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How to avoid problems

You should not use a personal email mailbox as the port for communication about a regular event, activity or role. Resource accounts can be set up for this purpose. The resource account can be managed by one or more people as appropriate and the account can easily be re-assigned to another person if there are staff or role changes. This also means that changes to literature/marketing material, sending out change of contact details and general worries about incoming emails that cannot be picked up by someone else are all avoided.

There a few things that you can do to help avoid some issues with your email mailbox. The smaller your mailbox the quicker and easier it is to find messages and perform actions.

  • If you signed up to email lists or discussion groups - are you are still reading these? If not unsubscribe from them.
  • If you have received a SPAM email which has an option to unsubcribe then DO NOT click on it - it will just confirm the email is valid and you will receive more SPAM emails.
  • Develop and maintain an orderly filing system for email messages you wish to keep. Create meaningful folders and subfolders and drag-and-drop relevant messages into them.
    • Review some folders - are there any that could be removed from your email mailbox? (i.e. A folder containing messages about a project that has now finished. Consider if you require the messages any longer (if not, delete) and if you do, consider how they could be better stored for reference purposes.)
  • Have you ever sent an email that you have regretted just after hitting 'send'? (e.g. using reply all when you only wanted the reply to go to one person; spot a mistake just as you hit send; forget to include the attachment; etc.) You can utilise rules to give you a 'safety net' period before the email is sent.
  • If you are using the Outlook client watch out for MailTips appearing before you hit send. Once you have entered an email address into any of the To, CC, BCC fields, a MailTip may appear. These can warn you if the recipient has set an automatic reply or highlight some issues like an invalid address or full mailbox. See understand MailTips for more information.
  • Using Outlook client - Do you normally type in a few letters of the name you want to email and have a few contacts with similar addresses meaning that you sometimes in a hurry pick the wrong suggested email address? If so consider trying this method: type in your first letters of the name, then press the Control key and the letter K together (Ctrl-K). This will bring up the Address Book showing everyone with the letters you have typed and you can then select the correct person.
  • Do not use your mailbox as a historic store of everything you have ever done.

The more items you keep in your mailbox the more it has to load on access and it can be harder to locate what you are after if your email is clogged up with messages that have become just for reference or record-keeping purposes. Your email mailbox should be an active piece of software for transitory information, good practice is recommended, e.g. reply, file and delete emails within 30 days. Ideally emails should not be saved in an inbox for months.