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Editor at Large

4,331 emails and counting

“Hi and thank you for your email.

“Well, not necessarily thank you – as some days I receive more than 200 emails in my work in-box, and it is impossible to keep up with the onslaught.

“I will read your email as soon as I can, realizing that at the same time, I edit stories, rewrite stories, proof pages, answer and make phone calls, make story assignments, work with staff and freelancers, manage and plan, plan, plan and plan some more for our weekly print issue, special issues, special supplements and digital initiatives.”

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No, that’s not the auto-response for whenever I receive an email. But I have thought about using something of the sort.

Email, it seems, sometimes dominates my workday. The never-ending and arduous chore of reading and responding to email, followed by more reading and responding – along with the research involved before responding – is more exhausting than folding a fitted sheet. Or riding a 20-stop commuter train.

Fortunately, a recent Lehigh Valley Business story recommended some tips to manage an email account. The advice is courtesy of Rick Megni of CMIT Solutions near Pottstown and Lori Donofrio-Galley of the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce.

Just as soon as I get time, probably by Memorial Day – 2017 – I’ll review some of this advice so that email no longer overruns my job and my life. Another no-doubt exhilarating option would be to take the plunge and delete every damn email in my work inbox, of which – at this writing – there are 4,331.

The advice:

-- Organize your inbox into folders and subfolders that best represent your business, such as processes, projects, merchandise, etc.

-- Create annual archive folders labeled with the year of the email it contains, and move older email for that year into this archive, maintaining the folder and subfolder structure as noted above.

-- Set up automatic filing or rules for emails you don’t need to review immediately but would make time to review in the future.

-- Set up an automatic archive that will move older email, for example, older than six months, to an email archive automatically on a regular schedule.

-- Keep work and personal email accounts separate.

-- Identify junk and spam emails and delete immediately.

-- Methodically unsubscribe from junk email.

-- Store relevant email information as Microsoft Word files.

-- Enter contact info into your database or Outlook calendar, and then delete the emails.

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