Take Control

Live and Learn

How do some of the busiest entrepreneurs avoid information overload? We asked a few to share their tips:

Company name and description: iVillage, a leading women's online network (a href=http://www.ivillage.com>http://www.ivillage.com)

Based: New York City

Co-founder's name and age: Nancy Evans, 49

Best strategy for managing e-mail: For awhile, I was having it all printed out and then flipping through it on the way home from work, scribbling notes on those that needed a response and tossing those that didn't. But a [written] response by snail mail was defeating the whole purpose of e-mail. Now my assistant edits out the ones that aren't must-reads, and at night I go in and attend to my e-mail.

Strategies most helpful in avoiding info overload: All trade magazines and newsletters go into a reading folder that I either take with me on plane flights or take home on Friday. The cost of a cab in the morning is the price I pay to read The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Snail mail is handled by my office assistant.

Company name and description: Jamba Juice, fruit smoothies franchisor

Based: San Francisco

Co-founder's name and age: Linda Olds, 35

Best strategy for managing e-mail: I attack it daily, including weekends and vacations! Each morning, I go through all my e-mail first thing to reply or bring closure to the messages as quickly as possible. I also check e-mail throughout the day and attempt to answer each message as it comes in.

Strategies most helpful in avoiding info overload: Prioritizing my goals and objectives, and aligning them against the company and department's goals and objectives. I also delegate where appropriate, and keep open lines of communication to minimize confusion and wasted effort.

Contacta Soruces

iVillage, (212) 206-3141, http://www.ivillage.com

Jamba Juice, (415) 865-1200, http://www.jambajuice.com

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This article was originally published in the August 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Take Control.

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