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Enemy In Disguise

E-mail can quickly become an invaluable ally--or your arch enemy. Five steps help you ward off the barrage.

1. Just say no . . . to e-mail distribution lists, that is. When you receive an unwanted SPAM, send a brief note asking the sender to immediately remove your name from their distribution list. That also applies to friends who have added your address to their "bad joke distribution list."

2. When you receive an e-mail message, take action. If you have only a few minutes to check your messages, scan each one then save the ones you need to read closely and delete the rest. But be selective about what you save--avoid saving and printing every e-mail message you receive.

3. Use one e-mail address for business and one for your personal mail. You'll unclog your business mail by segregating these categories.

4. Purge saved e-mail messages regularly. Get in the habit of reviewing your saved messages every month (if you label them clearly, they'll be easier to identify) and delete the ones you no longer need.

5. Be concise when sending e-mails. If you can use fewer words to convey the same meaning, do so. Enough said.

Lisa Kanarek (http://www.everythingsorganized.com) is a home office organizing expert and author of several books, including Organizing Your Home Office For Success (Blakely Press) and 101 Home Office Success Secrets (Career Press).

Brother home office expert Lisa Kanarek advises corporations and individuals on all aspects of working from home and writes the blog Working Naked. She is the author of several books, including Working Naked: A guide to the bare essentials of home office life.

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