Abstracted from "Is eMail Overrunning School Life?" by Zach Kelehear, The School Administrator, November 2002 http://www.aasa.org/publications/sa/2002_11/focus_Kelehear.htm

When used effectively, eMail can be a real time-saver for school leaders whose communication channels already are stretched to the breaking point. But what happens when the practice of sending, reading, and receiving eMails becomes more of a burden than a modern-day convenience?

• Superintendents get holed up in their offices responding to hundreds of queries.

• Correspondence takes away from valuable class time.

• Central office personnel find it easier to turn to their computers for answers rather than making critical on-site visits. Despite these drawbacks, eMail is here to stay. That’s why the author offers these six suggestions to ensure such complications occur infrequently.

• Try disabling the eMail function on your computer during the school day. The author suggests that educators dedicate some time at the beginning and the end of each day to reading and responding to messages. That way, the familiar chiming of inboxes won’t interrupt the course of the school day.

• If you’re spending too much time writing responses, consider typing your replies in the subject line rather than composing an entirely new message. This will force you to keep your replies concise and to the point.

• Reply only if you have something to say.

• Sort your messages into folders and answer important questions as they are received. Don’t let them pile up.

• Empty your outbox and trash files on a daily basis.

• Be sure to send out all replies with a meaningful subject line.