I've got a lot of things going at the same time in my life and much of my communication is done through email. This is a blessing and a curse. Keeping email from getting overwhelming and staying organized is a challenge. I've got a couple of tricks that have helped tremendously so I thought I would share those today.
Subject lines - If the topic of your email changes then the subject line MUST change as well. For example: You receive an appraisal and email it to your borrower with "Appraisal" in the subject line. The borrower emails back and attaches his updated paystub. You forward this to your processor with the subject line changed to "Smith - updated paystub". This will help with sorting and prioritizing emails.
This should be mandatory for everyone on your team, though it may take awhile to get in the habit. Trust me, it will help everyone manage their inboxes better.
Sub-folders- Having sub-folders in your email will do much to help you stay on top of all the information that you receive. I've played around with a variety of different categories, and probably always will; but these seem to be working for me at this time:
- Loans in process (then a sub-folder for each loan)
- Prospects and Realtor communication
- Computer and Encompass information (this was essential when I was learning a new system and company)
- Passwords and Investor info
- Marketing (then a sub-folder for Networking Group)
- Long-term info
- Personal (then sub-folders for kids, HOA board, church etc.)
I review my folders on about a weekly basis to deal with any outstanding issues and delete emails that are no longer needed. This has especially been great as it speeds up my search for information.
Touch it once - (twice at the most) Some people deal with email at designated times during the day. I personally do it throughout the day as time permits. Whatever way works for you, it is best if you can deal with an email immediately and be done. If this isn't possible and it requires ongoing effort or doesn't need to be dealt with at that time, then file it appropriately and calender in the next steps to be taken.
These three steps have been invaluable to me as I work to get more done in the same amount of time. If you feel that you are buried under email then work on your system of filtering and handling information.