How to ... manage email

- Minimise spam

To minimise spam avoid checkboxes on websites that permit companies to email you further information.

- Manage your inbox

Turn off email alerts and check your inbox once or twice a day. People will phone you if a message is truly urgent and you can use your 'out of office' facility to warn senders of your unavailability.

- Dealing with new messages

Sort new messages at once. Print out messages you want to deal with soon but not immediately, or save them into a 'to do' folder on your hard drive so they are not forgotten.

- Avoid spam

Spam is unsolicited email that can clog up your inbox. Apart from never signing up to website mailing lists, you can set up rules in Microsoft Outlook to delete emails from certain addresses.

You can also register for the Direct Marketing Association's email service at to cut down on sales email.

- Prioritise by subject

Use your subject line effectively when sending messages.

Instead of heading a message 'meeting', entitle it 'change to time of tomorrow's meeting' to ensure it is not ignored. Briefly proof-read messages.

- Storage

Empty your inbox and sent items file regularly or you will find you've reached your maximum storage capacity.

It may also be possible to archive important messages on your hard disk.

Remember that attachments take up a lot of space in your inbox. If you need them, store them on your hard disk.

- Use email responsibly

Think before emailing sensitive information and do not forward chain messages. Only 'CC' people where necessary, and where you do, add a note within the body of the email to explain whether they need to take action.

Keep messages brief, saving more detailed information as an attachment.


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