Emails can easily take over our work lives. If you're an entrepreneur who is spending more time checking business emails rather than progressing the business itself, here are a few tricks to fix this.
Tagged With email management
We're constantly told that we should strive to maintain a good work-life balance to avoid feeling burnt out. But talk is cheap and many of us are still hooked on checking our work emails at home or when we're out and about. Should there be a mandate to ban people from replying to business emails at home? France seems to think so.
Chrome/Safari/Opera: There are a number of solutions for dealing with an inbox overwhelmed with spam, newsletters, marketing emails and so on. You can filter your mail, for example, or sign up for a service like Unroll.me to help you unsubscribe. However, Throttle is a free inbox management tool that attacks the problem at the source.
Internal emails from the company you work for can be crucially important or a complete irrelevance -- either way, being able to spot these company messages at a glance in your inbox can make a big difference to your email productivity. Here’s how to quickly set up a filter in three of the most popular desktop clients.
Blogger Darren Rowse finally got fed up with multiple inboxes stuffed with thousands of unprocessed email messages and took a day to clear them out. First he consolidated five accounts into a single Gmail inbox. Then he unsubscribed from newsletters he didn't read, put some heavy-duty filters into place, and topped it all off with a heavy lean on the Archive button. Not bad for a Sunday morning's work.
A new Australian study of Blackberry users has found that the cult PDA makes people more productive by blurring the lines between work and home, but that angry spouses are hitting back at the device.The joint study between the UNSW Australia School of Business and the University of Sydney found that the device with its always-on email delivery enabled users to work "harder, faster and more frequently," researcher Judith McCormack told the Fin Review today.The downside they found was that organisations were having to replace Blackberries more often than other equipment - as a result of family members growing frustrated with the device. "One organisation said they go through a lot of handsets, suggesting that they are actually damaged, flushed down the toilet or thrown at the wall more frequently than one would expect."Either that, or they read Gina's guide to email management and didn't want always on email disturbing their work anymore. :)
We've previously walked you through how to import old emails from other clients to Gmail using IMAP, or you can do it using POP. However you imported your old mail,Olivier Beyssac at the Official Google blog suggests a few tweaks to give you more options for searching or creating email from your old accounts. The Google support page runs you through how to set up Mail Fetcher. The last step is "Add Account". At this point:* label incoming mail "imported" so it's easier to search for later if you need to* once you've validated the new account, select "Yes, I want to be able to send mail as [email protected]"Olivier says this will let you use the "from:me" search in Gmail to look
for email you sent using any name or address - so you can find everything you sent from all your old addresses and aliases.If you still want to send mail through Gmail which looks like it's from your old email address you can set up a custom "From:" so that you can select this address in the "From" field when creating an email or reply in Gmail.* go to Settings > Accounts > Send mail as: > Add another email address. * Click
on "Next Step" and then "Send Verification." You'll receive an email
with instructions on how to validate your old address. * Once it's set
up, you can select this address in the "From" field when creating a message or reply by clicking "change" next to your address in the From field.Tips for importing old email to Gmail
If you're an infrequent user of sites like ebay or paypal, you probably make more use of the "I forgot my password, please email it to me" function than you should. I decided to take the simple step of creating a "subscription management" folder in my email client so I'd always have those details to hand.Now whenever I create an account on a website (which usually generates an email confirming my login details), I just drop the email into my subs management folder and it will be there next time I'm trying to remember my password. Requesting a new password usually generates a reminder email with your new login details - I keep those in my subs folder too.My subs management folder has a long list of subscriptions, ranging from Remember the Milk, Ticketek, YouTube and Wikipedia. Now they're just a Thunderbird search away, which has been a real time saver. How do you remember all your online subscription details?
Just because email is "always on" doesn't mean that we need to always check and respond to it, reminds the Lifehack.org blog today. Back before dialup, it was normal for people to go online to download their email, then disconnect from the internet to read and write responses offline, at their pace. Then the next time they went online, their email responses would go out. There wasn't a culture of instant response. But as email has become a primary communication tool (and broadband has given us 'always on' internet), it's been very easy for us to get in the habit of letting email sidetrack us constantly through the day. The tip from Lifehack.org is to treat your email like snail mail, and break the cycle of checking and responding the second new email arrives:Decide what time (or times) you will deal with email each day. At that
time (assuming you deal with it once a day) you will have the last 24
hours worth of emails waiting for you. Set up an efficient system to
deal with all of your emails in one sitting. Sort, process, act and delete, until there is nothing left. Then turn off your email.The gist of it is you need to train yourself, and the people who email you, that email is not efficient for instant communication. I'm still winnowing down my email subscriptions and folders to minimise the amount of email alerts I get over the course of the day. So does the "once a day" ethos appeal to you - or is it too hard to resist the "you have mail" alert?Treat your email like snail mail and walk away with change
The Web Worker Daily takes the blowtorch to email management with its list of five simple hacks to reduce your inbox to zero.
Email triage is very necessary for miminising the time you spend on responding, but also for ensuring that respond in a timely manner to things which need it. I particularly liked the five sentence rule:
"Limit all emails to five sentences or less, and you’ll spend much less time responding to email. Yes, it will force you to say less, and to choose your words more carefully. Yes, that’s a good thing. It will drastically cut your email processing time down."