Best Practices for Using Microsoft Outlook from a Sales Perspective
Inbox overload – we’ve all experienced it and once you get there, its easy to get trapped in a downward spiral where before you know it your email count goes from 100 to 1000. Never fear, this arrow-tip will be the first in a five part series this week on how to regain control of your Inbox and make sure your most important messages don’t get lost in a sea of email noise.
One of my favorite tricks for quickly dealing with a massive number of emails is sorting on the From field or column. Inevitably this technique will allow you to get rid of large quantities of unimportant emails quickly so that you can then focus on the more important ones. Simply scroll through your emails and look for large groupings such as:
- newsletters – if you’ve collected several newsletter emails, chances are that you are not going to read all of them. Scan quickly for headlines you want to save for later and move those to a “Newsletter” or “Reading List” folder, but mass delete the rest. This is also an excellent time to re-examine whether or not you should unsubscribe to a newsletter that you never read.
- spam filter reports – you can easily delete all but the most recent one and then either quickly review email collected in the spam filter or task yourself to do so later.
- market or status updates – emails that provide updated schedules, news, or conditions that change regularly become obsolete when the latest one hits your Inbox, so mass delete all but the most recent one.
- social network notifications – a notification that somone has accepted your invitation to connect on LinkedIn is nice, but it doesn’t necessarily require any follow up action. These emails can either be mass deleted or marked as read and moved to another folder in mass.
- event invitations – 5 reminders or invitations for the same event or for an event that has already passed are just clogging up your Inbox. Delete all, but the newest (unless it has already passed or you do not intend to attend) and then drag the newest to your calendar and delete it after your have saved the appointment.
You will most likely find that this simple exercise will get rid of 20% to 50% or more of your email volume. Be sure to check back to morrow for Part II of Managing Inbox Overload.