The following article is from our friends at SaneBox who specialize in optimizing email productivity. We’re sure you’ll find value in their helpful advice!
At WiseStamp, we are all about making the most of each email you send! That’s why we’re happy to bring you this guest post from our friends at Sanebox, an easy-to-use email productivity solution. They are experts on email productivity and have culled together the 10 best hacks to boost your
The average employee spends 13 hours a week reading and responding to messages. This means roughly 30% of their work time is devoted to managing their inbox. That’s entirely too much time to be spending on email! Resist toxic email culture by implementing these 10 advanced email productivity hacks, and soon you’ll be on your way to crushing your inbox every day.
1. Don’t Unsubscribe from Suspicious Emails
Unsubscribing from suspicious emails can result in more junk mail because you’re exposing yourself as a real person (who actually reads emails) to a potential spammer. Instead, use SaneBlackHole—it will simply put all future emails from those senders directly into Trash.
2. Don’t Use Your Email as an Archive
Using your inbox as an archive goes against every productivity method out there. It’s the equivalent of keeping all your snail mail in your P.O. box. It’s terrible for your productivity, and for your subconscious. Don’t do it. Archive it all now—right now—and start fresh.
3. Shortcuts are Your Friend
You don’t need to go crazy with email keyboard shortcuts to become more productive. Think of the five actions you use most often and learn the shortcuts for these actions. Here is a full list of shortcuts for Gmail, Apple Mail, and Outlook.
4. Don’t Mark Unwanted Emails as Spam
Unwanted emails sent from legitimate mailing lists that you signed up for shouldn’t be marked as spam. Marking them as spam is just bad karma because email providers will penalize the sender, thinking they are a spammer when they are not. Use SaneBlackHole, or unsubscribe from the mailing list if you’re confident in the sender’s integrity.
5. Triage Your Email
Is your goal is to shoot for Inbox Zero every night? To achieve this, try using a method called triage: every so often, check your email and sort each incoming message into one of three types:
Tip: never let a starred email last longer than a week before you handle it. To keep track of the stars, you can use Gmail superstars plugin (In Settings, under the General tab, you will see a category named ‘Stars’—simply drag and drop the stars you would like to enable) and the multi-inbox with a separate inbox for starred emails.
6. Set Follow-Up Reminders
Let’s face it, people can be annoying and don’t always respond to your emails. If you need to hear back from someone, set up a system to remind yourself. We recommend using Boomerang or SaneBox’s Reminders feature. If you haven’t heard from the recipient by the time you specified, you’ll receive a reminder. (Pro tip: Telling the recipient that you have set a reminder and will follow up by a certain time puts additional pressure on them to respond.)
7. Use the Short Reply
Although it might sound simple, this is for real ballers. Replying to a lengthy email with a couple sentences or even just a few words is NOT rude. If you can effectively convey your response in just a few words there is absolutely no reason to add fluff. Don’t even say “Hi, so-and-so.” A simple “no” will suffice and will earn you lots of respect.
8. Use Cloud Storage Links Instead of Attachments
Dropbox and other file-sharing services are a great way to share files. Just right-click on the file you want to share, choose “Dropbox,” then “Share link.” Copy and paste that link into your email. Not only is this a much more efficient use of space, but it also allows you to modify the file, which guarantees that the recipient will always have the latest version of the site when they click on the link. The same trick works with any other cloud storage service.
9. Become a Signature Pro
Don’t go overboard with the email signatures. Include only relevant and useful information. Pick an eye-catching template that fits your business using Wisestamp. Remember to set up email signatures for your mobile devices, too! Replace the generic signature with something useful, like adding links that promote your company.
10. Use an Email-Prioritization System
Sign up for an email prioritization system like SaneBox or Gmail’s Priority Inbox. Let that system siphon off the unimportant email so that it never shows up in your inbox in the first place. Glance through this low-priority stuff at the end of the day. (You’ll be able to delete most of it without even opening it.)
These are just a few strategies to help you get out of your inbox and on with your life. For more time-saving strategies, best practices and awesome tools and apps to make you an email master, check out this list of 100 email hacks. Now go out and enjoy all the free time you have now!
Dmitri Leonov is an internet entrepreneur and leads growth efforts at Sanebox. He has over ten years of experience in startups, corporate strategy, sales strategy, channel development, international expansion and M&A.