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E-Mail Overload

A "You've got mail" message is enough to send you into a tizzy when you're experiencing e-mail overload. That can be often, especially if you rely on e-mail to communicate with virtual employees, suppliers and clients. If you're getting bombarded by e-mail, you need to implement some common-sense practices.

One method is to get separate accounts for business and personal use. That way, you don't have to sift through messages from your brother to get to those from your top clients. Also, minimize mailing list subscriptions, ask people you work with to keep their messages short, and urge obsessive e-mail senders to reduce wasteful messages. "Look hard for nontechnical solutions to cut back on e-mail," advises Linda Lamb, author of Using E-Mail Effectively (O'Reilly & Associates).

Once you've done that, get to know your e-mail program. Some applications, like Eudora Pro Mail from Qualcomm, can sort mail into personal mailboxes and folders, and have automatic reply features and audible alerts to let you know you have mail. Following practices like these will keep your e-mail box from backing up like rush-hour traffic.

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