Often, an EA will be in control of their Executive's emails, as well as their own. In order to not miss anything important, keeping on top of the inbox is necessary. Here are a few different ways you can organise your emails so everything is always at your fingertips.
Figuring out the inbox
Some Executives will want you to take total control of their inbox, whereas others will wish you to access only certain aspects, and some will want to share the task with you. As an EA, you should try and take the responsibility onto your own shoulders to save your Executive time, however, ensure you discuss this with them first.
Being clear on what each of you will manage and deal with prevents important information from being missed, as well as reducing the chance of both of you responding to the same emails and doubling up on work.
Effective email management
With fresh emails always coming in, and old ones that need to be accessible, creating an organisational system that is easy to understand is important.
1. Labels and rules
The first step to setting up an effective email system is becoming familiar with creating labels and rules.
The first step to setting up an effective email system is becoming familiar with creating labels and rules. Think clearly about what folders you will need to file emails, and organise rules to automatically sort incoming mail to save you time.
Decide on a system of labels, including ones that notify your Executive that he needs to be involved, either to read or to respond.
2. Unsubscribing from promotional emails
Sorting through emails is difficult enough without wading through a mass of promotional ones as well. Create a habit to look closely at the emails you receive, then go through and unsubscribe from all but the essential ones. Not having to delete them each day will save you time and energy, and will allow the important ones to stand out.
3. Draft sample replies
It is likely that you will end up making similar responses to certain emails on a daily basis, such as when confirming appointments. Identify them, and draft up sample replies to save you having to retype them each time.
4. Learn from the past
Study previous emails that your Executive has sent, and get a feel for their email style and tone. It will also allow you identify who emails regularly, and how your Executive interacts with different people.
Emails can consume time and decrease productivity, so try talking to other EAs, and find out what's worked for them as well as well.