Are people either not responding or taking too long to respond to your emails? Here’s a quick tip that could greatly reduce the response times and increase the response rate to your emails.
The secret… unless absolutely necessary, make each email about one topic/project /subject only.
I am not saying that each email should only have one question, but at least make each email about a separate topic.
This will get you faster and more complete responses… and also simplify email filing and management.
Why does this work?
Whether we admit it or not, most people use their email lists as To-Do lists…. And it feels great to be able to knock things off that list.
If you send someone an email that they are able to respond to quickly (because it deals with one thing only), they will respond to it quickly because it makes them feel good to have the email out of their Inboxes.
Many productivity techniques preach the Two Minute rule which says you should respond immediately to an email if it will take less than 2 minutes. Make it easy for them to respond immediately!
This can be even more true if you send several emails about different things (that are all quick and easy to answer). They now get the joy of crossing several things off their email to-do list.
If you put several topics in the same email, you may find that…
You receive no response!
If you put several different topics on one email, the recipient may be able to answer some quickly but others may take more time. In the time-starved world we live in today, this could mean that he will not respond at all until he has more time.
Unless your email is very important to him, it could soon get buried under newer emails that have arrived in his Inbox.
At least if you had separated emails into several topics, you would have received a response to some things that were easy or important enough to respond to quickly.
You receive incomplete response
On the other hand, if you have several questions in one email, you may get answers to a few of the easy ones but not the difficult ones. Why?
The recipient responds to your email and then moves it out of his Inbox (one more thing crossed off that email list).
An added benefit of single topic emails… email management is much easier… and safer
Most Outlook users file emails into client or project based folders. Keeping each email about a separate project means that they are easy to file into folders (because the email only deals with one projects). You don’t have to waste time figuring out where an email needs to go (or making copies to file into more than one folder).
(If you do use client or project based folders for email filing, we recommend Quick File for Outlook)
You project folders will also be safer in case you need to share project information with others. This way you know that you emails do not contain unrelated information that could be accidentally shared with the wrong person.
I hope that you found this tip useful. Let us know if you agree or disagree by leaving a comment below.
You can reclaim a lot of your time and energy wasted on emails by automating repetitive tasks. Outlook has a built-in feature called Quick-Steps that makes it easy to create your own automations.
The easiest way to show you the power of QuickSteps is with an example.
Our company owns a property that is rented out. The property is managed by another company for us. When any repairs etc need to be carried out, they get the appropriate vendors to come in and do the work. Once the work is successfully completed they send us a copy of the vendor’s invoice so that we can pay the vendor directly. These emails are usually sent to me.
When I receive these emails, and assuming that everything is OK, I do the following:
1. Forward the email to my Accounts person and advise them to make the payment (Click Forward, type the person’s email address, type Please Pay and then click Send)
2. File a copy of the original email in a folder inside Outlook called Properties. (This can be done by dragging and dropping or using QuickFile for Outlook.
You can use QuickSteps to reduce all of the above to the CLICK OF ONE BUTTON.
Creating the QuickStep
On the Home tab of the Ribbon, click QuickSteps-New QuickStep -Forward To
Enter an appropriate name.
If I only wanted to forward the email (And not do the second filing step), I can simply enter the email address in the space provided and clicked Finish).
Click the Show Options hyperlink.
Enter an email address in the To field (or click the To button and choose an email address).
Enter any text that you want to be displayed in the email that will be forwarded.
The QuickStep now contains everything needed to Forward the email. Time to add the filing component.
Click Add Action
Choose Move to Folder and select the folder you want to move the email to.
Note on an Outlook Bug:
There is a bug in Outlook that sometimes prevents the QuickStep from being saved. Clicking Save does not give an error message but the screen does not close either. If this happens to you, the solution is to type the whole email address again (the email that was in the To field earlier).
Using the QuickStep
Using the QuickStep is easy.
Click QuickStep on the Ribbon and select the new QuickStep. Outlook will automatically carry out your programmed actions.
You can also right-click over the email in your Inbox and select QuickSteps from there.
Start automating today…
What do you do daily that you can use QuickSteps for? Let us know by leaving a comment in the blog below.
(While QuickSteps can assist with email filing as shown in the example above, if you have more than just a few folders, we recommend the QuickFile for Outlook addin.
Happy New Year to all our readers and their family and friends.
Hope you all had a great holiday de-stressing (hopefully not distressing) yourself and gearing up for the year ahead.
I understand it will be awhile till we all get back to actual work so we will keep the first post relatively simple.
