Email triage

For the past few days, in between "getting back in the office" meetings and some video shoots, I've been dealing with the mess that is my email. I still have 470 emails to go. Sorry for not getting back to you. 

Anyway, I've triaged them into separate folders and now am turning on ClearContext and am trying to get them worked down.

Here's my folders, which might get you some insight into the kinds of emails that I'm getting.

BBQ: (7 requests to attend my BBQ on July 2)
Blog News (179 things emailed to me to put on my blog — I only can get around to five or 10 a day lately, so this shows the liklihood that something that gets emailed to me will get here).
Channel 9 (52 items, mostly about videos coming up, a lot of asking what's up with existing videos, I'm way behind, also, anyone asking for a Channel 9 guy, those are being sent out)
Condolences (114 emails saying sorry about my mom. Richard Edelman donated $500 to the National Park Service in my mom's memory. That was very nice, thanks.)
Events (39 emails about various events that are coming up, lots of speaking requests that I have to mostly turn down).
Interviews (15 requests for interviews. Now I know why we have a PR team! Heheh.)
Microsoft Internal Requests (teams want various things, mostly want feedback on new stuff, there are so many new things coming soon that I can no longer keep track of all of them).
Requests (29 general requests for me to track down info or help with a problem.)
Tech Support (14 emails asking for tech support with a Microsoft product or service that I need to figure out who to email to).

Whew, lots of emails. I'm very tempted to select all and delete. But I won't. It might take me a while to get back to these, though. While I typed this three more emails came in.

How do you deal with email when you come back from vacation? Anyone come back and have more than 1,000 waiting (which is what would have happened if I hadn't done some email work when I was out of the office with my mom in Montana)? 

Anyone have any good tips? Yeah, I'm using ClearContext too, but it only helps you get started, it doesn't answer the email for you.

By the way, thankfully I have Outlook 2007. There's something about using it that makes dealing with email a lot faster. I'm still trying to figure it out, but whenever I'm back on Outlook 2003 I feel slow. For one thing the search rocks. For another the UI is a lot nicer to use. But maybe that's just me. Anyone else noticing the same thing? 

34 thoughts on “Email triage

  1. I noticed the exact opposite. Any time I switch to Outlook 2007 everything seems slow as molasses. I know it is beta, but even menus take forever to drop down.

    bye
    Napue

  2. I noticed the exact opposite. Any time I switch to Outlook 2007 everything seems slow as molasses. I know it is beta, but even menus take forever to drop down.

    bye
    Napue

  3. Hi Robert, I do love OL 2007, but I am running XP not Vistan and the new search is not good here, I understand when installed on Vista it works better.

    HTML rendering is slow, but the to do bar more than makes up for it. I just wish I could changed the actual mail to a task so it will transfer to my treo.

  4. Hi Robert, I do love OL 2007, but I am running XP not Vistan and the new search is not good here, I understand when installed on Vista it works better.

    HTML rendering is slow, but the to do bar more than makes up for it. I just wish I could changed the actual mail to a task so it will transfer to my treo.

  5. The one killer feature for me in Outlook 2007 is document preview. I wish PDF was supported but for Office docs, it’s a huge timesaver. I’d upgrade just for this feature.

  6. The one killer feature for me in Outlook 2007 is document preview. I wish PDF was supported but for Office docs, it’s a huge timesaver. I’d upgrade just for this feature.

  7. I get many HTML formatted emails, and Outlook 2007 has horrid rendering times.

    A couple of HTML emails from the NYT’s that I subscribe to crash Outlook 2007 constantly on my notebook.

  8. I get many HTML formatted emails, and Outlook 2007 has horrid rendering times.

    A couple of HTML emails from the NYT’s that I subscribe to crash Outlook 2007 constantly on my notebook.

  9. The search in Outlook 2007 works well IF you’re in Vista; if you’re not, then to get the new search features you’re forced to install a VERY rough and incomplete Windows Desktop Search 3.0 beta engine, which is clearly not ready for prime time. Many are choosing to uninstall that component and live with the old-fashioned search capability for now.

    As for how “fast” Outlook 2007 is relative to Outlook 2003, I can’t imagine what you’re referring to. Search aside, I can’t really think of anything that’s faster. One thing that’s incredibly slower, which I’m surprised you didn’t mention, is the rendering of HTML mail; it now takes several times as long to display as it did in 2003. Yes, literally several times. It’s because Outlook is now using a piece of Word (called Word DLL) to render all mail. They obviously have a lot of work left in that area, and I can only hope that in the end, it’s as fast as the IE rendering used to be.

  10. The search in Outlook 2007 works well IF you’re in Vista; if you’re not, then to get the new search features you’re forced to install a VERY rough and incomplete Windows Desktop Search 3.0 beta engine, which is clearly not ready for prime time. Many are choosing to uninstall that component and live with the old-fashioned search capability for now.

