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Strategy An Instagram exec figured out a simple hack to stop getting buried by emails

Instagram executive Eva Chen noticed most of her emails concerned the same 10 topics, so she came up with a clever way to respond to them all.

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Head of Fashion at Instagram Eva Chen attends the Proenza Schouler fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 12, 2016 in New York City. play

Head of Fashion at Instagram Eva Chen attends the Proenza Schouler fashion show during New York Fashion Week on September 12, 2016 in New York City.

(JP Yim/Getty Images)

  • Responding personally to every email you get at work can consume valuable time.
  • Instagram executive Eva Chen noticed most of her emails concerned the same 10 topics, so she came up with a clever workaround.
  • Instead of typing a response to each email she gets, she keeps stock responses saved as email signatures so she can quickly fire back a message.

It's estimated that the average worker receives almost 90 emails a day.

Responding to all those messages could eat up valuable hours of the workday — but one executive has a clever solution she uses on a daily basis.

Eva Chen, the head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, told Indya Brown at The Cut that she keeps a stockpile of generic email responses saved as customized signatures.

"Think about the emails you send in any given day. You're probably responding to the same ten topics," Chen told The Cut. "For example, someone will invite me to an event and I'll be out of town, so my response is, 'I'm sorry, I can’t make it. I’m out of town.'"

"Instead of typing that out, I have it saved as a signature. So basically I have ten signatures saved on my email like, 'Sorry I'm out of town I can't make it,' 'I'll be there,' 'CCing my admin to set up a meeting,' etc. It makes a big difference."

Chen's email hack is reminiscent of Google's Smart Reply feature, which allows Gmail users to instantly respond to emails with short, auto-generated replies like "See you there" or "Sounds good." The feature debuted in 2015 and was released widely in a Gmail update earlier this year.

Microsoft rolled out a similar feature for Outlook, its webmail service, in August.

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