Many mornings have a similar start. With fresh coffee in hand, the warm glow of a laptop screen and, BAM! A wall of emails to deal with.
As PR professionals, we can live in our inboxes for days on end sorting through hundreds of conversations with clients and co-workers—and maybe missing a hot opportunity along the way.
PR pro or not: you don’t have to drown in emails all week. There is a better way.
Here are four best practices that will help you utilize the tools email platforms supply to crank that unread number down to zero and keep your inbox tidy.
Color-Coded Labels Are Easy on the Eyes:
Labels organized with a color and a name are a great way to visually organize an inbox. My internal Abbi Agency emails are labeled with our distinctive red, for example. Need to go through your inbox to find a specific email? Only look for the red ones. Taking a couple of seconds to add a label saves plenty of time sorting through a smorgasbord of subject lines to find a match later on. Use all the colors of the rainbow to differentiate between clients and projects.
Conversation Completed? File it Away:
Once the conversation in an email chain is concluded, file it away into a folder, preferably with the same name as the colored labels. No reason to leave hundreds of never-to-be-read-again emails taking up space in the inbox. Doing this leaves your inbox populated solely with actionable items, which is a great way to keep yourself on task.
Schedule Time for Just Emails:
Raise your hand if you’ve ever read an email and said, “I’ll get back to that,” only for it to disappear in a black hole, leaving the sender waiting for a response.
If you can respond to an email right away, make it a habit to do so. If not, leave it unread, set a quick reminder or put it on the to-do list to check back later. Better yet, schedule a chunk of time to focus only on the emails that require nothing more than a simple response. Leave the lengthy action items emails for later. This would also be a great time to file away old conversations into folders.
It’s no secret that schedule blocking makes for greater productivity. Whether you’re writing a press release, responding to emails or simply planning your day–make time to do your best work.
Help Other’s Inboxes Stay Empty Too:
Do you really need to “reply-all?” Did you address all actions items to avoid having to send a second email? We’re in the business of getting the right messages to the right audience. If an office wide lunch order goes out via email for example, make sure to reply to just the person doing the ordering. Not everyone needs to know it’s your cheat day and by-goodness are you going to order the large soda. Teamwork makes the dream work, and a little courtesy goes a long way.
Practice good email etiquette. Only hit reply-all only when your response is actually pertinent to everyone involved. Otherwise, it’s better to keep your communications reasonably exclusive.
At The Abbi Agency, we know that smart organizational principles go a long way toward building quality experiences for our partners. Be it an email, a status report or a proposal, we make sure to get you the information you need in a prompt and intuitive fashion. Are you looking to work with the best communications firm around? Then contact us today.
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