    As for how “fast” Outlook 2007 is relative to Outlook 2003, I can’t imagine what you’re referring to. Search aside, I can’t really think of anything that’s faster. One thing that’s incredibly slower, which I’m surprised you didn’t mention, is the rendering of HTML mail; it now takes several times as long to display as it did in 2003. Yes, literally several times. It’s because Outlook is now using a piece of Word (called Word DLL) to render all mail. They obviously have a lot of work left in that area, and I can only hope that in the end, it’s as fast as the IE rendering used to be.

  11. I’m noticing the same thing. For me it seems to be a combination of the following:

    1. Instant Search
    2. Improved category support
    3. The ability to quickly hide/show various panes and thus use screen real estate more effectively.

    But it’s hard to say for sure as I no longer have Outlook 2003 on any of my machines. :)

    OneNote is looking quite cool as well. OCR for images is awesome!

    I do like the rest of Office 2007 (especially the blogging feature!), but I’m struggling. It’s sad when a serious relationship of 10+ years (i.e. the one I had with my beloved menu bar :) ) comes to a sudden end….

  12. I’m noticing the same thing. For me it seems to be a combination of the following:

    1. Instant Search
    2. Improved category support
    3. The ability to quickly hide/show various panes and thus use screen real estate more effectively.

    But it’s hard to say for sure as I no longer have Outlook 2003 on any of my machines. :)

    OneNote is looking quite cool as well. OCR for images is awesome!

    I do like the rest of Office 2007 (especially the blogging feature!), but I’m struggling. It’s sad when a serious relationship of 10+ years (i.e. the one I had with my beloved menu bar :) ) comes to a sudden end….

  13. I’ve absolutely found that I’m more efficient with Outlook 2007 even with the beta bugs. For a while I was using 2007 at work and 2003 at home and it was just painful. I found I really missed the update to categorizing/scheduling. It seems small but the separate flags onscreen really made a huge difference as did the To-Do bar.

    Wierd that it isn’t the big features that matter sometimes…

  14. I’ve absolutely found that I’m more efficient with Outlook 2007 even with the beta bugs. For a while I was using 2007 at work and 2003 at home and it was just painful. I found I really missed the update to categorizing/scheduling. It seems small but the separate flags onscreen really made a huge difference as did the To-Do bar.

    Wierd that it isn’t the big features that matter sometimes…

  15. By the way, thankfully I have Outlook 2007. There’s something about using it that makes dealing with email a lot faster. I’m still trying to figure it out, but whenever I’m back on Outlook 2003 I feel slow.

    I noticed the exact opposite. Any time I switch to Outlook 2007 everything seems slow as molasses. I know it is beta, but even menus take forever to drop down.

  16. By the way, thankfully I have Outlook 2007. There’s something about using it that makes dealing with email a lot faster. I’m still trying to figure it out, but whenever I’m back on Outlook 2003 I feel slow.

    I noticed the exact opposite. Any time I switch to Outlook 2007 everything seems slow as molasses. I know it is beta, but even menus take forever to drop down.

  17. One thing I did when I was getting 600+ emails a day as the lead support person for WLAN (back in the days when WLAN first launched, and customers like Dell, Microsoft, HP, etc all needed my attention) was to ask my IT department to give me two more email addresses. One I gave only to my bosses, and to my direct reports. The other I gave to customers. The third was my “Front Facing” address that anyone could find.

    I know this sounds like it would be a pain in the ass, but it really made life *much* easier. I could quickly determine if an incoming message was from a boss or a customer (and they always took priority). Even on my Blackberry this made it easier on me.

    I eventually got to the point that I could deal with 600+ emails in about two hours, which was still a large chunk of my day, but it was manageable.

  18. One thing I did when I was getting 600+ emails a day as the lead support person for WLAN (back in the days when WLAN first launched, and customers like Dell, Microsoft, HP, etc all needed my attention) was to ask my IT department to give me two more email addresses. One I gave only to my bosses, and to my direct reports. The other I gave to customers. The third was my “Front Facing” address that anyone could find.

    I know this sounds like it would be a pain in the ass, but it really made life *much* easier. I could quickly determine if an incoming message was from a boss or a customer (and they always took priority). Even on my Blackberry this made it easier on me.

    I eventually got to the point that I could deal with 600+ emails in about two hours, which was still a large chunk of my day, but it was manageable.

  19. Robert – we linked to a bunch of tips for handling email overload as part of last year’s email usage survey (results here: http://blog.clearcontext.com/2005/04/making_email_wo.html ).

    We’re running the survey again this year (details here:
    http://blog.clearcontext.com/2006/05/clearcontext_20.html ). All respondents get a $15 discount towards the purchase of ClearContext and a lucky few will receive free licenses to IMS Pro.

    Good luck getting on top of your Inbox!

  20. Robert – we linked to a bunch of tips for handling email overload as part of last year’s email usage survey (results here: http://blog.clearcontext.com/2005/04/making_email_wo.html ).

    We’re running the survey again this year (details here:
    http://blog.clearcontext.com/2006/05/clearcontext_20.html ). All respondents get a $15 discount towards the purchase of ClearContext and a lucky few will receive free licenses to IMS Pro.

    Good luck getting on top of your Inbox!

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