Online Law Degree Success Tips
E-mail can be both the light of our life and the bane of our existence. It is a fast and easy way to send information and to communicate with each other. Yet, it can also be a source of too much information (spam or junk). At St. Francis School of Law, e-mail is one of the primary means of communicating with students, so we thought it would be helpful to provide some tips on how to use your e-mail more efficiently to ensure that you receive and read the messages you need, get rid of the messages you don’t want, and don’t waste time in the process.
1. First Thing First
This tip may seem a bit counter0intuitive, but do NOT check your e-mail first thing in the morning (especially on Mondays!). If you do, you will get stuck in your e-mail for an extended period of time. Instead of checking your e-mail, check off the most important things on your to-do list. Get those things out of the way, and then tackle the new stuff that has come up.
2. Avoid Constant Checking
In addition to getting sucked into your e-mail early, if you check your e-mail first, you will probably be logged into it all day long. Although this seems natural, it can be quite counter-productive. If you have your e-mail open all day or set to alert you when new e-mails arrive, you will be constantly distracted and unable to direct your full attention to whatever you are working on. The constant disruption will surely affect your work process, and possibly your work product as well. So instead, check your e-mail at regular intervals (once an hour, or once every couple of hours) and other than that, log out of it.
3. Just Decide
When you do check your e-mail (not first thing and not every five minutes) decide what to do with e-mails instead of just letting them sit in your inbox. If it is junk or a forward, trash it. If it is a long e-mail that requires reading for information purposes, do one of 2 things (1) file it in a “To Read” folder (which you should clear out at the end of every day) or (2) print it to read after checking all of your other e-mail. If the e-mail requires some sort of action, add the task to your calendar, include the subject of the email in your notes of your calendar task, and then archive the e-mail; it will be easy enough to search for later if needed. If the response require will take just a minute or two, respond immediately and then either archive the e-mail or trash it.
4. Trash or Archive
When you finish reading or responding to an e-mail, do one of 2 things with it (1) trash it if you will never need it again or (2) archive it. Running a search through your inbox can be more efficient than creating millions of folders and trying to categorize everything, and looking for it folder by folder. So you really only need an Archive folder, although you could have a few more if necessary.
If you follow the easy steps above, you will have a clean and tidy inbox, you will find your e-mail use more efficient, and you will never miss an important communication from St. Francis School of Law (or anyone else for that matter!)