THE AVERAGE number of business emails sent and received each day in 2014 was 121. This is projected to increase to 140 in 2018. Worldwide, there are more than 190 billion emails sent each day – over 100 billion of these are business related, and 65 per cent are spam.
Having an effective strategy to manage your emails has never been so important. For legal practitioners, one common method used to manage emails is to set up a folder for each client or matter. Emails that you want to retain are then stored in the relevant folder.
In what might be a surprising conclusion to some, IBM researchers have found that users who employ this method of managing their emails are no more successful at finding them than users who simply let their inboxes grow and use the inbuilt search features of Outlook. Further, the study showed that it actually took “marginally longer”.
When you consider the effort that it takes to file the emails – estimated to be 20 minutes a day – this approach to email management is consuming one hour of your week in what could be considered a pointless exercise.
What is the better way?
We recommend you create a small number of folders that all emails are filed to. Some suggestions are:
- Follow up – to store any email that requires a follow up
- Client – to store any client-related emails that have been actioned
- Admin – to store any administration emails that have been actioned
By using this approach, it takes minimal effort to determine where to file an email, find the folder and then file it. By removing emails from your inbox that have been actioned, your inbox becomes a to-do list.
Using Outlooks searching features; search by
- attachment and
- any text
you are able to quickly find an email.
The Innessco website has practical examples for lawyers and a quick usage summary www.innessco.com/email-management
Innessco specialises in implementing, supporting and managing IT for small and mid-sized law firms. The Innessco website provides helpful search examples for lawyers.