Email Processing and Triage Basics

Email Processing and Triage Floor Sign

Email Processing and triage: The process of assessing each new message you receive and deciding when and how to handle it.

Email users often struggle with the complexities of needing to review, analyze, prioritize, respond to, organize, and file the large volume of incoming messages they receive.

This is done through Email triage, the process of assessing each new message and deciding when and how to handle it, which is perhaps one of the most challenging, and frustrating, aspects of Email and a common cause of Email overload.

Email processing and triage contains many cognitively difficult tasks and is further restricted by the often limited capabilities of the Email system itself.

Areas of specific difficulty in performing Email processing and triage include how to:

  • Prioritize
  • Organize
  • Classify
  • Group
  • Arrange
  • Inter-relate

…..all of the Email messages presented in the inbox.

When a new Email message arrives, you must determine whether to handle it right away, defer it for later, or ignore it entirely, all based on the immediately visible message information such as subject, sender, and priority.

In addition, making the process even more complex, you must analyze each new message and compare it against all the messages that already reside in your inbox.  You must analyze new messages and compare them against what already exists in your inbox, determining what is truly "new" as compared to a message that is either a follow-up or a response to a prior message already in your inbox

But, as we will see, there are specific email processing approaches that can be employed in order to make you a more productive and proficient Email practitioner.

In addition, we will also review modifications and enhancements that you can make to your Email inbox that can also result in some significant improvements in your ability to triage your Email.

Stay tuned for future posts on Email processing and triage, where we will review some of these helpful techniques in detail.


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