Successful Australian Women Reveal Their #1 Email Tip
We've all known a time when we’ve felt completely overwhelmed by our overflowing inbox and our job title could read “professional email responder”. To help you get on top of your to-do-list, we asked six successful Australian women for their tips on managing your inbox and increasing your efficiency and productivity. Read on to get your inbox in order, once and for all.
“It takes discipline, but my number one tip is to never leave read emails sitting in my inbox. Instead, I try and read emails in big enough blocks of time so I can immediately action, delegate or file them. If it’s an actionable email and I am personally responsible, I will try and do the task immediately or add it to my to-do list to be done by the end of the week. If it’s an actionable email but someone else in my team can do the task instead of me, I will always forward it on and happily leave the job to them. Or, if the email simply needs to be digested (a news article, financial report, or office update for example), I’ll simply read and file straight away—I rarely flag anything of this nature to look at later on as I know it just won’t happen. This process allows me to clear my inbox to zero every day (or couple of days) and for me personally, that is crucial for survival and an overall sense of calm. An out-of-control inbox is an out-of-control me.”
Lisa Messenger, Publisher and Editor-In-Chief, The Collective Hub
“Like most people, I receive hundreds of emails a day. A few I can ignore, but for the most part I need to reply. For that reason I use 'canned response'. It's a function within Gmail that allows you to send, with one click, a pre-written reply. I frequently respond to emails with one of three common answers, so have them typed out in advance. When replying to hundreds of emails a day (on top of my actual work), it saves me so much time.”
Leigh Campbell, Lifestyle Editor, Huffington Post Australia
“When it comes to emails my motto is 'just do it!' While some people work by checking emails once or twice a day, the reality is that just doesn't work for me. With hundreds of emails daily I deal with everything as it happens; action pressing issues or tasks instantly or delegate when applicable. Leave no email unanswered. There is nothing more stressful than an overflowing inbox so I like to keep on top of things so it doesn't get out of hand. I also check emails over the weekend to address any outstanding emails from the week and ensure I start Monday morning knowing there isn't a huge backlog. Don't procrastinate over an email, just deal with it as it happens!”
“I have a habit of reading my emails on the fly, meaning I'll sometimes read something, think I've responded and then forget about it! Horrific! So I spend 10 minutes every night clicking through the emails I have received that day to ensure I have dealt with each one in terms of a response or an action item. It's quite cathartic looking at a day's work via email.”
Alyce Tran, Founder, The Daily Edited
“Try and deal with the most important emails as quickly as you can—this way pressing issues do not get missed. I always flag the most important emails so they stand out in my inbox. Always delete emails you no longer need and file the ones you do need. I am sucker for a folder and probably have far too many, which makes filing them a very time consuming exercise but worth it if you have the patience.”
Lucy Fenton, Owner, Fenton & Fenton
"If it is a tricky conversation then pick up the phone. It is extremely tempting to use email or text to approach confrontational subjects. However, the best approach is to pick up the phone. Email is a fantastic tool to cover your tracks and ensure everyone is on the same page. However, if potential conflict appears then the best approach is to call the person to cover it off. Much more personal."
Amanda Booth, Director and Co-Founder, iD Collective
For further tips and inspiration on managing your email, shop the book below.