I will just provide a quick overview of the year 2014 and the important events that took place in case you missed it… and also provide some links to the favourite post of our readers.
Mid-last year we launched a major upgrade to one of our bestselling email management tool Quick File for Outlook. The response to QuickFile for Outlook version 5 was so positive and over-whelming… I guess the credit for this goes to all the users who contributed with their awesome ideas and recommendations and pushed us to release another major upgrade after 5 years since version 4 was released.
Not just that… overtime we realized that different people used QuickFile differently based on how they work in Outlook and what they do…
On one end we had users who like to simply use QuickFile to file and organize their inbox and sent items while on the other end of the spectrum we had high end users who required much more than just filing.
To cater for all the different user groups, we created 3 different versions of QuickFile:
- QuickFile Standard
- QuickFile Pro
- QuickFile Ultimate
To view the difference between the versions and choose which one best suits your end… visit the Quickfile Comparsion page.
New to QuickFile: If email overload is a problem for you… if you think that you’re not getting the right work done because of the amount of emails in your Inbox… you MUST try this. You can download a fully functional 30 day trial and see for yourself.
Existing QuickFile users: If you missed out on the upgrade, you can view the upgrade options and upgrade to the QuickFile version 5 that works best for you now.
Now let’s have a look at the top 3 Outlook tips blog post for 2014. This posts have been selected based on the NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO READ THE POST!!!
TOP POST#1: Reasons why you should avoid using BCC for emails + Alternative Solution
Outlook users BCC emails for two main reasons… sending sales/marketing emails or sending someone a copy of the email without letting the other recipients know. We strongly recommend that you DON’T use the BCC field for either purpose. Why?
Find out the 3 main reasons plus what you can do instead of using the BCC field…
TOP POST#2: How to NOT Email Yourself when using Reply-to-All in Outlook
This post was a result of an interesting question that one of the readers asked
“Outlook includes my email address in the To field when I do a Reply-All. Clearly I do not want to email myself but Outlook lacks the intelligence to not add my email address to the email. Do you have a solution?…”
The reply to this was YES!!!
Find out what the solution was…
TOP POST#3: Saving (Exporting) Outlook emails with your other files
Here’s a quick tip on how you can save one or more emails outside of Outlook. This is very useful if you want to save your emails on your hard disk in Client folders along with Word files etc.
There are two formats by default which you can save the emails in Outside of Outlook, these are Outlook Message format and Text only, but in this post we also showed you how to save the emails in PDF format…
Well that pretty much raps up 2014 for us… time sure flew and without even realising we are now in year 2015.
The Standss team is ready for the year ahead and as always… we have big plans for this year as well and we will be notifying you of this once ready…
The whole Standss Team would like to once again which everyone a Happy New Year and great success for the year ahead… Thank you for being part of the Standss family and we wish to continue serving you the way we have and offering you solutions that saves you time and makes you productive.
Till next time… have a better Outlook.
I know that it’s only been a few weeks since we released the new version of QuickFile but we’ve had so much great feedback from users that we felt had to be implemented and put out there for you to use right now.
This update is free for all existing registered users of version 5.
Fixes and Features in this upgrade include:
- Show Sub folders: In previous versions of QuickFile, it was possible to see subfolders of a folder (after searching for it). We’ve put this feature back in Version 5 and done a separate blog post on how to use it.
- Remove suggestions: Folder recommendations in QuickFile are significantly more accurate in QuickFile Version 5. However there may be cases where you want to remove a suggestion. You can do this now by right clicking over the suggestion on the QuickFile screen as shown in this blog post.
- Significant speed improvement when moving emails: Some users found that QuickFile as a sometimes slow when moving emails. We’ve rewritten the moving code.
- Bug Fixes: There were a number of small bugs in other screens that have been tidied up.
Click to download the updated version (or a fully functional trial version) of the QuickFile Outlook addon.
Registered Users: Download the trial version and install it on your computer. It will automatically pick up your existing registration and settings.
New to QuickFile: Click QuickFile for Outlook Version 5 for more information on the easiest way to file and find your emails in Outlook.
QuickFile makes it easy to find a folder but what do you do if you need to see its subfolders too. Previous versions of QuickFile showed you the folders in a way that let you expand folders to show its subfolders. Here’s how to view subfolders in QuickFile Version 5.
Please note that this feature is only available in QuickFile 5.0.5252. If you need to, you can download the latest version of QuickFile for Outlook from here.
Open the QuickFile screen by clicking on QuickFile or Find & Goto on the ribbon.
Right click over any folder in the Best section.
Click Show Subfolders in Search Results.
