Email Management

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Efficient email management is critical to your success as a student. During your time at Lehigh, you will receive emails from your professors regarding upcoming assignments, from the university about time-sensitive processes and deadlines, from employers about internship and job opportunities, and from clubs and organizations about events and ways to get involved. Keeping your email inbox organized will help you to be aware of important information.

  1. Check and respond to your email regularly

    Determine days and times that you plan to check and respond to emails. For example, it might work best for your schedule to check your email twice a day, once at 8am and again at 8pm. This will help you to keep your inbox clear of unnecessary messages, ensure that you are responding to email messages promptly, and not miss any important information.
    It is more efficient to read and respond to email in longer periods of time rather than check and respond throughout the day. By determining a specific time of day to check your email, you will not be distracted by the email notifications while you are engaged in other activities such as attending class, studying, or spending time with friends. However, email management is customizable. Try a few different ways and see what works for you!
  2. Delete unnecessary email messages

    Start by skimming your emails for messages that can easily be deleted or archived. Clearing the email clutter can help you to focus on the messages that actually need your attention. You may also use this time to unsubscribe from newsletters and promotional emails that you do not need.
  3. Use filters, folders, and archive to keep your inbox manageable

    You may choose to create filters in your email so that certain emails are automatically sorted into a folder. If filed in a folder, the email will be accessible for when you need it, but it will not cause messages to fill up your inbox. 
  4. One minute or less rule

    Some email messages can receive a reply right away while others need more time or additional information before replying. A good rule of thumb is that if an email can be responded to in a minute or less, take care of it as soon as possible. 
  5. Determine a process for tracking tasks by email messages
    For the emails that require more thought or have a task associated with them, use a task manager, planner, or other organizational system to keep track of the email. You can use features in Gmail that allow you to “snooze" an email so it will come back to you in a determined amount of time.