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Chapter 6

Control Your Email

Unlike paper correspondence, in which the onus is on the sender to create, print, and mail a letter, the ease with which an email can be sent puts the burden on the recipient. Suddenly it's up to you to read and respond to enormous amounts of email every day--but to what effect on your work and your sanity?

Hack 43
Craft Effective Messages

"The clearer your email messages are, the more likely you are to get the result you want in a more timely fashion-whether it's a response, a completed task, or an informed recipient."

Hack 44
Highlight Messages Sent Directly to You

"When faced with an inbox full of new, unread email, it's nearly impossible to determine which messages need to be dealt with right away, and which can be put off until later."

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Hack 45
Use Disposable Email Addresses

"If you hate the idea of giving your email address to any web site that asks for it, and you want to protect your email address from junk mail and spam, use a disposable email address instead."

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Hack 46
Decrease Your Email Response Time

"Responding to your email in a timely, professional manner is one of the best things you can do for your career. But no one emerges from the womb with a natural talent for parrying a constant stream of new messages popping up in front of your face all day long. Email responsiveness is an acquired skill-the one that just may differentiate you from everyone else in the world overwhelmed by an overloaded inbox."

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Hack 47
Empty Your Inbox (and Keep It Empty)

"When you can consistently reduce the contents of your inbox to zero messages, you've reached the ultimate level of email control."

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Hack 48
Master Message Search

"In the physical world you can't throw years worth of letters, cards, and memos into a drawer and then pick out the one Tom sent you about that fabulous rental he got in Key West back in 2003 in seconds. However, that is absolutely possible with an email folder containing thousands of messages."

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Hack 49
Future-Proof Your Email Address

"You've probably got as many email addresses as you do pairs of socks, but you don't want to change them as often. In fact, switching your primary email address can be a big inconvenience that leads to missed messages and lost relationships."

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Hack 50
Script Repetitive Responses

"To knock down repetitive email quickly, build up a set of scripted email responses that you can drop into emails quickly, personalize if necessary, and send off without spending the time composing the same information every time. "

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Hack 51
Encrypt Private Email

"Most email messages you send travel vast distances over many networks, secure and insecure, monitored and unmonitored, passing through and making copies of themselves on servers all over the internet. In short, pretty much anyone with access to any of those servers or sniffing packets along the way can read your email."

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