- I get a good portion of email that could be answered by calling (or emailing) the help desk instead. I wish people would start there.
- I get email about questions that are answered in online documentation that's clearly and easily found.
- I get email about stuff that has nothing to do with me, often beginning with the phrase, "I'm not sure if you're the right person . . . " Call the secretary or the help desk.
I will say, though, that technology has really helped me to manage email and my other information streams. I do wish that, besides the filters I have set up to move list emails to folders and spam to the trash, I could have a way to autorespond to email based on key words. There probably is such a thing. If you know of it, please let me know.
Jenny, at The Shifted Librarian, writes about dealing with information overload and letting go of the idea that you have to take in everything. I'll admit that I often feel like I need to read more, find more, write more and that that can be a big stress point. However, I've gotten much better about using technology to help me let go. I switched to Google Reader a while back and wasn't sure I was going to like it until I discovered "List View." Now I have all my feeds in folders and I select a folder to look at and scan the headlines, reading the posts I want. And then, I hit "Mark All as Read" and don't look back. It was hard to do that at first, but it's freeing. I also star things I find interesting but don't have time to read and will go back to them later. Sometimes I add stuff to my del.icio.us links. It depends on how I want to use it. Knowing that I can access those links is really helpful and sometimes, I just browse through them and see what's there.
I have more to say about strategies for managing the information flow, but I think I'll stop there. How do you deal with the gushing stream of information?