Email Management Tutorial

Get your email priorities right! Follow our Email Management Tutorial to keep you emails organised.

Use the four D’s

  • Do ...immediately action the email
  • Delete ...Delete the email
  • Delegate ...Give the action to another individual
  • Defer ...Flag or save it for reference at a later stage


  • Use alternatives to email – i.e. instant messenger, the telephone or even your feet!
  • Don't use 'Reply All'
  • Push back - if you are getting irrelevant email, contact the sender
  • Improve your Outlook skills and understanding of the tools available – receive Training
  • Use the Out of Office feature in Outlook
  • Don't be a slave to email - set aside time slots to deal with email
  • Remember - email generates email. Send less and you'll receive less
  • Manage your emails folders effectively and establish email rules

Get your Priorities right!

Prioritising your emails should be high on the list of email management.

  • Block out chunks of time in Calendar to manage your workload or use Tasks to manage your daily actions
  • Do, Delete, Delegate or Defer not leave mails in your inbox
  • Avoid unnecessary use of groups, CC and Reply All. Do all recipients really need to know this?
  • Set guidelines for your team to process emails more effectively by putting tags in your subject title, for example:

    FYI: changed travel procedures ACTION: Respond by 23rd May REQUEST: Q1 Budget Figures FYI: Recent business offer.

  • Ensure the subject is meaningful, for example instead of “INFO: Notes” you could put “INFO: Notes from Team Meeting 18/6/01 re Marketing Plan”
  • Politely push-back on emails that are not relevant to your position or are spam ….as an example: Thank you for your email which I have taken the time to read carefully. Unless I am mistaken, this is not directly related to my role and I'd appreciate it if you could help me manage the many emails I get every day by avoiding copying me into similar emails in the future.  Many thanks for your assistance with this
  • Email generates email ….think carefully before using ‘reply all’ or ‘cc’. On average individuals send email to FIVE other people ….take just one person off and you would reduce your email traffic by 20%
  • Do you know how to deal with SPAM? Understand your company’s policy and take the necessary action. Make sure your reader know the purpose of your email in the first few lines

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Use the features

Learn the features available to you….

  • Auto-Signature… learn and use auto-signature to identify your full name, position and contact details to all email recipients

  • To Do List… Understand how to use this tool to assist you in your way of working.
  • Meeting Manager… Do you have control of your meetings? Can you view the availability of participants. Can you see the status of meetings and the number of responses? Do you send reminders?
  • Folders… Think about your file set-up, does it work for you, have you naming conventions in place? Be consistent!
  • Archiving… Dependant on your corporate configuration, ensure you operate a strong housekeeping ethos.
  • Use Find… Outlook has its own search feature
  • Auto Rules… Filter emails arriving in your inbox. Move them to specific folders, delete, alert etc. Flag for follow-up… Apply a reminder to an email

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Colour Coding

Did you know you can improve your email management by sorting your emails via colours?

  • Automatically colour incoming email based on your criteria. For example: emails sent directly to you are blue

Look after your emails

  • Housekeeping… It is important to keep on top of your folders and emails
  • Archiving… Old folders and emails should be archived

  • Viruses… Computer viruses and other malicious software can spread very rapidly between personal computers via email

  • Security… Email is not safe. External parties can access it. If you have highly sensitive data, learn about encrypting
  • Legal… Email can be used as evidence in a court of law
  • PST Files… These files where Outlook stores your email can get very large. Reduce their size.

If you have any questions, about our Email Management Tutorial, or you would like to make any suggestions about how we can improve our tutorials, please let us know.

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