***After you read this post, be sure to visit me at my new home here.***
I've already talked about how to have an empty inbox all. the. time.
I want to help you be an email rock star, i.e., be less stressed about your email, all while handling it in a way that makes you look like a super star.
#1 Respond in a timely fashion.
I hate having email in my inbox. I loosely use strategies from GTD to stay on top of tasks, and for email I have a folder I've simply named @Action. The @ sign puts it at the top of my Inbox, and I can "file" emails in there I want to get to, emails that will take more than 2 minutes to deal with, at the time I've scheduled to work on emails (i.e., schedule time daily to respond to and deal with emails).
#2 Help me to get a response from you.
If you aren't ever going to respond to email, or you take forever to respond to email, put an auto-responder on your email with a better way to communicate with you. "I owe you an email" three months later makes you look disorganized and unprofessional. If you want a quick response from me, your best bet (although I make no promises) is to text me. Some people hate email, they much prefer a phone call, others a text, still others snail mail. State your preference, and know your audience.
#3 Have a killer signature.
I also hate having to search hither and yon for people's contact information. I'm running late for a meeting, so I go to their latest email and alas, no phone number, no cell number, no contact information. Make it easy for people to find you, connect with you, and/or buy your stuff.
#4 Keep responses to 5 sentences or less.
I love this idea and am going to do my best to be even more brief in my responses. As Steve Scott says, "do it for your fellow freedom fighters." In other words, if you feel overwhelmed by email, the recipients of your emails probably feel the same.
How you communicate with the world says a lot about you and your professionalism, and how you handle your email can make you or break you. Become an email rock star ... starting today!
Honorée Corder is the best-selling author of a dozen books, including of Vision to Reality: How Short Term Massive Action Equals Long Term Maximum Results.