Google keeps rolling out features intended to make email better and easier to use. Last summer, it was “Priority Inbox,” which pushes your most important (non-spam) emails to the top of your Gmail inbox. (Read the CNN story.)
URGT: Urgent – respond or act ASAP
ACTN: Action required
UN2K: You need to know
FYIN: Read at your convenience
MTNG: Pre- or post-meeting communication
BUSN: Strategic business information
EMPY: Information for employees – benefits, job postings, HR
TRNG: Training-related communications
The four-letter tags offered unique letter combinations that were unlikely to appear in the text of any emails—so it was easy to search and sort on the tags. The problem, of course, was that they were only good inside the company. We couldn’t use them on emails that went to clients, nor did clients send any tagged email to us.
What really needs to happen is that these categories (or ones like them) become built into the email itself—perhaps in a drop-down menu similar to the one used to indicate urgency. If Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and other companies that control the email world would get on board, users could set up their own strategies to deal with the various types of emails they receive.
For corporate employees, who typically receive 550+ email messages each week (according to the Radicati Group), it would make a huge difference in being able to navigate the nonstop river of email.