Starting the year off strong, trying to make the most of your time? You can maximize your time by leveraging Outlook templates. I realized a few years ago I was spending a lot of time sending the same or at least very similar emails on a regular basis. If I spend 15 minutes a day sending similar emails, over the course of a year that is 65 hours I spend repeating myself. Even if 15 minutes a day is a high estimate (I don't think it is), that is a lot of time I could be doing other things! What could you do with 65 hours?
Image courtesy of watcharakun / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I will share the process with you and a few samples to get you started. I'm sure yours will be different. Hopefully, this will get your idea engine running.
First, let me show you how to save an email template. Follow these simple steps:
Now, let me show you how to open an email template. Four easy steps:
Here are a few examples of email templates I have created:
Nice Meeting You!
I'm in a business where I meet a lot of people. As we all know, networking is just the beginning. The difference lies in our ability to make long-lasting connections, because it is not just the person we meet but whom they know and even their secondary and tertiary contacts. Therefore, a strong and timely follow-up is imperative. I not only schedule time on my calendar each week to follow-up with all the individuals I meet, I use a template to accomplish this task as quickly as possible. You can see above I have variable fields to personalize the message, and I have paragraphs that in entirety can be deleted, as appropriate.
Everyone is busy. It is so easy for a meeting to slip through the cracks, even with calendar appointments scheduled. Your time is valuable, so it is important to confirm an upcoming meeting to ensure the other person is still available and meeting you at the agreed location. I've heard many stories of meetings that went awry because each person was at a different Starbucks location! Above is the simple email template I use to verify meeting date, time, and location.
Thank you for the Referral
Similar to meeting a lot of people, I'm extremely lucky I receive a ton of referrals. Nothing drives me crazier than when I extend my network to someone and I have no idea what happens, when or if they meet. That might be the reason I started doing this, but regardless of the reason, it has paid off in dividends. I send a note to the person who extended their network by a strategic introduction to someone whom is in a complementary industry to mine or who has referred someone in their network to me to become a possible client of my services. Above is the template I use to follow-up with these types of referrals.
When I meet two people who work in complementary industries, I make a point of introducing them. I firmly believe in the concept of network science which means the more connections we can make for other individuals networks we will exponentially expand all of our missions. What goes around comes around! Here is the template I use to make a strategic email introduction -- and I've had several people already 'swipe' it for their own use.
If you have a signature that is automatically attached to every email, delete it in the template you are creating. When you open the template, the signature will be applied as a matter of course. If you don't delete it in the template, you will have duplicate signatures in the outgoing email.
This is just a sampling my email templates. This system has enabled me to be more productive by spending less time on repetitive tasks. Now I have time to focus on thought-provoking activities.
Question: Have you tried using email templates? If so, how is it working out for you?
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