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Business depends on swift channels of communication, one of the most important of which is the mail. Mail will enter and leave your office through the postal service, inter-office mail or private courier. Efficient handling of incoming and outgoing mail will make an office function smoothly and effectively.






System and organisation are key words in processing the mail as it arrives in the office. Workers can do their job better – and in less time – if the mail they receive is organised by priority and type.


Sorting the mail.


§         Processing the inward mail will be just one of the many jobs you must attend to during your busy day at the front desk.


§         No one will give you a peaceful half hour to attend to this very important function. Therefore you should sort the mail into some sort of priority order before opening. This will allow you to at least attend to some of the most important mail should the front desk become very busy when the inward mail arrives. Sort into the following order:


  1. Special service mail: this includes priority paid, certified, express courier, telegrams and messengers delivery. If you have only a short time to deal with the mail, these items should be dealt with first.


  1. Private or confidential mail: Place these to one side and deliver unopened. If you accidentally open a private letter, reseal the envelope and write across it “Open in error” and sign your initials. A personal apology is also in order.


  1. Standard letter articles


  1. Inter-office mail


  1. Non-standard mail and parcels


  1. Periodicals, magazines and advertising material.





Opening the Mail


a.       Tap the lower edge of the envelope on the desk so that the contents will fall to the bottom and will not be cut when the envelope is opened.


b.      Place the envelopes face down with all flaps in the same direction.


c.       Open the letters by running them through a letter-opening machine, which slices a very thin sliver of paper off the envelope. Open the envelopes on three sides, even if using a paper knife. Do not remove the contents at this stage.


d.      Empty each envelope, checking carefully to see that everything has been removed.


e.       Fasten any enclosures to the letter. Attach any small enclosures to the front of the letter. Enclosures larger than the letter should be attached to the back. If any enclosures mentioned in the letter are missing, write “no enclosure received” beside the enclosure notation at the foot of the letter. Notify some responsible person in the office to ensure that appropriate action is taken.


f.        Be sure the name and return address of the sender are given in the letter before discarding the envelope or going ahead to the next one. If these are not given, the envelope should be attached to the back of the letter. The envelope may also be attached if you notice a discrepancy in the date of the letter and the postmark of if required as proof of being posted before a certain closing date.


g.       Enter remittances of cash or cheques in the remittance book and forward to the Account Department or set aside.


h.       Mend any contents that accidentally cut or torn when the envelope was opened.




Time stamping, reading and annotating mail.


1.      Date and time stamp each article in a conspicuous position, taking cares not to obliterate any information on the article.


2.      Scan the article. Sometimes letters are incorrectly addressed to wrong executives or alternatively no particular executive or department may be indicated in the address. You will have to read the letter to determine who should handle the matter. If you are responsible for maintaining appointment calendars for executives, you may make pencil notes in the margins of the letters indicating that appointments have been noted. This is referred to as annotating correspondence.

3.      Make a note of any mail being sent under separate cover on a “mail expected” record sheet.






From Whom

Date Sent


From Whom


2nd. July


Creative Denim Fashion Ltd.

26th. June

Alexander Daniel

7th. July

3rd. July


Innovative Denim Ltd.

29th June

Xavier de Burgh

9th. July

3rd. July

Denim Sample

Fabric Research Ltd, Melbourne Officer

25th. June

Zal Zalis

6th July























Distributing the Mail


1.      Mail should be placed in clearly marked or colour-coded mail folders. Some officers use different folders marked “Rush”, “Read” and “Regular mail”. Unopened letters should be placed on top of the mail for each person.


2.      Place the mail on each executive’s desk or in the special place indicated by the organisation’s policy for inward mail.


3.      Routine mails which need to be circulated to more than one executive or department should have a routing slip attached. Routing slips are designed so information may be passed from person to person (within departments) or from department to department









Date received

Date sent


Mohd Khushairi

14.4. ..............

15.4. ..............


Mohd. Faizal

15.4. ..............

17.4. ..............


Yus Faiz Amni

17.4. ..............

17.4. ..............


Zulfahmi Akmal

17.4. ..............







4.      Inter-office mail or confidential mail to be circulated to more than one executive or section may be placed in a reusable circulation envelope.






Envelope to be delivered to last addressee. Please cross out your name before reusing.






Shifa Auni


Fatin Izatie


Aidi Shafiq


Do not destroy until all

space have been used.



5. If articles to be circulated are important, a routing slip should not be used, but a photocopy made and each executive or section given a copy.



Electronic Mail


Modern electronic equipment is providing faster, more efficient service. Electronic mail is used when mail is urgent or when speed is essential. Therefore, all incoming electronic mail should be given priority treatment.



Postal Services


The amount of postage to be prepaid depends on the size and weight of the article, the destination and the service required. A good source of the various classifications is the Postal Guide issued by the Post Office. You will also require an up-to-date postal charges guide to determine the cost of postage on each mail article.








Handling outgoing mail


You should have on hand the following:


1.       a postal guide

2.       an up-to-date postal charge guide

3.       special stickers for airmail

4.       accurate scales for weighing parcels and envelopes

5.       an outgoing mail register or postage book

6.       paper for wrapping, string, labels etc.

7.       A postcode book

8.       A standard letter gauge

9.       A franking machine and / or postage stamps.



Checking outgoing mail


Make sure:


1.       all correspondence is signed

2.       enclosures are attached

3.       envelopes are correctly addresses and all contents belong to the envelop

4.       material is correctly folded for into the envelope

5.       parcels are wrapped carefully and securely

6.       and special service stickers are affixed to the envelope.