Email Mess Reduces Personal Productivity And Effectiveness - Solution

Published by Kathryn Anda, PEPworldwide on 5 June, 2013

Overwhelmed by the number of emails you receive each day? Read these Solutions.

< This post follows on from the question post

For purposes of being concise in this blog, the steps needed to be taken are listed in bullet point order.  If you have any questions or would like a more detailed explanation, please email us and we will reply to all your questions in detail. 

The solutions are divided between Organisational and Individual needs and action steps.


  1. Establish protocols as to who is responsible for keeping email communications. 
  2. Establish how long information should be kept. (This may need legal counsel input.)
  3. Give clear permission to discard information.
  4. Advise how long emails will be kept on corporate server.
  5. Explain, in user terms, storage capacity limits for the inbox and folder system. 
  6. State all information in user-friendly terms.  

Read more about PEPs organisational productivity solutions.


  1. Develop and implement PEP subject-based filing system focused on the retrieval of information: 1Working, 2Reference, 3Archive, 4Personal.
  2. Develop “5Old Email” Folders for temporary storage of old emails.
  3. Establish which emails have lost all value and delete them (in the 80% range).
  4. Identify which emails have “probably” lost value to be placed in the temporary ”5Old Emails Folders” (in the 15% range).
  5. Determine if several 5Old Email folders are needed to reflect date-aging groupings?
  6. Use an electronic calendar to establish a PEP maintenance schedule and review/discard 5Old Email folder/s if used.
  7. Begin moving emails into a created email folder system.  Allocate sufficient time to begin moving remaining emails to this newly created folder system. 
  8. Establish how much more time is needed to complete this project.
  9. Set scheduled appointments on an electronic calendar to complete this project.
  10. Long airplane trips are an ideal time to work on this type of project.
  11. New inbox emails must be addressed on a daily basis even if older emails are still in the inbox.
  12. Use “Rules” to automatically move incoming emails into the correct folders.  
  13. Embrace the rule that there will be “no scroll bar showing in the inbox at the end of the work day.”
  14. Set “reset times” after vacations or other events which do not allow for routinely addressing the inbox.
  15. Use “Out of Office” or other notifications to reduce email follow-ups and give decision-making information to others. 
  16. Set quarterly system maintenance/update appointments on an electronic calendar.

Read more about PEP's individualised productivity solutions.


After conscientious implementation efforts, supported by several follow-up meetings with their PEP coach, this person commented that “This was hard to do but worth the effort.  I do not see a scroll bar in my inbox and will never go back to my ineffective way of handling my emails.”  

electronic efficiency, email management, work stress, personal productivity at work, personal effectiveness at work

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