I sign up for a lot of subscriptions. I love the helpful tips, and information email subscriptions provide. The only problem is that I never seem to have enough time to read them. Does this sound familiar? If it does, this post about email management is for you!
I was trying to tackle my subscription email management challenges and found some great tricks and tools I’m happy to share with all of you. Productivity expert Merlin Mann (perhaps he’s a bit of a productivity wizard?) believes any time your brain spends thinking about your inbox, productivity suffers. He’s probably right. To combat this distraction, Mann offers the following email management tips.
- Don’t leave your email client open (Outlook, MacMail, etc.).
- Process email periodically throughout the day, perhaps at the top of each hour or at set times of the day
- First, delete or archive as many new messages as possible.
- Forward what can be best answered by someone else.
- Immediately respond to any new messages you can answer in two minutes or less.
- Move new messages requiring more than two minutes and can be answered later to a separate “requires response” folder.
- Set aside time each day to respond to email in the “requires response” folder or chip away at mail in this folder throughout the day.
Email Management Software
In addition to these fabulous tips, some great email management software and apps are available to help you stay on top of your subscriptions and other important messages.
This is smart email management. Sanebox learns what’s important to you and filters out the rest. By using its brainpower instead of your own to sort through emails, you save yourself countless hours sifting through messages.
If you have more than one email account, Shift is for you! Use it to view all your emails in one easy-to-access desktop application. In addition, the search feature works across all applications, so you can easily find conversations.
I don’t know about you, but I love automated reminders. Sure, I can flag an email for follow-up, but doing the actual follow-up is much harder. Or it was, until now. For a low monthly fee, FollowUpThen can be used to remind you, or you and the original email recipient on your time frame.
HubSpot Sales Chrome Extension
Catering to Gmail and Outlook users, HubSpot Sales lets you know when your email has been opened, how many times and from where. Plus, any time you open an email thread, a sidebar opens that shows your history with that person, including anything from LinkedIn.
No, that’s not a typo. IFTTT stands for If This Then That. You can use it for literally anything. Are you waiting for an important email? Use IFTTT to send you a text when you get an email from a specific person. Need to organize your contacts? Use IFTTT to create a new one when you get an email from a new address. IFTTT makes the connection to your products so they “work better together.”
Specifically for Gmail users, Sortd turns your inbox into a flexible set of lists, neatly organized into columns. As a result, your emails, to-do lists, and priorities are all in one place. In addition, you can drag and drop from one column to another, making it easy to keep track of what you’ve done and what needs to get done.
Another Chrome extension, this time for people with multiple Gmail addresses, Checker Plus, will give you a desktop notification each time you get an email. No need to log in. In addition to letting you know “you’ve got mail,” it will allow you to read, listen to, or delete messages as they come in.
Sorry Mac users, this one’s only for Windows. The Mailbird email client rolls email, calendar, and messaging apps into one smooth interface. You can even customize colors and appearance.
While certainly not the cheapest solution out there, it is one of the few that interfaces with Outlook. Simply File adds a Ribbon to your Outlook menu with customizable files. Then, when an email comes in, all you have to do is drag it to the correct folder.