Tame the Email Beast

We all know email can take far too much time from our day, and with all the other tasks building up in piles around us, it’s important to tame this beast.  Here are a few, simple strategies i find most useful:

Set specific times of the day to check email, no more, no less.  Don’t allow this monster to eat up every spare minute you have.  If necessary, train your colleagues and frequent emailers to call you if something is urgent (like a snow day, or last minute announcement).  I recommend once in the morning, and once in the afternoon/evening.  Most of what floods your inbox can wait.  If not, they know where to call.

Using Google’s Inbox.  Having tried Inbox several months ago, and not seeing its great usefulness, I’ve given it a second chance.  There are several features here that I like, not least being the cleaner interface:

  • Mark items “done” as you respond or resolve them.  If you need to respond later to a particular issue, “pin” it, so it stays in the top.
  • Chrome has an excellent “Save to Inbox” extension which allows you to save links to any sites you visit to your Inbox screen, or to email to someone.  I find this especially helpful because anything I find while surfing I can tag for easy access later, in a place I am sure to look.

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