Getting a virtual assistant to manage your emails

Manage my mailMore and more we are seeing a decrease in phone calls, faxing and hand delivering of documents; and are seeing a rise in instant messaging such as Skype, SMSes and, of course, email. But email is fast becoming unmanageable and very overcrowded. A solution may be to allow a virtual assistant to manage your account for you? Here are the ways you can allow someone to manage your email account.

A. If you are using Microsoft Outlook, there are 2 ways someone can manage your email for you: Folder Sharing and Delegate Access.

Folder Sharing

Folder sharing enables another person to access one of your folders. However, it does not include permissions for one to act on behalf of the other. For example, a person who can access your folders cannot reply to email messages or respond to meeting requests for you. So this option works well if you are going on holiday and need someone to check into your email account and inform you of emails that need your urgent attention. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Outlook, and find the Folder List; in Outlook 2016, 2013, and 2010, Folder List is the default view.
  2. From the menu that appears, select Properties, and then click the Permissions tab.

If you do not see the Permissions tab, you probably have Personal Folders set as your default delivery location. In order to grant permissions, set the default delivery location to your Microsoft Exchange mailbox.

  1. Click Add.
  2. Select the people to whom you wish to grant permissions. After each selection, click Add.
  3. When you are done, click OK.

Delegate Access

Delegate Access allows one person to act on behalf of another Outlook user. Here your assistant (the delegate) would be responsible for maintaining your schedule, creating and responding to meeting requests. Some assistants might also monitor a manager’s Inbox. By default, your assistant can read only the meeting requests and responses sent to you, and does not have access to read any other messages in your Inbox. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click the File
  2. Click Account Settings, and then click Delegate Access.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Type the name of the person whom you want to designate as your delegate, or search for and then click the name in the search results list. NOTE: The delegate must be a person in your organization’s Exchange Global Address List.
  5. Click Add, and then click OK.
  6. In the Delegate Permissionsdialog box, you can accept the default permission settings or select custom access levels for Exchange folders. If your assistant needs permission to work only with meeting requests and responses, the default permission settings, including Delegate receives copies of meeting-related messages sent to me, are sufficient. You can leave the Inbox permission setting at None. Meeting requests and responses will go directly to the delegate’s Inbox.

B. If you are using Gmail, the delegate access will allow your assistant to read, send, and delete messages on your behalf, or to access your contacts by clicking the Contacts link. This access does not allow your assistant permission to change your account password or account settings. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click the gear in the top right.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select the Accounts and Import
  4. Under ‘Grant access to your account,’ click the Add another account
  5. Enter the email address of the person you’d like to access your account and click Next Step. Remember you can only enter a Google Mail address.
  6. You’ll see a confirmation message. Click Send email to grant access if you’re sure.

Your assistant will receive a verification email explaining that you’ve granted access to them. Once they have confirmed the request, it may take up to 30 minutes for the verification process to be completed. To see if the delegate has confirmed access to your account, look at the Accounts and Import tab in Settings.

Allowing your assistant to manage your email account will SAVE YOU TIME allowing you to get the more important things on your to-do list done!

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