After you deal with the easy stuff -- mail from your boss and close co-workers and other messages that have very obvious replies, you can lean on a pair of boilerplate messages that you can use for just about everything else:
A follow-up message is needed. For messages like this, you might want to create a canned response that looks like this:
Thank you for your email. I'm glad you reached out to contact me regarding SUBJECT.No follow-up is needed. For this class of message, try a canned response like this:
While I'm interested, my time is at a premium these days. I'll give the matter further thought and will get back to you within the next X business days. If you require an answer sooner than that, simply respond to this email and give me a timetable so I can try to follow-up more quickly.
Again, thanks for your email and I look forward to hearing back from you shortly.
Thanks for your email regarding SUBJECT. I appreciate the time you've taken to give me a heads up on this.The beauty of a system like this is that you can craft a few canned responses and use a tool like Outlook's auto text to automatically insert it in a message with just a keystroke. Spend a few seconds customizing the message, and you'll be able to power your way through an overstuffed inbox with ease.
Unfortunately, it's not something that I'm willing to take on at this time.
Again, thank you for reaching out to me and good luck with SUBJECT.
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