Like many people, I used to be terrible at managing email while traveling. I would think that I’d managed, but when I got back to work at my desk I’d find a few thousand mails sitting in my mailbox. I would go crazy trying to sort through the mails and have them pigeonholed and sorted. Things haven’t changed – much. I still have hundreds of emails coming in from several different email accounts. But with time and trials I have learnt certain tips and tricks to ensure that I remain on top of my email when I’m traveling. I’m sharing them with you here, in the hope that you won’t have to struggle as I did.
Have a dedicated smart phone for checking your email
If you want to be ahead of your emails, you will need a Smartphone to check your emails on the go. All you need is network connectivity and you should be able to receive your mails anywhere. In order to be able to respond immediately, keep the ringer off but your message alert set in the vibrate mode.
Use apps, your Smartphone’s email program sorting options or cloud storage
Your Smartphone’s email program may allow automatic sorting and color coding. Let the program filter out the read-only emails and newsletters which you subscribe to. Also, have the program color code important mails, such as those from your boss or other important people. If you have a Windows Phone, you can get extension apps to link your Smartphone to your Outlook account.
Keep checking messages whenever you have time
If you’re on working holiday or on travel for business, keep checking your priority mails while you wait in queues at the airport, while you grab a snack or switch between conference sessions.
Restrict yourself to work email
You can check your personal email on weekend or when you get back home; so when you’re on the go, focus on clearing your work email box.
Respond to items that can be quickly cleared
Archive or delete any mail that doesn’t need a response, delegate mail that you can, and respond to priority mails in a single short paragraph.
Let others know that you’re out of office
Always have an automated response to let others know that you’re out-of-office and will have limited access to your mail. Mention the date when you’ll be back in office and accessible. Provide contact details for someone at the office who will be able to handle emergencies. When you send messages from your Smartphone, let the signature at the bottom let the recipient know that it is a Smartphone and therefore to excuse any brevity or typos.
When you get back to your hotel room every night, keep some time to work on your email. This will ensure that when you get back to office you won’t have a load of mails waiting for you. Follow the tips above and you’ll find yourself on top of your email and never having to face overflowing inboxes again!