How to respond to every email

Here's a genius idea: Use an email autoresponder.

The average American worker spends about 28 percent of the workweek reading and responding to email.

And when you're a public figure -- a CEO, founder of a company, or even editor of a website -- the number of emails you get can multiply, even though these are the people who, in theory, should be spending less time dealing with email.

But here's a genius idea from Fast Company to reduce the burden of email: respond to them all with email autoresponse. It works just like autoresponse emails you setup for vacations, only they send all the time. The idea is that you can relieve the guilt of not responding to every email and focus on the most important ones. Here's Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite, on why he uses autoresponse, as reported by Fast Company:

I don't want to become a switchboard for my company, but I found I was doing that. I was spending a lot of time on these things that I didn't need to rewrite every time, so I'm just going to put this in front of people so they can go and chase down and be self-empowered. Some people might call that douchey, but I just think it's getting people in touch with the right thing.

Of course, a good auto-email doesn't just say "Hey, I got your email," it provides useful information and links to resources you regularly get emails about -- press resources, company information, etc. Autoresponse is just one tool to lessen the burden of email, but it won't make your internal office emails go away -- there are other tools for that .

Photo: Flickr/Malabooboo

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