What are alternatives to ActiveInbox
Dealing with inbox overload and to-do lists in emails
Email congestion is a big problem these days. Furthermore, email is not just communication, it largely dictates your to-do list. Plus, the constant notifications can be a distraction. We all need a way to tame email.
Tricks To Avoid Cluttered Inbox 3 Easy Ways To Stop Email Overload By Hitting Your Inbox 3 Easy Ways To Stop Email Overload By Hitting Your Inbox Email has a good reputation as being Productivity killer. Managing email well can help you keep your inbox clean, but wouldn't it be great if you had fewer of them? Read More Who better to talk about than a man who wanted to tame Gmail from 2006? Andy Mitchell is the founder of ActiveInbox, an app to help organize your Gmail inbox. Organize your Gmail inbox better with ActiveInbox. Better organize your Gmail inbox with ActiveInbox Read More
Morning email: is it a must or should you clear it up later?What isthe best strategy to deal with email when you wake up?
Andy: I've struggled with it for years.
- If you are the first to write an email, you get sucked in and lose a whole morning (a bit like watching a video on YouTube and then following relatives down the rabbit hole).
- But if you postpone it, you will likely miss out on something critical or get stuck in something else and never come back to it.
The answer is to do both! Still in two simple bites.
Achieve Inbox Zero Using David Allen's Approach 5 Steps To Curing Inbox Zero Email Frenzy 5 Steps To Curing Inbox Zero Email Frenzy Inbox Zero is one of the most popular buzzwords. To truly solve your email problems, you need to go beyond Inbox Zero and address the underlying issues. Read More
- Is it rubbish? Delete it.
- Can you answer in 2 minutes? Then do that and delete it.
- Otherwise, act for later. You can specify a priority status in Gmail (with ActiveInbox) or Outlook. (You may want to reply to all critical emails immediately)
Why for Inbox Zero? In the words of Merlin Mann ...
"The 'zero?'It's not how many messages are in your inbox - it's how much of your own brain is in that inbox.Especially if you don't want to. "
It gives you a clean start to the day.
Action point: Pick several low energy points later in the day to get those emails done. I advocate the sleepy half hour after lunch and just before the end of the day. Drop into the list of action emails and zoom through them.
Should email be something you check regularly or regularly?
Andy: I think if you follow the inbox zero approach above, you can check every hour or so for urgent matters, but move anything that takes time into more periodic blocks.
Of course if you work in sales or customer care you have no choice - email is your life!
How do you categorize email between tasks, important information, and other work?
Andy: First, there are only two broad categories that are important: Is it a task or is it reference material? Any other email is simply deleted.
Then tasks can be grouped by status. For example, high priority, low priority, and "waiting for".
The Waiting For list is the most powerful list for anything blocked while waiting for someone else to do something. These emails are usually the ones that sink into the depths of our email client and we completely forget to follow.
Action element: Keep a label in Gmail. or keep a flag in Outlook; and if you're sending an email that you absolutely need a reply to, mark it. Then you can go on your waiting list once a week and pick up anyone who hasn't responded.
Should email be used as a to-do list?
If you already have tasks in your inbox, what alternative is there?You would have to copy and paste them from your email into another system.
This is a huge source of wasted time and confusion with tasks being duplicated in different systems. For this reason, David Allen advocates "hard edges" (an item should only appear in a list) to keep your brain organized and stress-free.
Of course, the main disadvantage with regular email clients is that they cannot handle these email tasks well. Hence, the original idea of ActiveInbox was that email Tasks are . There is no separation or duplication.
Action Item: [Editor's Note] You Can Sort Gmail Into a Trello-Like Taskboard With Sorted Turn Gmail Into a Trello-Like Task Board With Sorted Turn Gmail Into a Trello-Like Taskboard With Sorted In the modern workforce, your email often turns into Your to-do list. Well, now you can get a Trello-style organization right in Gmail with a new Sorted Chrome extension. Read More
What are some effective ways to use email to jot down tasks?
Andy: If you want to add a task that didn't start as an email, just email yourself! Then you need to mark it as a task.
With ActiveInbox, you can replace the subject of the email with a task name, set a status and due date, add a checklist and notes, and make them part of a project. It makes Gmail a complete task manager.
Action element: In Gmail, you can star an email. Google Inbox lets you add reminders or snooze an email Google Inbox Review: A Breath of the Fresh Air Google Inbox Review: A Breath of the Fresh Air Gmail is a household name in the email department, but Google wasn't up to it satisfied. Hit the Google Inbox, a new way to access email. Continue reading .
As a to-do list, is our inbox becoming another system that fights for attention?
Andy: It sure is a system that is fighting for our attention, but our inbox does. So it's no other. The fact that your inbox is already a to-do list without your particular request should therefore be your central to-do list.
It's always easier to swim with the current. You could try keeping a to-do list elsewhere, but if most of your to-do items come from email, do you want to keep fighting it, copying and pasting emails into your other task manager and yelling at coworkers who send you emails? Don't fight it! Make email the core of your to-do list.
Action element: [Editors Note] If you want to keep using an external task list, Todoist and Any.do let you add tasks directly from Gmail.
Is Email Efficiency a Collaborative or Individual Responsibility? What is the etiquette we should all follow?
Andy: When it comes to etiquette, the answer is definitely, definitely collaborative. As with anything else in society, it's about respecting others as much as you do yourself. [Editor's Note: Similarly, there are some emails guaranteed to insult, anger, or angry recipients 6 ways to guarantee to insult, anger and Trouble With Every Email You Send 6 Ways To Guarantee Offend, Anger And Harassment With Every Email You Send Emails are tough. It's really hard to get across what you really want to say in an email, and half the time people will almost always get you wrong. Much of the problem is coming ... read more]
While seemingly polite, I think emails that simply say "Thank you!" Or "Ok!" Say you are a total waste of time and therefore nasty.
However, when it comes to collaborative tools, that's a different matter. Email is an inherently solo experience. At least to coordinate a team's schedule, you still need your project manager, CRM, and IM tool.
Action Item: I am a fan of 3Sentences. The shortness saves time for everyone - even if you have to scan the e-mail again in the future. While waffling emails are lazy and rude.
Ask Andy your email questions!
Andy Mitchell will read the comments and answer any questions you have about dealing with your email. Now is your chance to solve this annoying problem!
Photo credit: Cairo, Lea Latumahina, Mike Renlund, OmirOnia, Hoefi, OpenClip
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