5 Tips to Manage and Organize E-Mail


How do you focus on your urgent e-mail and organize the rest for your review? Think about how you handle your paper mail. You probably sort your paper mail quickly before you read it to figure out what to look at first, what to read later, and what to throw away. Here are some similar ways to automatically process and prioritize your electronic mail for better and faster results:

(Although the following tips refer to Microsoft Outlook, many of these features are similar to those found in other mail systems. For specific how-to steps, and more e-mail and Outlook tips, visit The Software Pro website.)

1. Color Code to Identify Key Messages

Color code priority messages to quickly identify e-mail from your most important contacts such as management, staff, or team members. To apply colors in Microsoft Outlook, highlight a message from a contact, choose Tools > Organize, select the option Using Colors and pick how you want to color-code your incoming messages from the specific contact.

2. Streamline with Categories and Folders

Stop using your Inbox as a reference system filled with messages that don't require an immediate action. To further organize your messages, create categories and folders with useful labels such as Team Members, Projects, Personal, and others. The Categories feature in Microsoft Outlook, for instance, helps to organize and view active messages into groups within your Inbox. Create and use e-mail folders to store messages that you have already handled and wish to keep for history or folders for e-mail that contains informational reading and general reference.

Note that folders and categories sort in alphabetical order which is not likely to place your priority items at the top. Adding a letter or number at the beginning of a label, such as a-Team Members and b-Projects, will sort these towards the top of your Inbox.

3. Filter with Rules

Rules are instructions or filters that automatically categorize, organize, and prioritize messages based on conditions that you set. As new messages are received in Microsoft Outlook, right-click on the message and left click on the command Create a Rule to apply a category or move the message to a folder. If all you do is apply rules, you may be able to get through e-mail in half the time it took before.

4. Learn Easy Navigation

Stop wasting time by moving in and out of each message and start applying simple navigation tricks. In Microsoft Outlook, for instance, you can move in your Inbox with the up or down arrow key to select a message. Then press [Enter] to open the message. To move to the next message directly from the current e-mail, look for toolbar buttons with arrows or press [Ctrl] + > for the next message and [Ctrl] + < for the previous e-mail. Press [Esc] to close the active message.

5. Sort to Find Messages

To quickly sort your e-mail messages, click once on a column heading for the new order you want such as sender, subject or date. For instance, to sort messages by the sender, click once on the Sender heading. By clicking twice on a column heading, the sort order changes from ascending (A-Z) order to descending (Z-A) order. By the way, the abbreviations RE and FW in the Subject line are ignored when you sort messages alphabetically by subject.

Implementing these ideas for overcoming e-mail overload can help you become more productive and free you from your Inbox.

2004 by Dawn Bjork Buzbee

Dawn Bjork Buzbee is The Software Pro? and a certified Microsoft Office Expert and Microsoft Office Specialist Master Instructor. Dawn shares smart and easy ways to effectively use software and technology through her work as a speaker, trainer, and consultant. Visit www.SoftwarePro.com">http://www.SoftwarePro.com for great Microsoft Office software tips and tricks or to contact Dawn.


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Which city is the most Instagrammed? Where’s the most expensive place to buy trainers? And where’s the smallest park?

Which city has the tallest city hall?

Hong Kong

Tokyo

Dubai

Shanghai

Which city is home to the world's narrowest street?

Toulouse, France

Stockholm, Sweden

Reutlingen, Germany

Beijing, China

Which city has the most bridges?

Hamburg, Germany

Venice, Italy

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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Singapore

Zurich, Switzerland

Seoul, South Korea

Oslo, Norway

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New York

Bangkok, Thailand

Venice, Italy

London, UK

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Austin, Texas

San Jose, California

Portland, Oregon

Jackson, Mississippi

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Manchester

Birmingham

London

Leeds

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Las Vegas

Beijing

Seattle

Los Angeles

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Las Vegas

Blackpool

Macau

Atlantic City

Which is the most expensive city to park a car in?

London

Hong Kong

Geneva

Copenhagen

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Manchester

London

Liverpool

Glasgow

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Urumqi

Ulaanbaatar

Moscow

Novosibirsk

Which city is home to the tallest building?

Dubai

Shanghai

Shenzhen

Seoul

Which city has hosted the most Olympic Games (in the modern era)?

Tokyo

Paris

London

Athens

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Norilsk

Murmansk

Kandalaksha

Tromsø

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Dhaka

Mumbai

Phnom Penh

Colombo

Which is the largest city to host a winter Olympics?

Sochi

Vancouver

Salt Lake City

Oslo

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Strasbourg

Windhoek

Barcelona

Dresden

Which is the world’s oldest capital city?

Damascus

Rabat

Athens

Mexico City

Which is the most Instagrammed city?

Los Angeles

New York City

Paris

São Paulo

17 and above.

You're a city trivia master!

13 and above.

Nice result – bet you're popular at pub quiz nights

8 and above.

Not bad – but maybe a good excuse to take some city breaks?

0 and above.

Oh dear, better luck next time

1 and above.

Oh dear, looks like you need to brush up on your city trivia ... better luck next time

Answers supplied by Guinness World Records

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