An assistant can reduce the burden of email in ways automated systems and inbox filters can’t.
He can review messages, reply to calendar requests and ensure top-priority emails get answered right away. Before you delegate your email, ask: How much skill and discretion can you expect? What kind of relationship do you have with this person? You should trust his judgment about priorities and comfort with coming across personal emails.
Then find a system. Technological solutions mean you don’t have to share your password, or every single message you get. Make sure to specify whether your assistant will reply to emails as you.
Draft template replies he can use. Agree on when and how often the person will review your inbox. And systematize folders and labeling, so it’s easier for the assistant to flag email that you should personally read and handle – and vice versa.
(Adapted from “How to Delegate Your Email to an Assistant” by Alexandra Samuel.)