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The 4 Ds of Email Management

Outlook 4Ds UnreadDelete. Defer. Delegate. Do. There are a number of versions of the 4 Ds and different ways they apply to time management and organization. Our list of Ds harnesses this core streamlining process to help tame your inbox, saving you time and energy.

Delete.  Though abrupt and sometimes cold, the "Delete" key can be your friend. From Junk Mail and Spam to those funny (but ultimately counter-productive) emails your mother-in-law sends your way – if you don't need it, get rid of it. Deleting emails that have no additional value (e.g. are not necessary for record keeping or reference) will clear the digital clutter that can slow you and your email client down.

Outlook 4Ds Delete

Defer.  Does this email need your immediate attention? Do you have the time to tackle it right now, or does it need more in-depth attention?  If you can re-visit this email at a later, more appropriate time, flag or file it for follow-up. Many email clients provide a built-in solution for handling deferred emails. In Microsoft Outlook you can schedule a follow-up reminder by right-clicking the email, selecting Follow-Up, then designating a pre-set or custom timeframe for the reminder. In Gmail, you can add an email to your Task List and assign it a due date with an alert as well. When deferring emails that need your attention, it is important to ensure that you find a follow-up process that works for you and ensures you don't forget to address them.

Outlook 4Ds Follow Up

Delegate. Does this email need YOUR attention -- or would it be better handled by someone else on your team? Whether it's a question of time or expertise, if you can assign a task to someone who is in a better position to tackle it, then by all means, forward it.  

Outlook 4Ds Forward

Do. If it's only going to take two minutes… just do it!

Would you like to learn more timesaving tips for tackling your inbox? Clickety-Quick offers both individual and corporate training opportunities for Microsoft Outlook. Learn more about Outlook training here, or view our full course catalogue here

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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

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  • Claire Langfield, Executive Assistant

    Chippewas of Rama First Nation

    The majority of my computer training focused on Publisher. I have received positive comments and feedback from several of my colleagues on the changes between my first attempt and current expertise creating the monthly internal newsletter for my department. They enjoy the updated format and the way in which the information is presented. 

    Deborah assisted me through a learning curve, as I had not previously had any exposure to this program prior to joining Rama. She also provided me with a refresher course on PowerPoint and Excel.  Deborah is a patient teacher and tailored the training to suit my job requirements.