Experts agree that checking email less frequently actually makes us MORE efficient. As good as this sounds, most people don't do it! I use a couple of tools to seperate the wheat from the chaff; Conditional formatting and Rules and Alerts. I thought I'd share how I use these tools to managing my emails without it taking over my life.
One of the main challenges when you receive a lot of emails is paying attention to the important and urgent ones, and letting the less important or less urgent ones wait. I have an easy way of doing this; I make the font and colour of certain emails stand out from all the others. You can change colours and fonts to distinguish between emails from different people, types of email, or emails containing certain words or phrases.
How to set it up
- Right click above your emails (just below the search bar) in the Inbox and select View Settings
- Select Conditional Formatting
- Click Add and give the rule a name (this can be whatever you like)
- Click Condition
- Select the Advanced tab and select one of the options from the Field dropdown menu. You might want to conditionally format the email based on who sent it, who it was sent to, or something in the subject. Here I've formatted it based on the subject. You can add more than one rule if you need to.
- Click OK. To change the colour and size, click Font
- Now for the final (and more fun) part; choose how these emails should look
Now those important or urgent emails will stand out from all the others.
Rules and Alerts
Another useful tool is rules and alerts. With alerts, you can actually get an audible sound and a pop up box that will be visible in the taskbar.
How to set it up
- From the Home ribbon in Outlook, click Rules and then Create rule
- Select Advanced Options
- Now choose the things you want it to look for:
- Choose the actions you want it to take when those conditions are met:
- Click Next and then Finish
And there you have it; my top tips for navigating the stormy seas of email management. I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me!