How to reduce email overload

E-mail is a communication tool that is used massively in the business world. The daily amount of mail that can be received can cause some to be lost, forgotten or not answered within an adequate period of time. This situation generates problems within an organization that can affect its processes and relationship with customers in a very serious way.

To reduce the e-mail overload we will offer two solutions and a series of recommendations.

Managing mail with the project manager

A project manager like Redmine is able to manage all company communication including e-mail, projects, support tickets, ordering, among others. With this integral management, a lot of time is saved by increasing efficiency and reducing time.

The whole team needs to be involved to update the tasks and assign the pending emails to each of them. Using agile methodologies such as Scrum or Kanban you can better focus the work and speed up the management of emails.

Give the client access to the project boards

It is possible to reduce a large amount of customer e-mails by giving them access to project dashboards, where they can see first-hand the progress of the project and its tasks. With this information we provide, the client gets more involved with the company, while seeing many of their questions answered, which will reduce the number of emails sent requesting information (emails that we should answer, so we would save double work).

Other tips and recommendations

In addition to using a project manager to manage the mail and integrate it into the various tasks, and give access to the boards for customers to reduce the number of emails with questions or suggestions, we can provide some tips that further help reduce their number and not increase the stress of workers.

  • Establish e-mail check schedules. Stopping to check emails can cause you to lose time and focus on other tasks. It is best to set up a schedule of 2 or 3 times to check your mail.
  • Implement an efficient mail organization system. Using filters and folders for automatic mail organization greatly optimizes the time needed to read, archive and reply to mail.
  • Simplify messages. In the answers simplify the message to reduce time. Calls to action and the most important content should be on the first lines of the reply messages.
  • Apply “The 3 Sentence Rule”. This rule indicates that you should not go beyond three lines in the answer of an e-mail. In case it is necessary to go beyond those three lines, the best thing to do is to make a phone call.
  • Use known abbreviations. Many abbreviations allow messages to be shorter and easier to understand.
  • Use automated responses. Set up automatic replies for certain types of messages. In addition to saving time, they give the impression of immediate customer service.
  • Set rules on the use of e-mail. With the use of mobile devices you can check your mail anywhere, anytime. If you want to reduce anxiety and stress, the best thing to do is to set rules about consulting emails outside working hours.

E-mail is a powerful and fundamental tool for companies in today's work environment. However, poor management of e-mail can increase the level of stress for workers and cause serious problems within a company.

By managing e-mail with a project manager like Redmine and involving customers in the process boards (Scrum or Kanban), the volume of e-mail to be sent and received will be reduced. In addition, we have other tips to reduce this large volume of mail.

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