Ask any online entrepreneur where they spend bulk of their time and they'll tell you they are reading and responding to e-mail. If you run an online business you may receive hundreds of messages a day. It comes with territory and unfortunately, there's no escaping it. Keeping up with your e-mail is very important to your success online and you should make every attempt to answer any and all messages within 24 to 48 hours.
Here are some tips for streamlining amount of time you spend managing your inbox.
1) Folders: Set up folders to better organize your e-mail and find things more readily when you need them. For example, you may want to set up folders named after indiv- uals you get frequent mail from, folders for ezines you receive, software receipts, and others. When you need something, you will know exactly where to find it.
2) Blocked Senders List: Face it, we all get Spam and more active you are online, more of it you'll receive. Take it from me, I know. I get hundreds daily on everything from growing certain parts of my anatomy (including ones I don't have), to how I can become a millionaire overnight. An easy way to rid yourself of Spam is to highlight message and add it to your email client's blocked sender's list. Most all programs include this feature. Once you add someone to this list you'll never receive another e-mail from that address again.
Another option to reduce amount of Spam you get is to run a Spam Filtering program before retrieving your e-mail. SpamKiller.com or Mailwasher.net both work great. A brand new free service that just hit scene and works with Outlook http://www.cloudmark.com/
3) Message Rules: Make sure you set up message rules or filters as they can automate some tasks and move incoming messages to their appropriate folders. For example, you can set up a message rule that says if email arrives to a certain email address, reply with a prefabbed text document you have created in advance. Also known as autoresponders, message rules make it easy to automatically reply to messages, send messages directly to trash and more. This is a powerful feature; study it and use it.
4) Empty Deleted/Sent Folders: Make sure you go into your sent box and deleted message folders on a regular basis and delete their contents. Messages can pile up quickly and slow down your e-mail client substantially.
5) Software: Many software manufacturers make add on module software for many of popular e-mail clients like Outlook and Outlook Express. If program doesn't have a feature you need, you may find an inexpensive package that will extend your e-mail client's capabilities. For an example: check out a list of freeware at.. http://www.webattack.com/freeware/comm/