The setting will be saved for you and used in all future searches. You can changes it by repeating the steps above.
Please let us know if you find this feature useful by leaving a comment below.
New to QuickFile: Click QuickFile for Outlook Version 5 for more information on the easiest way to file and find your emails in Outlook.
I’m sure everyone is aware of the famous 80-20 rule and apply it to your business model (we do at Standss). In this post I will show you how the 80-20 rule can be applicable to handling emails to get the best results so read on…
For those who are not aware, this principle states that most of our results (80%) come from a small portion of our actual work (20%). An example in terms of sales is 80% of our sales come from 20% of our customers.
How does this apply to emails?
Well, check your inbox now, I’m sure you will notice that out of all the emails in your inbox, only a small portion would actually be important or those which will yield you the most return.
In the next few posts, we will share some simple tips that will ensure you are focusing only on emails that are ACTUALLY work-related and yield you the best results (leads, sales, productivity boost etc). Here is the first tip in this post.
Tip 1: Use Outlook Rules to Process Newsletter emails
Do you subscribe to email newsletters? Newsletter can be informative and interesting but they also distract you from your real work. So rather than deleting or manually filing each newsletter, you can setup a simple rule using Outlook Rules to automatically file your newsletters to a separate folder.
This way you are not distracted from your real work, your inbox remains clean and you can easily find the newsletters later when you want to read them.
How to create a Rule
BEFORE creating the Rule, create a folder inside Outlook where you want the newsletter emails to be moved to. Then …
- Go to your Inbox.
- In Outlook 2013/2010, Click the Home tab > In the Move group, click Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts…
In Outlook 2007, Click Tools > Click Rules & Alerts
- Click New Rule to display the Rules Wizard.
- “Move Messages from someone to a folder” will already be highlighted. (This example assumes that the newsletters come from the same email address – otherwise you can use one of the other predefined Rule Templates)
- Click “people or distribution list” to display the Rule Address screen.
- Choose a name from the list or type in the name/email address in the From field and then click OK.
- Click the hyperlinked word “specified” to bring up the Choose Folder dialog. Select the desired folder from the list and then click OK.
Once the rule is created, any emails coming from the email address will automatically be moved to the chosen folder.
To apply the rule to existing newsletters in the folder, go back to the Rules and Alerts screen and click “Run Rules Now” button
If you don’t like using the Outlook rules, you can try QuickFile Pro for Outlook addin. This addin also has a special Newsletter feature which moves emails to dedicated folders automatically PLUS reminds you at a time of your choosing to look at your newsletter.
I hope you find this tip useful.
We will share more tips in the next post on how to stay focused on real work to get the best results from the least effort, so stay tuned.
If you use the Outlook Calendar or Tasks List to get your work done, here’s a quick tip on how to convert emails to appointments or tasks.
Why might you need this? Like me, you probably get a lot of requests to get things done via email. You also probably send many emails that you want to follow up on. I personally do not use my Tasks List or Calendar for this (I use eeminders which lets me use my Inbox as my To Do list. However if you use your Tasks List or Calendar, this is what you can do.
OPTION 1: (FREE) Create a Task or Appointment from Emails.
All you need is Outlook…
- Select the Email (either from your Inbox or Sent Items folder)
- Drag-and-drop it from the folder to either your Task List or your Calendar.
This will automatically create a new Appointment or a new Task for you that you can then modify with due dates etc!
If you also want to attach the email to the newly created appointment or task (for easy reference later)… you can drag & drop the email using the right mouse button (instead of the left), this will give you the option to attach the email to the appointment or task.
I prefer the Right click option. Have the full email attached to the appointment/task makes it easier to Reply or Forward if I need to.
While the free option will work, here’s a few additional options that you may want to look at to really boost your productivity.
Option 2: File and create the appointment/task automatically when you click Send
If you send out a lot of emails that you need to follow up on, I would recommend QuickFile for Outlook. It automatically prompts you every time you send an email out. The email will be filed to the correct folder after it is sent and your follow-up task or calendar item will be created for you.
Option 3: Get your reminders at the top of your Inbox on the correct day and time
I have personally found that I forget to look at my Calendar and Task List and as a result many actions get left undone. I have started using eeminders which shows me what I need to work at the top of my Inbox. You can watch a demo video or download a trial version of eeminders for Outlook from here.
I hope you find this tips useful.
Do you know of other ways to schedule your work and complete them on time?
Share it with us by leaving a comment below.
It’s hard to believe that 6 months have already gone by for year 2013… and the next 6 months will pass by even faster.
