Throughout the course of a normal day, I receive about 1,000 emails. Having had my email address for the past 25 years, I must be on every possible email list. Friends and business associates complain that I take forever to respond to email, but just finding the email to respond to it is a task. On any given day, I author between 50 and 100 emails.
In an effort to be efficient with email, I employ several spam filters combined with Outlook rules to “triage” inbound emails to make it more manageable. My first line of defense is ProofPoint. A cloud based service we employ for all of our clients, ProofPoint is able to stop my unsolicited spam in the cloud before it reaches my inbox. ProofPoint eliminates about 50% of my inbound email flow.
My second line of defense is the Outlook Junk folder. I religiously put vendor solicitations in the junk folder to help clear my “inbox”. On any given day, between 100 to 200 emails get corralled in my junk folder. Items in the junk folder get deleted once a week.
The last step in my email triage process is the use of several hundred Outlook rules that sort the emails into several hundred folders that are setup in Outlook. On a daily basis, 300 to 400 emails are processed by these rules. The folders are grouped into folders for Clients, DeckerWright staff, and Vendors. Emails going into client folders get attention first, followed by staff and vendors. Emails that don’t fit any of the rules are automatically placed in the Deleted Items folder. The Deleted Items folder serves as my “inbox”. I check Deleted Items folder throughout the day, moving good emails to the right folders, and deleting the remainder. If I am not expecting an email, this is where it can get lost. Luckily, Office 365 maintains deleted emails for about three weeks, so as long as I am made aware that someone sent an email, I normally can find it.
Despite the rise of instant messaging, chat systems and other collaboration systems, email remains one of the most important methods for conducting business communications. How one manages this valuable tool will have a direct impact on their business.
Click HERE to watch a video on recovering deleted emails.