Chances are when you start a new job, you will get an email account with the company or organization (YAY). This was honestly one of my favorite things about starting a job because it made me feel like a true adult (I kid you not, I would love to say “this is my official work email” ha ha. I felt so cool!)
Anyways, with email comes a lot of things. For many jobs this is the core of it all. This is where you will communicate, organize and store a lot of things related to your job.
So, today I wanted to take a few moments to talk about email life. This includes etiquette, organization, managing etc.
To begin I want to talk about email organization. Now that I have been through a few jobs myself, I have to be honest and say that I still haven’t completely figured this one out but, here are just some of the things I do.
Folders- I try to think of ways to organize emails into different folders. For me, I have a folder for each of my coworkers. This is where I store emails that they send me once I’ve read them and attended to them so that if I need to reference anything later I just go straight to that folder and it’s easier to find what I’m looking for. Next, I have a “done” folder. This folder is where I store all the emails that I’m done with. For example, if I get a student email that I already responded to, I file it in my done folder so that if I need to go back and look for it then I just go there. I also have folders for different parts of my job. For example, I work with students and I do marketing projects so I have folders for both of those areas too!
My tip here is to start identifying what categories to create in your inbox as soon as you begin working somewhere new. Also, I NEVER delete anything!
This has come in handy more than once and I would highly advise you to do the same, if possible.
Now, let’s move on to etiquette. Email etiquette is just as important as in-person face-to-face etiquette. You’ll want to make sure you always address others in a professional manner. This includes paying attention to their names and how they are spelled correctly (believe me, mistakes in this area can happen and they are not fun!). You’ll also want to proofread before pressing send and you’ll want to make sure you have the appropriate information in your email signature.
Let’s focus a little on the email signature here. Email signatures are so important for email communication. Sometimes, you just need to reach out to someone and it can be frustrating if you can’t quickly locate their email address or phone number. So, for beginners, I would suggest including the following in an email signature: a nice greeting (I like using “best”), your name, your title, your company name, (location and address is optional), a direct phone number and your email.
Finally, let’s talk about managing your emails. This here is a controversial topic because everyone has their way of doing so and their thoughts on how email works for them so, I’m just going to share what I like doing but I encourage you to think about what would work best for you.
For me, I like checking emails first thing each morning and then responding to the urgent ones and also easy ones ASAP until I feel like I’m at a point where I can move on to working on something specifically. Throughout the day, I have the email notifications pop-up and can see from the corner of my eye what the email is about. Most emails that come in throughout the day don’t need a quick response, so I continue working on my other projects until I can finish them and then once I’m done with one thing, I’ll jump back into my email and respond to those emails. Finally, I like to ensure everything is responded to by the end of the day before I leave from work. Like I said, this will be different for everyone and I don’t think there is one concrete answer as to what managing emails looks like but, try and figure out what works for you. At first, I think it’s going to be a lot of trial and error.
I know this blog was a little bit on the longer side, but I hope it helped you think about the role email will most likely play in a future job.
Let me know if you have any special tips or tricks for managing your email at work in the comments below.
Until next time,
P.S. These pictures were taken by my very talented friend Elsa. If you live in Southern California (specifically in the LA area) and are looking for a photographer, let me know and I will gladly connect you to her.