How to manage your email before it manages you?
I spent several hours today attending/supporting training within our Services division about the proper use of email and file organization and storage.
The focus was not on any particular technology or tool, but about 30 minutes of the presentation was about how to better use GroupWise to support the principles of efficiency and etiquette.
The training started with lots of statistics and survey data about how much email is used and abused. Once this baseline was established, then the next focus was on how much time could be saved or better utilized if we used the email tools and systems appropriately. Some of the ideas and instruction focused around content of our messages and structure. Some of the improvements focused simply on not sending inappropriate email. The best example was the email that just says "Thank you"....what a time killer!!
One of the interesting facts that was discussed was the overuse of 'Reply to All'. I thought this was very interesting because the presenter took issue with the fact that too many email users overuse this feature without realizing or understanding the drain on time for all of the recipients who have to receive, read, manage all of that back and forth and it is probably not necessary. So the first tip:
"Limit unnecessary use of reply to all, distribution lists, and Cc: in order to reduce message volume by 20%."
The next point that I really liked, and there were several, was to understand email and utilize this tool for the right application. The example given was the tragedy that happened on the campus of Virginia Tech. The security office apparently had sent a high priority text message to all of the students on campus notifying them of the fact that there was a gun man on campus. Posted all over the campus was a Public Announcement loud speaker system that would have much more effectively been used to communicate such urgent and vital information. So tip #2:
"Use the Best Channel for collaboration"
There were several features of GroupWise that the presenter pointed out that were very effective in making sure your email system was efficient. For example: Change To, Multiple Time Zones, Default Appointment Duration, Delayed Delivery, Check Mailbox Size, controlling the sync interval, email notification interval and the 'ding' on new email. However, we also discussed a few features that would help either improve efficiency or highlight areas that may cause the end-user to modify their habits.
- Email statistics page by day, by week
- Email templates and appointment templates that include agenda, objective, etc.
- Improved save-as formats
- More options in managing mailbox size
Some of these features we have heard of before or have a partner for, but it was good input and feedback.
Overall - very good training; great topic and lots of good information to improve my own use of email.
Disclaimer: As with everything else at Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by Novell (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).
It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.