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We hope you found yesterday’s blog with three basic email management steps useful!

Today’s tip is about email filters as you may be surprised by the difference using e-mail filters for incoming email can make to your productivity!  Using rules, labels, flags or your preview window pane, will all make your life so much easier.

Setting rules in Outlook, or labels in Gmail, can help anyone with a high email workload. Rules and flags deal with both wanted and unwanted messages and will organise your inbox.  By setting rules and creating the relevant folders, you can filter newsletters, blogs, forum emails, as well as emails from family members and your most important contacts. Rules can also be used to separate incoming email for the different email addresses you may be using for your business.  In Microsoft Outlook you can set up rules using the Rules Wizard in the Tools menu. In other e-mail programs (other than AOL which doesn’t seem to provide this facility), try to search for email filters, labels or rules.  We usually recommend disabling email notifications as they can be so distracting when working on other tasks. However, setting a rule with a reminder for that important contact whose emails you just can’t afford to miss, is a great way to always be on track with important emails, especially when approaching deadlines.

Another way to filter email is by ‘flagging’ it depending on its importance. In Outlook for example, different colour flags will help you do this effectively. All you need to do when reading new email, is right click on the flag icon on the message.  In Outlook, make sure you use the preview pane to help you view and -if necessary- flag new messages without having to open them. This will make scanning all incoming email much quicker and easier! To enable the preview pane, on the View menu, click Auto Preview.

Flags are used as follow-ups and you can also set reminder dates and times to pop up in your reminder window, or your Outlook to do-list. This means you will never miss an important email.  Flagged messages are also easier to find when scrolling, and will also display in the ‘For Follow Up’ Search Folder.

For more information how to use any of these tips, please go to the Microsoft Office site or for different systems, why not just google your particular question.

The above tips are from a series of of articles and tips written by Success Network Founder & Business Coach Ute Wieczorek-King and Virtual Assistant Gerry Hyde to help busy people use their time more effectively and be more productive.

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