internal correspondence into a social, centralised and easy experience. Our team uses Slack.

Deal with rogue subject lines.

“Subject: Re: re: re: fwd: re: re: RE: Hello” does nothing for anyone.

Make a habit of using accurate subject lines and changing them where the thread of the conversation has morphed over time.

Using NNTR (No Need To Reply) or FYI (For Your Information) or FYA (For Your Action/Advice) at the start of your subject line can also help to clarify what action is required on the part of the recipient.

Set organisational ground rules for email.

Create an email charter like this or this and help your team fight back – together – against the unproductive habits email has created for most workplaces.

For More Tips

Check back soon for more email productivity pro-tips, or have a look through our tips from Week 1 and Week 2.

Want to learn more about how Charlie captures and centralises your organisation’s email into a searchable, single-source of truth? Want to turn the traditional 1-to-1 nature of email on its head and never CC or Reply All again? Just Say Hi to Charlie.


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