Gnomie Tyler Jones writes:

I receive about 220 emails a day (I know that’s nothing compared to what you get, Chris, but it’s a lot for us normal folk), and I sometimes find it hard to manage my inbox. Over time, I’ve made these tips for managing my email more efficiently, and I thought that I would pass them along.

  1. Send replies in bulk. For you Yahoo! Mail users, I’m not talking about “bulk” as in “spam,” I mean group your replies to emails. If several people have the same question, send the same message to those multiple email addresses. This will same time, and it will save you a lot of stress.
  2. Publicly address common questions. Also, if several people have the same question, you should publicly address that issue (in a blog, an FAQ, etc.). This will cut down on the email you receive with that question.
  3. Don’t reply to rude people. If someone is being rude, don’t reply to them. This is a waste of time, as your response will either be ignored or will trigger another rude response. If someone continues to be rude, block their email address.
  4. Have a good spam blocker. Make sure that the email program you’re using has a good spam blocker, so no junk gets in your inbox. Gmail on the Web is a good example, and Thunderbird on the desktop is also good.
  5. Make your responses short and simple. Don’t type extremely long responses to emails. Chances are, the person you’re sending it to won’t read through it. Just explain the basics in a sentence or two (no more than a paragraph), and hit “send.” However, be careful with your wording. You don’t want to seem curt, as this will probably provoke a rude response.

I know some of these seem obvious, but some people get so overwhelmed with their email that they forget the basics.