10 Tips for Surviving the Email Avalanche

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

Are you buried under an avalanche of email? Do you lose important information hiding among the emails clogging your inbox? Here are 10 tips for digging out of the email avalanche. These tips reference features available in Outlook, but most email programs have similar features.

1. Use automated features to sort your emails into folders as they arrive. The Outlook Rules Wizard (under Tools) will let you create rules for automated sorting of incoming emails by sender, subject, text and other filters. Incoming messages are routed to the designated folders, which change to bold print to indicate an unread message. Set up folders (select File, New, Folder) for your clients so that you can see at a glance that you have email from them, and keep all your correspondence together. Replies to an email in that folder automatically will be stored in that folder as well. You can also route newsletters, listservs and other high volume, low priority emails to special folders to keep them from clogging your inbox until you have time to read them.
2. Drag and drop emails to your task icon if they have “to-do” items associated with them. The task will be included in the task list, and a copy of the email will be visible in the details window for the task. You can set a due date and reminder for the task. Delete the email or move it to a storage folder. You will get a pop-up reminder at the designated reminder time, even if you have deleted the original email. If the task is not marked as complete by the due date, it will turn red in the task list as a further reminder.
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Returning Civility to Your Civil Practice:

Debra L. Bruce, JD, PCC.

“When I graduated from law school I was proud and excited to be a lawyer, but 20 years later I leave the office every day feeling battered and bruised I feel like the proverbial kicked dog.” Those were the words of one of my clients, a bright and successful trial lawyer.
Are you on the verge of burnout from the escalating incivility in your civil practice? Thanks to the pioneering efforts of some family lawyers, there may be a solution on the horizon.
Minnesota lawyer, Stuart Webb, the “Father of Collaborative Law”, was burning out after 8 years of civil practice followed by 17 years of family law practice. Before giving up and shutting down his firm, however, he began experimenting with new ways of trying to resolve family law disputes, and Collaborative Law was born.

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