Tools and Technology to Conquer Your Inbox
Episode #9 of the course Master your Gmail to get more done by Dan Silvestre
Today is all about the world outside Gmail plugins. We’re going to cover a few apps you can use to connect with Gmail and conquer your inbox.
These can automate much of the tedious manual work so you can focus on making progress in meaningful work.
#1 — Boomerang. Boomerang is a freemium tool that helps you send and receive messages at the right time. You can use it to communicate with team members, friends, family, etc. Other features include scheduling an email to be sent later and track email opens.
Personally speaking, Boomerang really shines with the feature to bump important emails that need attention to the top of your inbox. You can set an email reminder to be sent to your inbox two days after your email was sent only if the recipient didn’t respond to your email.
#2 — Email Game. Gamify your inbox with the Email Game, a free web app that makes conquering your inbox fun. It integrates with your Gmail and Google Apps and disciplines you to keep your response and composition time to a minimum. You can get points by responding to emails quickly and keeping your inbox nice and organized.
#3 — Mixmax. Get instant scheduling, tracking, templates, and polls in Gmail with Mixmax (freemium). It lets you track, automate, and enhance your emails with a productivity suite for your Gmail inbox. You can track emails accurately, set up meetings quickly, save time with email templates, and schedule emails to be sent later.
#4 — Inbox Pause. Inbox Pause (freemium) is a great tool to use to pause receiving emails until you’re ready for them. That way, you won’t be distracted by new emails when trying to focus on other work.
You can turn off notifications for desktop and mobile mail platforms in order to re-establish control of your email habit. Rather than checking emails right after receiving a notification, it is better to set aside dedicated periods of time to check email throughout the day.
Consider responding to emails for a set period of time in the morning, afternoon, and evening so you can dedicate the rest of your day to getting things done. By following this email productivity trick, you’ll be able to focus better on key projects.
#5 — Asana/Trello. Since emails do end up getting lost or ignored, it’s not a good idea to manage tasks through email. You shouldn’t rely on email to manage projects.
While some might allow the contents of their email inbox to dictate what needs to get done, there are better project management tools out there that are designed to help users get things done quickly.
Asana or Trello (both freemium apps) are two great tools for task management.
Email will always be a tool that will play a central business role regardless of the new communication platforms out there.
The key to getting a grip on your inbox is putting in place productivity processes that will easily work for you. Remember: Email should be one tool among many you use to get things done, and those who master email productivity don’t allow their email inbox to set their schedule or constantly distract them throughout the day.
Tomorrow is the final lesson in this course. We’ll recap all the concepts we covered so you have everything in one neat checklist.
To a Productive You!
Zen To Done: The Ultimate Simple Productivity System by Leo Babauta
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