Best Practices for Managing Email Workflow with an Assistant
Over the course of the last two years, the volume of email I receive daily has tripled. Most of this is due to the success of my blog and Twitter presence. I am now getting 350 or so emails a day.
The problem is that I have built my reputation on being responsive. I try to get my email inbox to zero each day. But lately, it has become almost impossible. I have concluded that this just isn’t sustainable. Something has to change.
In the spirit of focusing on those things that only I can handle, I have enlisted the help of my assistant. We talked through the problem this afternoon. Based on how we have seen others do it, it looks like we have two options:
1. Let her manage my main email inbox. She drags the emails that require my personal attention into a subfolder called “Mike to Handle.” The problem with this is the temptation for me to peek at my main inbox. I would love to never see it at all.
2. Let her manage my main email inbox and forward emails that require my personal attention to a private email address that no one else knows. The problem with this is that it is difficult to reply to others without tracking down the original email message or deleting my assistant's message and re-entering the addressees.
Are there any other ideas for managing email with an assistant? What are best practices? I'd be grateful for any help. Thanks.
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