Time spent on email

20 Jun

A question to everyone out there about work email loads. 

Does anyone use a time tracking software or app? I’m trialing  something called RescueTime at the moment but I don’t yet understand how to set it up to give me meaningful data. At some point however I should have a breakdown of how much of my work goes on email/calendar, how much on document creation, how much on web surfing (eek).

Anyone tried anything else to help with email overload?

I find Inbox Zero useful but sometimes it’s processes lead to me getting more caught up in email, devoting more time to it than other work in an attempt to reach email clearance nirvana.   
I do love five.sentenc.es though. 


Been adding this to the majority of my replies as an email signature for 4 years now and it has really reduced the amount I have to read, to answer and the lengthy/chatty expectations of what is required for email etiquette. 
Anyway any other ideas – please let me know in the comments below. 

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3 Responses to “Time spent on email”

  1. Abigail Tarbotton (Nee Willemse) June 21, 2016 at 6:18 am #

    Great post – I love the 5 sentences idea, or even bullet points or numbers if you need something responded to (only in email etiquette, that’s probably not the best). Or work messaging (using Yammer) can be useful for a chat that needs quick responses and a discussion. I’ve also seen people who just put their message in the subject line – what do you think of that? Or is email even the best format for every conversation? 🙂

    • Ruth Baxter June 21, 2016 at 7:38 am #

      Thinking about when email is the best way to respond is a good tip – I might do some more thinking about that. I’ve fallen into the convenience of it but when I need a reply longer than 5 sentences I might consider a phone call or 15 min meeting.

      Yammer is great too – I love it for crowdsourcing answers in my workplace or passing back praise.

      Message in the subject line I do use now – especially good when you know someone is reading their email from their mobile phone, or in a meeting but needs a quick reply

      • Abigail Tarbotton (Nee Willemse) June 21, 2016 at 7:51 am #

        Yeah – a phone call or a quick meeting is a good way of doing things too (and building in some exercise and time away from your screen during the day – all good things!). I enjoy Yammer – not utilized a lot in my current workplace, but it’s great for small chats, crowd-sourcing answers, or giving (and receiving) virtual pats on the back 🙂 I didn’t get messaging in the subject line at first – I received a few emails that looked blank, and then realized the subject line was the message – great concept and works well in particular circumstances. Also loving online tools like Padlet, where you can crowd-source ideas and keep them in one common place without chasing a long email thread. Thanks for your thought-provoking post 🙂

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