A funny thing happened in 2014. Somewhere along the way, my inbox consistently stayed…empty.
Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
But since I’m all about “sharing is caring”, I’m going to share the 6 apps and the system that helped me achieve the elusive Inbox Zero.
This is how we do it (this is how we do it…sha-la-la-la-la-laaa-la-laaa)
CLEAN IT UP
First step in getting to Inbox Zero is to clear out the junk. For me, I utilize the magic two clicks of “select all, archive all” in Gmail. Just do it. You know you want to…
Afraid you may be missing an important piece of mail? Play The E-Mail Game, a Gmail plugin that turns your overflowing inbox into a speed drill to delete, archive, or respond to your hundreds of messages. I never respond within the game – instead, I leave the messages in my inbox so I can respond to them without the time crunch.
Once it’s clean, keep it that way with Unroll.Me. It is hands-down, the best tool to unsubscribe, keep the same, or roll up all those newsletters and sales alerts into one concise daily e-mail. If you’re not signed up yet, sign up now. And relish in the glory of a cleaner inbox.
I check my e-mail four times a day. That’s it. I don’t have the self-control to keep Gmail or Outlook open all day, given that I’d spend my entire day responding to e-mails. I give myself a single Pomodoro (25 minutes) each time to respond, delete, or save every e-mail. E-mails that require a more lengthy response get created into a Todoist task, and every message gets responded to in my evening e-mail response block.
I save a ton of time on responding to e-mails with the help of canned responses. Meg wrote the best tutorial on setting it up, and I use my canned responses for sending the En Route With questionnaire, responding to sponsorship inquiries, and introductory e-mails.
Lots of time is wasted searching for how you know the senders from e-mails. Thankfully, there’s a tool for that.
To cure those “how do I know you?” Facebook/LinkedIn/Google stalking, install Rapporative in your Gmail IMMEDIATELY. It syncs to your social networks, brings up prior e-mail exchanges, and has a text field for you to enter your own notes. It also pulls up a picture of your sender from one of their social networks, putting that oh-so-helpful face to the note.
I’m supremely guilty of both not following up OR sending e-mails at crazy times, thanks to my travels. Boomerang has been my savior for both issues – I can schedule a future date for my message to be “boomerang’ed” back to me, to ensure I’ve followed up. I can also schedule e-mails to be spent at a business-appropriate time when I’m on the go or cranking out e-mails in an insomnia stupor.
Both of these tools have helped me immensely in intelligent e-mailing – both in knowing my sender and sending it at the right time.
That’s it! My 6 top tools AND my system for managing my multiple Gmail accounts…and not go crazy.
I’d love to know – how do you manage your e-mail and keep it under control? Any different tools or tips you’d recommend? COMMENT below and let me know!