Be Proactive

  • Effective email management = effective time management. Avoid constantly checking and responding to email. Set specific times to read and respond; otherwise, close the email screen to reduce distractions.
  • Is email the right tool? Evaluate when you use email; a phone call, face-to face meeting or instant messaging may be a better alternative.
  • Set up and use rules and filters to folder, forward or block messages.
  • Slow the Flow.
    • Think links vs. attachments. Use shared workspaces and documents, such as SharePoint and Google Docs to reduce email volume.
    • Slow down and check addresses before sending and replying, especially to mass mailings.
    • Be selective when copying messages, cc is frequently overused.
    • Use specific and descriptive subject lines, restrict messages to one topic or subject.


  • Manage email on content, not all email is correspondence.
  • Sort and organize folders based by record type or series and retention requirements.
    • Minutes (U0104, permanent)
    • Photographic File (U0107, permanent)
    • Correspondence-General (U0101, 2 years or less)
    • Correspondence-Official (U0100, permanent)
  • Keep only the last message in a chain; clear out sent messages once a reply is received.
  • Schedule time to review, move and delete files and stick to it! Do not use your inbox for long- term storage.
  • Empty your deleted files and junk mail folders; otherwise your messages are not deleted.