Email is Not the Enemy
I completely understand that for many people email is the bane of their existence but when you see the value in keeping your business communications close at hand you will understand its worth and see why I put my heart and soul into showing people that, once tamed, this beast is an incredible tool.
As an executive assistant who has worked with filing cabinets, paper, and faxes in the past, for me, the invention of email was a gift from heaven. From a filing perspective alone, this new tool freed me from hours of work and frustration managing and maintaining filing systems. Email gave me access to so much information at the click of a few keys, while sitting at my desk. My search tool became my best friend.
Not everyone understands the value of a well set-up and organized email account until the time comes when they need to find something, then they realized what a resource I have built and its value is indisputable. You see, my email accounts are replicas of what clients' filing cabinets would look if they were still working with paper. Contrary to what some productivity specialists would lead you to believe, it is simply not enough to keep only the final contract or letter (read email attachment), the correspondence leading up the final document is of immense value as well.
You're getting the picture now, a properly built email account can be a business tool that will stand by you and will keep you connected to your company, your clients, your suppliers and then some ... in good times and in bad times.
To that end, I advocate keeping email correspondence as long as legally necessary and further organize my clients by doing a mass archiving at the end of the calendar year (much like I did with my paper filing systems). If your system is set up properly this archiving requires little effort, takes no time whatsoever and your documents are still close at hand but not cluttering up your current system.
There is certainly more to a productive and efficient email account that just this 'filing cabinet' ... the processing of emails adds another dynamic and another layer to the system. This part of email organization is more individual, and should be custom-built depending on your personality, way of working and type of work but rest assured, it is easily tackled and set up either by yourself, your assistant, or an email and calendar management specialist.