E-mails! Love them or hate them, but you cannot run your business without them.

Getting ‘rid’ of e-mails has become a daily chore for almost all of us. Some e-mails are easy – quick, 30-second response and off you go. However, some require some thought process, time and more importantly, head space. You tend to leave those e-mails as ‘unread’ and then on top of that you ‘flag’ them, don’t you?

It is absolutely manageable if you have just a few of these e-mails. However, what will happen if you have 20 that have piled up? And you realise that the very first one was very important that you had to finalise by last month…

If you recognise yourself in this scenario, then try the following – schedule a meeting with yourself and allocate time in your calendar to respond, research or plan the response.

If you are Outlook and Office 365 user:

  1. Open an e-mail
  2. Click ‘Reply all by meeting’ (next to ‘Reply’, you will find ‘ If you don’t have this option, then go to your Settings -> e-mail -> Customise actions and tick the relevant box.)
  3. Then allocate the time
  4. Make sure to add your e-mail address to the Attendees list. The content of the e-mail will remain in the description. If you leave the Location empty, then you will receive a notification asking if you want to leave the location empty. Leave it empty
  5. And that’s it, your e-mail has its own appointment with you now! You can move this appointment in your calendar if you wish to do so (including blocking out time that it takes to respond to the e-mail).

Gmail and Google user:

  1. Open an e-mail.
  2. Click ‘Add to tasks’ (you can find this on the top row, under ‘search mail’, next to ‘snooze’ icon (little clock).
  3. My Tasks pop up window opens up on your right.
  4. Make sure to add date and time for the e-mail.
  5. Go to your Calendar and make sure that Tasks calendar is active (it is ticked) – this should happen automatically, but if you cannot see it, then make sure it is ticked.
  6. The e-mail appears as a task. You can move that accordingly.

Try this out and let me know if this has helped or hindered you. Warning – this will require a bit of time to get used to.