Monday, June 8, 2009

3 email suggestions to possibly make yourself a more productive PM

I am a "clean inbox" adherent. This has done wonders for me. But it has also become addictive and created a new email-driven attention deficit disorder. A few of the following tips have helped:

1. In general, the bcc: field is in my opinion the most underutilized email feature. When asking for feedback on a product, process or feature, ask more than one person at a time using the bcc: field. If you don't, you get immediately 3x the email volume.

On a side note, should you want to kill a product, process or feature, ask many people and put it in the to: field. In this latter case, also mark it urgent and tell them feedback is a day late. (Just kidding... kinda'.)

2. Sort all of your "not sent directly to you" emails to a different folder and read it once a day.

3. Make liberal use of "Out of office" notification. "Out of office" sets expectations on wait time and lets you focus on your work. It thus immediately reduces your email load. And if someone really wants to chat, they can pick up the phone.

I have multitasked to my Outlook inbox at least three times in writing this post, so I can't tell you that the above will work. But I can at least suggest it. May you avoid my fate!

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