3 Steps to E-mail Management

April 1, 2008

1. Filter.

  • BAN Spam. Most e-mail programs have built-in filters to send junk e-mail, or spam, into a special folder or eliminate it completely. Other spam filters also are available. Look into adding more powerful extras such as Spambayes, which is free.
  • Train your filter. Bulk e-mailers are constantly finding ways around filters, so you need to train yours to recognize junk e-mail. If junk e-mail is getting into your inbox, tag it as spam and your filter will learn its lessons and start segregating it out.

2. Manage.

  • Channel. Multiple e-mail accounts can be channeled into one e-mail program so that you can check all the accounts quickly from one spot. This will save time. Consider having a special e-mail account only for active clients. This will make it easier to respond during ongoing home searches and sales efforts.
  • Separate. Keep distinct home and work accounts. Don’t clutter your work account with personal messages.

3. Prioritize.

  • Use folders. Sort your e-mail into folders that can organize and prioritize your mail. Have folders for individual clients, for example. Keep no more than 20 messages in your inbox at any given time so that you don’t lose track of who is trying to reach you about what.
  • Use flags. Put a flag on an e-mail message to remind yourself to follow up on it. Flags are quick visual notes of your priorities.
  • Cell mail. Use e-mail filters to send important message directly to your cell phone as either e-mail, if your cell phone accepts it, or text messages. Messages will get to your phone more quickly than you can get to a computer to check them.
  • Learn your e-mail program. Whether you use a free e-mail provider such as Google or Yahoo; Microsoft Corp.’s Outlook; or another provider you’ll find ways to enhance its mail management.
  • Use fax to e-mail. Get documents you need quickly. Search for a free fax to e-mail service and see if it meets your needs.