Can Getting More Email Improve Your Productivity?

Author: tracysigler | Posted: January 14th, 2013 | | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Email Space Invaders - Can Getting More Email Improve Your Productivity?(Photo by mistersnappy)

Maybe. This post is about using “sticks” instead of “carrots” to compel yourself to take care of business. This idea works for me, but if you don’t practice good email inbox hygiene then it most certainly will not work. In fact, it will just make you less productive, which is what most email does.

I’m not bashing people who leave hundreds or even thousands of emails in their inboxes. To me that does seems insane, and I would find it incredibly stressful (which is why this idea works for me). But I’ve known some very high-functioning people who never seem to delete or even just move emails to another folder.

I treat my inbox like a to-do list. While I strive for “inbox zero” the truth is I rarely get there. That said, I usually keep it to 20 or less by the end of the day. If there is some activity I want to make sure I do on a regular basis, a reminder in my inbox will certainly get my attention. More on that later.

First we need to make sure we’re getting as little email as possible before we add any to the pile. Managing email in general is a very big topic but here are four quick tips that help me:

  1. Unsubscribe from everything. You don’t need whatever it is you’re getting. Use a feed reader or social media to keep up with your favorite bloggers etc. Consume information “just in time” (i.e. go look for it) instead of “just in case.”
  2. Use Boomerang for Gmail. But not too much. In Getting Things Done author David Allen says to never put things back in the inbox. You wouldn’t do that with your postal mail so don’t do with email. There’s also an old expression “OHIO” for “only handle it once.” But Boomerang makes it easy to get an email you don’t need right now, delivered “just in time” when you do. I used to put any email that was going to take a lot of time to either read or respond to into a “Read/Review” folder, but I never would read or review them. Now, if I get something on Tuesday and don’t want to deal with it until Saturday, Boomerang to the rescue! My inbox is cleaner in the meantime. Read the rest of this entry »

Biking and Brainstorming, Marketing That Is

Author: tracysigler | Posted: April 15th, 2010 | | Tags: , , | No Comments »

We want to help as many small business owners as we can with their marketing needs. Many of the people we talk to are not able to afford the comprehensive marketing package we provide for our current customers. The full-service marketing package is ultimately the best value, but, again, not everyone can afford to do that. So, we’re going to break the mold here and try something completely new.

The details are still being worked out, but generally speaking it will be a streamlined service, that will be very affordable, and will allow almost any small business to tap into the power of modern marketing using blogs, email and video (oh yeah, there will be some killer reporting too). These are the essential elements, and the foundation for SEO and social media. Other services will be available on a la carte basis.

Stay tuned to the site for more details in the coming weeks. Or, even better, jump on our email list and we’ll keep you updated.