Email – a tool gone feral

How from a preferred communication tool Email is getting relegated to a redundant tool

Since the advent of IT boom, one of the strong enablers of IT as a service and solution was Email. Email single handedly revolutionized the sector and pushed the industry that was lurking in the sidelines as a major business enabler. The edge it introduced made organizations more effective in their communication and speed of daily business was pushed to a new level.

What transpired was a renewed interest from Lotus, Microsoft and other product firms to add features to the standard email clients and provide total solutions, which include Calendar & scheduling features, but this piece is not about counting Email’s achievements and its catalytic capabilities to boost performance, but to talk about what a mess it has become since its introduction.

Email is a fantastic tool at workplace and it serves as an excellent record keeping mechanisms for many corporate discussions and helps in retrieving the archived conversations on certain topics, but many people commit to a few DO NOTs with their emails that lead to a heavy, poorly managed email-box that they themselves don’t know how to manage.

Bulky email archives are a mess that Email administrators have to deal with, as they chew into the storage of servers / local disks, carry unwanted / redundant information and many times slow down the data searches within the email boxes. You can follow some easy steps and be free of that unread email baggage that will keep pulling you down from going through it.

  1. Archive you email regularly: Archiving is a great way of keeping your mailbox fast and performing at its best.
  2. Split your Archive folders: Though this could be cumbersome but I can suggest 2 approaches here:
  3. Create a yearly archive file: You may create an yearly archive file separated out so that the searches may run faster.
  4. Create your Archive file split on wok you do: Another way to split the files is by your stint at a particular project / team / program. This will run the searches more focused and faster.
  5. Auto Archive every 2 weeks: Do not maintain your mails on email Server which are older than 1-2 weeks, this will keep the load on email Server optimal an chances of email server going down are reduced drastically. Plus in case of server being down you still have your local copy to refer to.
  6. Set rules for Auto generated redundant emails: Many times, auto generated emails are sent to users / stakeholders for process evidence purposes. Set rules to auto archive OR delete AND marking them read. This will keep unread count in your mailbox in check unless there is an exception word in the email like PROCESS FAILED.
  7. Set rules to mark / segregate emails from important stakeholders: This bit people normally do and they focus only on these emails. This is good practice but do value emails coming from not so important stakeholders too.
  8. Be Diligent: Setting rules and keeping your mailbox invariably bring you on top of your work items, you won’t have to chase people for statuses and updates.

Many times people complain for their mailbox flooded with unwanted emails. This is something of a logjam created by these users themselves. Be sensitive to what information coming to you and if you feel emails you are receiving are more of redundant nature and are not relevant, please flag the same to the email senders, to reduce the traffic.

Communications as a practice normally follows a cycle from written word to verbal and then goes back to written word. This cycle is many times facilitated by technology and market advancements. Where publishing set written word to a public communication forefront, a phone brought verbal communication back to the mainstream.

Emails brought fast written communication to the industry, but VOIP & video conferencing are pushing the verbal communications back in. Figure below bring things to very much in perspective. Respect your communication channels and judiciously utilize their worth.

Happy emailing!!!

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