As a project coordinator for many specialized tasks, managing and tracking emails is an interesting challenge, especially when coordinating multiple inboxes. I receive emails with varying subject content from all facets of our organization and beyond.
I would like to share a few functions that simplify my day. Give them a try to see if they work for you and share your feedback.
Often email conversations mask important references and attachments, but most importantly the “true subject” gets buried and is no longer part of the email subject line. Emails that you have been copied on, or forwarded can also become time wasters – having to open every email because the subject or focus is submerged. It can all become confusing!
I routinely use a feature to edit subject lines. This allows me to search more accurately and efficiently and makes filing precise and clear for others.
All emails with prefaces “ FW: or RE:” and all lengthy long subject lines do not add to the email …it becomes clutter. In our busy days, we don’t have the time to read through multiple emails to find content. You want the purpose…the point, the jist!
As a project coordinator, keeping track of emails can challenging, but there are a few tools I use that help me manage my “clutter”. Let me begin by clarifying that my mouse is set up with a secondary click on the right side to give me quick access to features within Outlook 2011.
Here are my top Go-To’s….5 features to test out for yourself…
1. Edit the Subject Line.
Help manage your inbox and avoid inbox overload.
Click on an email and go to Message> Edit Message Edit Subject
Edit the subject line, close the window and it will update automatically in your inbox. This allows you to change the email subject line…try it once and you will use it every day!
2. Move Emails.
Store emails in folders directly from the inbox without dragging and dropping them in the wrong folder.
Click on an email and go to Message > Move
A list of recent folders or the option to choose a folder will appear. Alternatively, you could set up a rule for instant filing.
3. Flags and Reminders.
Flagging emails reminds me to check on action items by date – this creates a task list and is helpful for time sensitive reminders.
Your task list is generated as separate activity located under Calendar in your Outlook Navigation menu.
Click on an email and go to Message > Follow - Up
4. Forward an Email.
Quickly send an email as an attachment without the search, drag and drop delay.
Right click on the Message > Forward as an attachment
I use this in conjunction with ‘Editing the Subject Line’.
5. Create a Rule.
Set up a protocol for auto-delete of recurring emails or set unique criteria for filing, this is useful for subscription and industry references, newsletters or repetitive emails.
Click on an email and go to Message > Rules
At the end of the day, it’s about finding something helpful that works for you, makes your day productive, and gives you the confidence that everything is in its place. I hope you find value in my tried and true tricks for controlling, tracking and organizing.
Special Projects Coordinator