4 Tips to Help You Manage Your E-Mail

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According to The Radicati Group, business e-mail will account for over 132 billion per day by the end of 2017  The online Tech News, Source Digit,  reports that the average small business receives/sends 116 e-mails per day and it is estimated to rise to 132 per day in 2017.  No matter what tasks I begin helping my clients with, the majority end up having me manage their e-mail. E-mail remains the predominant form of communication in business today and can be a big time-sucker for a busy small business owner.  A full inbox is a problem that can quickly grow worse if you receive a high volume of new messages every day.  Before long, you may find that your inbox has hundreds of messages and you are unable to remember which ones are most urgent.  So what can we do to manage your e-mail?

  1. Enable spam protection in your e-mail settings to reduce the volume of unwanted messages.
  2. Mark the most important messages. Whether you use a star, a flag, a highlighting color, or an icon. You can both manually mark an important message and set others up to be automatically marked in your settings. For example, I set each of my clients up as a Preferred Sender with their own individual symbol. When they send me an e-mail it is automatically marked with their own symbol and stands out among all the other e-mails that I receive. This way my eye is directly drawn to their e-mails first.
  3. Set up a Folder System. This can be as simple as setting up a few folders such as Urgent, Respond, and Waiting or Priority, Non-Priority and Read Later. Depending on your business, you may need to be more elaborate making a folder for each of your Clients, Vendors, Employees, Networking Groups, and Member/Volunteer Associations. Other popular folders among my clients are Leads/Follow-Up, Personal, Industry News, Taxes, Unsubscribe, Finance (invoices due/payments received) and, of course, a Sheri Folder. Create an Archive folder for very old messages that you are unlikely to read again. This allows you to find the messages if needed, while preventing them from making more recent messages difficult to find.
  4. Make E-Mail Templates of “canned” responses when you send the same text over and over again.  Maybe you answer the same question all of the time or you send out the same e-mail multiple times. You could type these responses up each and every time you want to send them out, but you can also write them up once, save them, and use them whenever you need them.

If you are a busy small business owner you do not have the extra 11.2 hours per week that most of us spend reading and answering our e-mails. Try the 4 tips above to save you both time and frustration and remember to only check your e-mails at your predetermined scheduled times during the day.

headshot2About the Author: Sheri Miller is the Owner of Another You, LLC, a Business Concierge/Personal Assistant service in the Dayton, Ohio area. Sheri helps small business owners save time and money by taking care of their day-to-day administrative tasks.             Think of her as your right hand while your left hand is growing your business.     http://www.anotheryouerrands.com     937-416-2207

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May Gardening in Ohio

hydraFinally our days and nights start to get a little warmer in May. The spring colors are in full bloom and this is the month that true flower gardening begins in Ohio.

If you did not aerate in the fall, you will need to do so now. Mow your grass high at about 2.5-3.5 inches. It is really too late to plant grass seed but is the perfect time for sod. Keep sod watered the first couple of weeks. Existing lawns need 1 inch of water per week. For light feeding and Broadleaf control, use a weed and feed product some time during the month.

Your garden center will fill up with perennials in May! 1-2 gallon pots are more expensive than the 2-4 inch ones but you will never be able tell the difference next season. Be sure to purchase healthy plants that are not wilted, yellow, or have thin-lanky stems. Stay away from foliage that has holes, dark blotches, or tiny pale or dark spots on them. Check out the plant label and follow the recommendation. No matter how healthy a plant you purchase, it will not thrive unless it is happy where it is planted. Perennials can be planted in your flower beds or in pots and containers.  May is an excellent time to plant roses so don’t forget them when visiting your favorite garden store.

If your existing perennials get too large for their space, May is a great time to divide them and replant in another location or give to a neighbor.

  • Dig under roots and lift plant from soil.
  • Use a sharp knife, spade, or other sharp tool to cut through clumps to make rooted chunks of the plant.
  • Remove any thin or dead parts of the plant.
  • Replant 1 chunk in the original position and plant the others elsewhere in your yard or put in a pretty container and give as a gift.
  • Water newly planted plants well at planting time and check again in 4-5 days if no rain.

Some spring pruning will be needed in May. Removing faded flowers makes your bed look better and sends the energy of the plant down to its roots. Use shears to clip off the spent flowers of Candytuft, Pinks and Phlox. You may see ants on your Peony buds; this is completely normal as they love the sweet fluids of the buds. Your Bleeding Heart, Poppies and Virginia Bluebells will disappear after blooming.  Don’t be concerned, they will be back next year.

Make sure to prune and shape spring-flowering bushes and trees immediately after the blooms have faded. Many set buds now for next year and late pruning will cut these buds off and reduce the number of flowers for next year.

May is the month that my yard looks its best. The grass is so healthy and green and is a perfect backdrop to my purple Phlox and red and white Tulips. Adding to the color (and worth) of our property and also blooming this month is my Redbud, Dogwood and Southern Magnolia trees. I love May in Ohio!

About the Author: Sheri Miller is the Owner of Another You, LLC, a Business Concierge/Personal Assistant service in the Dayton, Ohio area. Sheri helps small business owners save time and money by taking care of their day-to-day administrative tasks. Think of her as your right hand while your left hand is growing your business. http://www.anotheryouerrands.com 937-416-2207

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