Guest post by actiTIME

Emails remain one of the most popular communication media. 

Based on 2019 statistics, there were 3.9 billion active email users worldwide, which is 400 million users more than for social media. Altogether, we send nearly 300 billion emails each day on a global scale, and this number is expected to grow steadily within just a few years.

If you’re used to collaborating with colleagues and business partners on a regular basis, you’re likely well familiar with email writing too. You utilize emails as a means to deliver vital information, speed up collective decision making, coordinate efforts, ask questions, and whatnot! And with all that in mind, you probably understand that well-established email communication saves a ton of time for a team, but when disorganized, it can cause significant work delays and disrupt productivity.

So, how to make sure emails serve you well? How to create a highly effective email routine that brings collaboration to another level?

This guide is here to provide you with the answer! 

Explore the 5 steps described below to boost your team productivity and become more efficient.

1. Master the basics of effective email writing

For an email to help you effectively exchange and quickly respond to new information, without wasting precious time or compromising work efficacy, it must be properly written. So, before sending your message to an addressee, make sure you follow these basic email writing rules:

  • Read context cues to choose the appropriate writing style and tone – There’s never a guarantee that you and your message recipients will assign the same tone to the same email. Nevertheless, it’s highly important to pay attention to your manner of expression. Is your speech respectful and friendly enough, or does it look too concerned, imperative, and negative? If your tone and the choice of words do not match the situation adequately, you risk being misunderstood.
  • Start with a greeting and end with a closing line (but make sure they’re appropriate too) – An apt greeting and message closing not only show that you’re polite and professional but also set the right tone for an email.
  • Clearly state your message subject in the subject line – Without a clearly stated subject, your email may simply get lost in a recipient’s inbox. A subject line that matches your message content directly will let them fish out the right email from the flood of incoming messages.
  • Write concisely – If you want a recipient to understand your ideas and take prompt actions, don’t overload your messages with too much information. However, saying too little is no good either as it provokes endless back-and-forth communication. So, be certain to keep your messages as short as possible yet try to anticipate all the possible questions that a receiver may have when reading your email and answer them in advance.
  • Use simple words – Write just like you talk to make sure your email recipients understand what you mean.
  • Proofread – Misspelled words, typos, and other mistakes not only make you look less professional and attentive but also can cause serious misunderstanding and reduce communication efficiency. So, before sending your email out, spend a minute or two to proofread everything you wrote. 

2. Create templates

A personalized approach to your emails is essential. However, your messages don’t always have to be entirely unique, especially if you frequently engage in repetitive communication (e.g., weekly meeting reminders, monthly performance reports, etc.). In this instance, email templates can help you compose successful messages much easier and faster

So, create a few templates that perfectly match different communicative situations. Then, use them whenever the right case arises. Just fill them in with current information and add a personal touch if needed, and – voilà! – a well-written email is ready to be sent in no time. 

So, create a few templates that perfectly match different communicative situations. Then, use them whenever the right case arises. Just fill them in with current information and add a personal touch if needed, and – voilà! – a well-written email is ready to be sent in no time. 

3. Get rid of distractions

When your inbox gets cluttered with spam messages and unimportant notifications, it’s the most annoying thing. Scavenging through hundreds of emails to find a few really significant ones is highly inefficient. And the worst part, you hardly even notice how email clutter steals your time – you’re just too used to dealing with it daily. 

There’s no good reason to continue that way, and you have many reasons to filter your incoming emails properly – improved workplace collaboration and productivity are among the main of them.

To cleanse your inbox and make sure only essential emails remain in view, use SaneBox. This AI-powered email management tool allows you to set custom filtering rules. With its help, you can:

  • Snooze unimportant messages, keeping them for later
  • Automatically move the most annoying emails directly to your trash box
  • Sort everything by custom folders
  • And even schedule breaks from all email notifications to stay focused on work

With all these valuable features, SaneBox is bound to boost your email management efficiency multifold. It will help you prioritize messages based on your preferences and will draw your attention only to the most important ones. Thus, using this tool, you’ll spend much less time searching for the necessary information in your inbox and won’t compromise your own productivity while communicating with others.

4. Block a part of your workday for email management

When constantly switching between tasks, you kill focus and lose a lot of time. Hence, if you frequently interrupt your work process with email checking and responding, you become less productive. 

Of course, a quick response to an email is key to good team collaboration. But so is your personal productivity. Therefore, you should not jeopardize one in favor of the other. And along with SaneBox’s Do Not Disturb feature, time blocking is a great way to find the balance between effective email communication and individual performance efficiency.

When applying the time blocking method, you dedicate particular hours of the day to working on one task or a batch of similar activities and do nothing else within this timeframe. Thereby, time blocking: 

  • Promotes better self-organization, 
  • Eliminates distractions,
  • And helps you get more things done. 

By blocking several hours of your day to write and respond to emails, you’ll capture these benefits with ease – you won’t let email notifications disturb you continuously throughout the day and will stay better concentrated on what’s crucial for you at any particular moment.

5. Track how much time you spend on email

According to Accelo’s Time Is Money report, email reading and responding are among the major time wasters in modern organizations. It can take an employee as much as 2.6 hours a day to manage their inbox. Moreover, email checking and writing may cost businesses nearly $50.000 per professional a year simply because all the time spent on these two tasks is not properly recorded and tracked.

Obviously, if your team members use up a quarter of their working time on email management alone, you end up with fewer resources for productive collaboration and problem-solving. Thus, it’s pivotal to keep tabs on how many hours you spend on email writing and answering every day, and a high-quality time tracking tool can readily assist you with that.

Time tracking collects insightful data on how you dispose of your working hours. It shows how much different tasks consume and provides you with enough evidence to judge about your own and your team’s productivity. 

Analyzing time tracking data, you will see if email management eats up more hours than you expected or not. In other words, you’ll be able to identify time wasters and then adjust your work routines in a way that allows for more efficient use of time. 

Conclusion

Following the above 5 simple steps, you can improve your email communication and manage it in the most productive way possible. These rules:

  • Promote effective information exchange,
  • Better employee coordination,
  • Reduce communication mistakes,
  • Foster a prompt response to new information,
  • Ensure that less time wasted on email checking and writing,
  • And thus, boost overall work efficacy.

While being more efficient, well-coordinated, clear, and fast, email communication naturally enhances team collaboration. So, if a collaboration boost is your goal, consider focusing on improving your email routine first.

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