Taking an e-mail break

Everyone needs a vacation. But coming back isn’t always fun, especially not when you’re welcomed by an e-mail inbox that is so stuffed it will require days to sort through it. Luckily for us, you are able to take steps to ensure that your e-mail inbox is neat and orderly when you get back. You’ll just need a really good friend at work.

The helper

Jonathan Feldman, a contributing editor at InformationWeek, recommends that prior to taking your trip, you create a deal with a co-worker. While you’re gone, this worker will handle your e-mail messages, reading them, sorting them and placing them in specially labeled folders. Then when your co-worker goes on vacation, you’ll handle that person’s e-mail.

Before your trip

Before you depart for vacation, contact your colleagues and explain that someone else in your office will be reading all your e-mails while you’re gone. Set up your e-mail so it forwards incoming messages to your associate.

The rules

Next, create e-mail rules so your messages go directly to your helper while you’re gone. Also send the e-mails to a new folder called “vacation.” When you return, your helper should have placed your e-mails into specific categories. And if you need further clarification, you can simply find e-mail messages in your “vacation” folder.


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