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Medical Malpractice Legal Tech


Ten Tips to Control Your E-mail Inbox


John J. Cord I


n the Information Age, the goal is not so much to accumulate and assimilate information as it is to process it and separate the wheat from the chaff.


Nowhere is this more important than in our e-mail inboxes. Listserve messages, spam, meaningless carbon copies, and even e-mails from ourselves to ourselves (the electronic version of the post-it note) all conspire to morph our inboxes into unwieldy and frightening harbingers of doom. Maybe that’s hyperbole, but an inbox with hundreds (or thousands) of e-mails is an inbox that might be hiding a critical missive from a client, or something you overlooked with a fast-approaching deadline. Using the tips and tools below, I transformed my inbox from 3,142 messages to 27 with just three days of work.


Tip No. 1: Use an E-mail Management System You should have some way to move e-mails out from


your inbox and link them to the cases they belong to. Our office uses Time Matters, a case management program that allows us to do two things with e-mail. First, we can link incoming e-mails (and their attachments) to the case file, automatically deleting the e-mail from our inbox. Second, we get a prompt every time we send out an e-mail, and the sent e-mail can also be automatically linked to a case. When the entire office properly links e-mails, all messages can be found in one location by anyone working on the case. Tis is particularly useful when cases are reassigned to other attorneys or staff. Whatever your case management program, you should have an easy way to save e-mails away from your inbox.


C M Y CM MY CY CMY K


Tip No. 2: Use the Search Features Every e-mail program has some ability to search


messages. In Microsoft Outlook 2003 (my informal poll Trial Reporter / Summer 2010 55


shows that most lawyers have not upgraded to 2007), click Tools>Find>Find (or Ctrl-F) to perform a word search. Even better, use Advanced Find (Ctrl-Shift-F) to give you more options for your search. Advanced Find allows you to search specific fields of e-mail messages (for example, the subject, the To or CC fields, items that are read/ unread, items with/without attachments, and items that you have flagged. Use the search feature in conjunction with your e-mail management system by searching for key


QuarterlyTrialReporter-3'5x4'5.pdf 8/7/2007 11:51:23 AM


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