Email Survival Skills: Survival Tips Compatible with Microsoft Outlook 2010 & 2013 (2015)
Stop Email: Sun Protection
Unless you plan on hiking in dense forestry every hour of the day, you’ll need sunburn and eventually skin cancer prevention; sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat with a wide brim are all recommended.
Protection from the bright light of the sun, or prevention, in email terms means you keep email from ever entering your inbox in the first place. Here are some tips:
1. Install SPAM filters. If you work in a large corporation, they probably have a good firewall. Google has good filters on their Gmail accounts. Microsoft Outlook has a trust center with a few settings that help dissuade spam. If you are an entrepreneur or work in a small startup, then web hosting services offer SPAM filters at extremely reasonable rates.
2. Think twice before you sign up for newsletters containing “Can’t live without information” when you are researching, learning or just having fun online. My experience is that giving up your email address makes emails proliferate like breeding gerbils.
One option is to have an email designated specifically for online information. Keep it separate and distinct from your professional or personal email. For instance, you could have a Gmail account that is anonymous, such as SillyFrog@gmail.com. Use this for all downloads of non-pertinent information.
3. A technical way to stop emails from entering your Inbox relates to the philosophy that you have about your Inbox. Is it a library? Meaning, you have no problem with a couple thousand or more emails in your Inbox. Or, do you get hives if you quit work and still have 10 or 20 emails to process? If you are the latter, I recommend using the Outlook Rules Wizard to automatically route emails to specific folders.
Using the Rules Wizard, you can route emails for projects, from specific people or from company departments to folders where they safely wait for you to open and process them. A perfect example is a routine email from Human Resources. You need the information, but not in your productive mode, which is hours during your work day that you are focusing and pushing out work. Set the Rules Wizard to automatically route the HR emails to a folder that you can check at your own leisure.
These tips will help you prevent the slow sunburn of emails that may have some value, but are not important to your daily productivity.