I must admit, this is something that I have had to research on a personal level. When you get to the stage of getting in excess of 100 mails a day it can be a daunting exercise to try and manage and/or prioritize the mails.
The research that I did came up with the following suggestions:
I keep all emails that pertain to my clients and my service providers. I have a file for each client and/or each service provider and pretty much in the same way that I would file my paperwork, I use these files on the computer.
So for example, if I have a client ABC Consulting – I would have a folder (under clients) called ABC. In the folder ABC, I would have subfolders such as invoices, quotes, payments, etc – but for the e-mails, I would also have subfolders for incoming mail and another for outgoing mail. It just makes it easier if I am looking for something that I sent to the client or something that I received from the client.
The rest of the mails that pertain to anything other than clients and/or suppliers, that I want to keep go into sub-folders of my Inbox. This means that I can search through all my messages (particularly if I am researching something) all in the same place.
I have also discovered that you can have replies that you send out, sent to a sub-folder too. How neat is that? You can write a rule to have messages sent to various folders on receipt or on sending the message, depending on what it is that you want to do. Click on the Tools tab and then select Rules and Alerts. Remember though that if you have more than one ‘rule’ that applies to incoming e-mail, the rule that was placed first is the one that takes precedence.
Keeping a handle on your e-mails will make it easier to manage all of the information overloads that most of us experience on a daily basis.