The Latest Tips for Streamlining Your Email

Email is more than just your inbox. With a little care in how you send email, you can set yourself up for easier access to conversations and important coordination.

Stever Robbins
5-minute read
Episode #412

Bernice wants brick oven pizza for the reception. And Europa hasn’t heard back from Grandma Cuddles yet about whether the young workers are amenable to kitchen working conditions. Rather than sending a separate message, like “what’s up with the heat tolerant kiddies?” Europa does a REPLY to the existing conversation with Grandma Cuddles to bump the email to the top of her inbox. This is especially good since Grandma Cuddles isn’t exactly the sharpest bayonet in the infantry. Speaking of bayonets, let’s just say that she thinks mice are rodents to be eradicated. They’re something you stab, not something you “click.”

When you’re done with a conversation, you still want it organized so you can find it later. But your existing conversation may have a non-obvious subject line that you’ll forget a month from now. Does “Kiddies” refer to the labor arrangements, or the ring bearers? It’s an important distinction. Even the Department of Child Services think so.

Forward a Message with a Bad Subject Line Back to Yourself

When it’s time to archive a thread, forward a message in the thread back to yourself with a new and improved headline like, “Economy-level waitstaff arrangements” or “Ring-bearer arrangements.” Then later, you search for the phrase that makes sense to you. It will pull up the forwarded message, which contains the original non-intuitive subject line. Then you can search for that subject line and recall the original conversation easily.

Europa had found the perfect system for coordinating the wedding. She organizes individual emails with consistent subject lines. She organizes threads with tags that let her quickly identify projects. She’s able to keep her plans to expand the Eastern Bloc separate from the florist’s confused requests for clarification on what a Soviet Executor-class Star Dreadnought Ion Cannon is. And Grandma Cuddles said the little tykes are quite hardy, and can happily carry heavy objects when in close proximity to a 600-degree pizza furnace. Her archives are categorized with meaningful subject lines. Now all she needed to do was pull the trigger! Wedding, domination, here she comes

This is Stever Robbins. Email questions to getitdone@quickanddirtytips.com. Follow GetItDoneGuy on Twitter and Facebook. I run webinars and other programs to help people be Extraordinarily Productive, and build extraordinary careers. If you want to know more, visit http://SteverRobbins.com

Work Less, Do More, and Have a Great Life!


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.