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Articles to Help You Be More Productive

Enjoy these articles? There are many more available:
  • Time Management Article Collection
  • Microsoft Outlook and Email Article Collection
  • Managing Paper Article Collection
  • Computer Tips Article Collection
  • Less-Paper Office Article Collection
  • Computer & Email
  • Get the Most from Microsoft Outlook

  • Beware the Empty Inbox

  • Get the Most from Your Handheld

  • Do Digital Organizers Save Time - Or Waste It?

  • Efficient E-mail Habits

  • Transitioning from Paper to Digital Information Storage

  • Faxing Without Paper Saves Time

  • Getting Your Files When You're On The Go

  • Business & the Office
  • Time Tactics for the Office

  • Keeping Track of Delegated Tasks

  • Controlling Interruptions

  • Keeping Track of Your Customers & Prospects

  • Do Your Employees Really Need Customer Service Training?

  • Paper Management
  • Action Files Prevent Desk Clutter

  • Reclaim Your Desktop with a Tickler File

  • What To Do With All Those Business Cards?

  • Managing Project Folders - A Surprising Tip that Works

  • Time Management & Organizing
  • The Power of Planning Ahead

  • Words of Wisdom You Should Ignore

  • Coping with Information Overload

  • Thirteen No-Tech Time Management Tips

  • Tips for Managing Email
    © Jan Jasper; 2006-2012
  • Much incoming e-mail can be read once, then promptly deleted - this means less e-mail clutter to wade through. At the least, doing a clean-up once a month will help with managing email.

  • Create email folders for specific clients, projects, or subject areas, rather than leaving them in your inbox forever. You can drag and drop to file each email, or you can create filters to drive emails automatically to a folder you designate. But don't go overboard -- too many narrow, specific folders makes it harder to locate emails later.

  • If you use Microsoft Outlook*, it may be more efficient to organize emails by Color Categories instead of folders. Any emails you must keep, put in one big folder and assign Color Categories to important emails to help you find them later. This makes retrieval faster than moving emails into custom folders, which creates more places to search.

  • If you wish to save project or client emails in the same folders as related documents, you can use Save As to save emails as text files.

  • Use detailed subject headers. This saves time when searching for old e-mails later on.

  • Insert "NRN" in subject headers when no reply is necessary.

  • Customize your email software to display all the information you need at a glance. Microsoft Outlook* allows you to add columns to your email screen.

  • Delete unneeded e-mails regularly. You usually only need to save the last message of an ongoing "conversation" - the most recent message contains quotebacks of all previous messages. This will greatly reduce your email overload.

  • Keep your inbox lean so it becomes an extension of your To-Do list. Only emails that require action should remain in the inbox. Every email you must store for future reference should be dragged into a folder for older email.

  • Printing emails should be the exception, not the rule - otherwise you'll create an email filing nightmare. The only time you should print an email is to take to a meeting away from your office, or for a project for which most information is on paper.

  • Create templates for routine replies.

  • Last but not least, know when to telephone. Unless you need to send the same message a group, or keep a record of what you said when to whom, the phone may be faster.

    *The usual disclaimers apply. My mentioning these products is not a guarantee of any sort. Obviously, you should not change anything until you've completely backed up your files. You already do that, right?

    This article is available for a one-time reprint or one-time internet posting if you include my copyright notice, provide a link to www.janjasper.com and identify me as follows: "Jan Jasper, a productivity expert in the New York City area, is the author of Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press)." Read Terms and Conditions for details.
  • Learn how the right technology can save you
    tons of time!

    About the Author:
    Productivity coach Jan Jasper has been helping busy people work smarter, not harder since 1988. Her customized approach guides clients to manage time, tasks, and information more effectively. She also provides Microsoft Outlook customization for clients. Jan is the author of Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press). She recently completed a North American media tour as the national efficiency spokesperson for IKON Office Solutions, Inc. She has appeared on radio and TV all over North America and is quoted regularly in print. Jan is an adjunct instructor at New York University.

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