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An overflowing inbox is something that we have all probably experienced at some point in our personal and professional lives. Unexpected life circumstances happen and as well we sometimes get lax in our discipline to manage our email traffic on a regular basis. In this episode I give a simple strategy for managing this email overload and some email services that are handy to help manage your email from getting to that point in the first place.
Services mentioned in this episode:
- Sanebox (I get a free 5$ account credit for each person that signs up using this link.)
- Boomerang Gmail (I get some kind of credit for you signing up using this link, but I can’t figure out what that is!)
- Gmail Valet (defunct)
The first step is to shut off the email spigot. Create a strategy for sustainably processing your inbox from today forward. Then look at your backlog and attempt to establish a breadcrumb method for dealing with the back email messages. For example, a friend and colleague of mine takes the oldest days worth of email and the last two days’ email to process. Doing this every workday along with keeping up with the inbound email today is manageable and in just a few days or weeks’s time, you’re back to Inbox Zero.
To help with shutting off the email spigot, there’s an email service called Unroll.me. It helps you unsubscribe from all those email newsletters you think you should be receiving but they’re really just distractions.
Another service is called Sanebox. It automatically filters messages that you don’t need to deal with right now so that you can bring those into view when you actually want to address them. I really enjoy being able to train Sanebox and seeing the statistics of how many hours it saves of my time.
Also a favorite service of mine is Boomerang Gmail. It enables you to send email out of view then come back to you at a predetermined date and time. Also Boomerang Gmail is able to schedule an outbound email and has several other really great features so check this one out, for sure.
And finally there’s a new service called Gmail Valet. What I understand about the service is that there are real humans who have access to your inbox. And, as new email arrives they review your email to see whether or not it’s actionable. If it is, they add it to a task list for you and otherwise move nonactionable items according to your specifications. It’s currently free to use in beta!
So there you have it, a strategy for dealing with email overload and some services that can possibly help you from it getting overwhelming in the first place.