Teach Tip Tuesday: Tips to manage your inbox

In the last 5 years as, schools grow and the job of the teacher becomes more complex the amount of communication sent via email has increased substantionally. On some days teachers can get upwards of 50 emails. Assuming that it takes you one minute to peruse each email that is almost an extra 60 minutes of work a day that didn’t exist previously. Usually that 1 hour doesn’t include the actioning of the tasks generated in those emails.

In the digital age where we no longer move to each staff room to have a conversation how can we make managing our emails on a daily basis easier and less time consuming?

Many schools have requirements to check and action emails twice daily.

This week’s Teach Tip Tuesday gives my top 5 tips for keeping my email under control.

1. Set specific times during the day to check and respond to emails. 

Which time of the day works best for you? Is it the beginning of the day or the end? I like to check mine at the beginning of the day when I’m fresh and can try and integrate any tasks into that days schedule. If you are required to do A twice daily check try for a mid day check just in case an item needs to be actioned immediately. 

2. Set up rules to move emails that don’t need to be read immediately. (Video coming soon!)

If you subscribe to discussion boards etc this can clutter your inbox with content that you might not want to engage with as soon as it drops into your inbox, having these automatically placed into set folders prevents this clutter or the need to move them.

3. Respond to basic emails immediately, then delete or file.

The sooner you can respond to an email the better. This prevents you from needing to remember to come back to it later.

4. Sort emails that need action by end of day and week into folders to follow up at a scheduled time.

I set up folders at the top of my folder system to sort emails that require time to action, as above an end of day folder and end of week. Emails that take longer go on my term task list (writing lists here)

5. Unsubscribe from promotional or professional emails that you don’t read anymore.

All mail list emails are required to have an unsubscribe option at the end of the email. If you are receiving emails that you don’t read and are just cluttering up your inbox .

What are your tips to managing your emails? Share your ideas in the comments below or post on facebook. 

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About cmcaton

I am a Secondary Teacher and Head of Department Mathematics in Education Queensland. I am passionate about the development of pedagogy that engages the 21st century student and love to explore their implementation in the classroom. Disclaimer: The thoughts on this page are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.
This entry was posted in General Teaching, Teach Tip Tuesday, Technology and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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