To ensure that we all continue to be organized and productive for the rest of the year, we decided to share with our readers the 5 essential tips to be organized, productive and safe from embarrassment at work.
If you missed out on any of the following tips earlier, this is your chance to look at them and apply it to your work for the rest of year.
Tip 1: Avoid filing emails in the Outlook Deleted Items folder
It is strange but we found out that a lot of people file their emails in the Deleted items folder (outlook’s rubbish bin).
Yes, the deleted items is referred to as a “folder” in Outlook but it is not for the purpose of filing/storing emails which you would want to refer to later.
We do not store anything in the rubbish bin in the real world to grab it out later right… then why do it in the virtual world.
Tip 2: Easy Email Search Tricks in Outlook
Jumping from folder to folder in Outlook was old-school style of finding emails which wasted a lot of your precious time. Outlook has improved its search over the years so finding emails is now easy particularly if you know some tricks to help you get more accurate search results.
Tip 3: Mark Outlook Emails Read only after you actually read them
Every morning, the first thing we do in Outlook is skim through the new emails in the inbox to see which ones need our immediate attention and which ones can be dealt with later.
But while you click through each email, Outlook marks this emails as “Read” and removes the bold highlight… this makes the emails less visible to you and moves them further down as you continue receiving emails through the day. You could end up losing sales because you forgot to reply to the email, end up with frustrated customers due to lack of response and find an inbox that is stacked up with non-responded emails.
Here is a simple setting in Outlook which lets you set a minimum time that you need to be on an email before it is marked as read (I have set mine to 5 second).
Tip 4: Use Outlook Search Folders to never miss an Important Email from your Boss/Client
How many times have you not responded to an email from your Boss or an important client because the email got buried under other 100’s of emails in your Inbox?
Probably because you clicked on the email and Outlook marked it as Read as discussed in Tip 3.
You can easily solve this by using a feature built directly inside Outlook called Search folders.
Tip 5: Avoid Common Emailing Mistakes that make you look unprofessional and waste precious billable time
Please raise your hands if you are guilty of committing any of the following mistakes:
- Forgot to attach a document to an email message.
- Clicked Reply when you meant Reply-All and wasted precious time re-sending the email to each recipient
- Click Reply-to-All when you meant Reply and disclosed information to unintended recipients.
- Forgot to write a subject.
- Emailed someone using the wrong email address (for those of us with more than one email address).
- Fired off an angry message that you later regretted.
This may seem small errors but if you are running a business, these seemingly “small errors” can make you look unprofessional and waste precious billable time.
To keep you (our readers) organized and productive for the rest of the year, we will share some more popular tips in the next post.
I hope you find this tips useful.
Let us know what are your plans for the second half of the year to have a better Outlook by leaving a comment below.
Standss is happy to announce the release of QuickFile version 4.1.307 which is faster and more stable with Microsoft Exchange and IMAP accounts in Outlook. This update is free for all existing registered users of version 4.0 or later.
QuickFile is already used by thousands of users around the world to file their emails into folders dedicated to emails or clients.
Fixes and Features in this update include:
- New! Supports Office 365 Email Accounts
- Bug fixes: Freezing issue with IMAP and hosted Microsoft Exchange Email Accounts have been solved.
- Other minor bug fixes
New to QuickFile: QuickFile is an Outlook addin that simplifies email management allowing you to file 90% of your emails at the click of a button. Watch this short video on managing emails inside Outlook.
In last week’s post, we showed you 2 ways to Defer your Outlook emails till you actually need them (just using Outlook) so you are focused only on what needs your action NOW.
The problem with the earlier two options were:
- The email actually stays in your Inbox which can be a distraction and affect your productivity.
- You had to manually drag and drop emails to Task folders and also jump between your Inbox and Task to respond to deferred emails.
In this post, we will show you the THIRD (and a much neater) way of deferring your emails.
Our Outlook email management addin QuickFile PRO adds a Defer button to your Outlook.
All you have to do is click a button to move emails out of your Inbox and then have them magically reappear at your pre-set date and time.
Here’s how to use the Defer option:
- Select the email
- Click on the Defer button on the toolbar/Ribbon to display the following screen.
- Enter the date and time or you can choose a number of days/hours/minutes when you want the emails to come back to your Inbox.
- Click OK.
The email will be moved out and come back at your set date and time. If you have used Email Notes for Outlook to add notes to the email then your notes will also stay (and come back) with your email. This is useful so you don’t have to rethink why this email was deferred for later.
Many users have reported that this feature has greatly improved their productivity.
Tell us what you think by leaving a comment on the blog.