Winning the battle for email supremacy

A friend of mine on Facebook posted a note saying that he was feeling overwhelmed by email and wanted to know the strategies that other business people put into place to attempt to “tame the beast.” Since this seems to come up a lot in conversation lately I thought I would share what I do:

  • unsubscribe to all lists and newsletters
  • install Yammer in your company
  • batch process: check email in the morning, at lunch, and end of day and reply to everything at once
  • rules and folders for FYI stuff and delayed follow-up
  • send your worst cc’ers a note to say you don’t need to be cc’d unless it’s critical or requires an action in which case put me in the “To:” field and be very specific with your request and the timeliness of the response
  • delete anything that isn’t directly addressed to you in the first line – friends asking everyone for something realize you’re busy and will call or text you directly if they really need something
  • let go of the guilt that just because someone emailed you doesn’t mean you have to reply in a timely fashion – focus on your priorities first, not theirs
  • ask people at work to include deadlines or timelines on their requests so everything stops appearing “urgent”
  • ask people not to twitter dm, linkedin dm, or facebook msg you (too many Inboxes) then shut-off the auto emails that come from each for notifications.
  • remember this: some people get very little email because they don’t have anything interesting going on in their lives! Your life is clearly the opposite!

One response to “Winning the battle for email supremacy

  1. This is a great piece that offers sound suggestions. It also points out the importance for businesses to go beyond email to reach out to customers. The truth is too many emails can turn customers off, as you point out. This article ( offers some great tips for those on the sending end.

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