Wednesday, July 14, 2004

drowning in your inbox

"The 10 Commandments of Email According to Intel
1 - Don't use your inbox as a catchall folder for everything you need to work on. Read items once, and answer them immediately if necessary, delete them if possible, or move them to project-specific folders.

2 - Set up a "Five Weeks Folder" that deletes its content automatically after five weeks. Use it as a repository for messages you're unsure about, such as that email you want to delete, but you're not sure if the guy's going to call you tomorrow and ask about it.

3 - Assist colleagues' inbox-filtering efforts by agreeing on acronyms to use in subject lines that quickly identify action items and other important messages. Sample acronyms: < AR> , Action Required; < MSR> , Monthly Status Report.

4 - Send group mail only when it is useful to all recipients. Use "reply-to-all" and "CC:" buttons sparingly.

5 - Ask to be removed from distribution lists that you don't need to be on.

6 - To cut down on pileup, use the "out-of-office" feature of your email, in addition to your voice mail, to notify people when you are traveling.

7 - When possible, send a message that is only a subject line, so recipients don't have to open the email to read a single line. End the subject line with < EOM> , the acronym for End of Message.

8 - Graphics and attachments are fun, but they slow down your ability to download messages when you're on the road. Use them sparingly.

9 - If you're sending an attachment larger than 5 MB to a large group of recipients, consider putting it on the company's Web site or intranet instead.

10 - Be specific. If you send a 20-page attachment, tell the recipient that the important information is on pages 2 and 17."

Read the rest of Fast Company's Intel's Got (Too Much) Mail

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