Have you ever kept track of how much time you spend on email each day? When was the last time you cleared away that little incessant bubble at the corner of your email icon? How often do you avoid tasks and messages by flagging it for later? Between sending replies, deleting spam, sorting through subscriptions, and moving invites, deadlines and tasks to your calendar – you’d probably be amazed just how long you spend on email alone each day. Email can be a huge drain on your productivity, even to the point of costing you and your company money. So how can you clean up your inbox and boost your productivity? Here are a few tools to help you out!
Let’s clean things up…
X.ai – Do you find that a lot of the messages in your inbox are just a bunch of back-and-forth between yourself and contacts trying to schedule meetings? Cut down on the back-and-forth with x.ai – it’s an AI personal assistant that schedules meetings for you. Simply CC to the AI, “Amy” and she’ll handle the rest. Amy knows your schedule and preferences so she can respond to your contact and coordinate with them to find the perfect time. Then, the meeting is added to your calendar.
Unroll.me – Newsletter subscriptions are definitely the leading cause of inbox bloat. With a quick scroll through your messages, I’m sure you’ll notice at least a handful of subscriptions (some of which, you don’t even remember subscribing to). You can use Unroll.me to find all of your subscriptions with a single click of a button. The app runs through your inbox and creates a master list of all the newsletters and websites that you’ve subscribed to. You can then unsubscribe from any subscriptions that you’re no longer interested in and then have unroll.me take your remaining subscriptions and transform them into a daily, weekly, or monthly digest.
Sane Box – Sane Box isn’t just another email app – it’s not even an app, it’s an email extension (and it works with most major email providers). The tool simply adds a smart folder to your email. It analyzes your interactions with your email in order to determine which messages are important to you and which aren’t high priority, it then sorts your messages accordingly (important messages remain in your primary inbox while lower priority messages are moved to a different folder and will show up later in the form of a digest).
Zero – Zero is a different kind of email client. Like Sane Box, it uses a smart folder system that sorts your messages based on importance by using a “unique prioritization algorithm.” Additionally, it makes reviewing, responding to, and sorting messages lightning fast because the app’s “Mailfeed shows messages as summarized cards that are easy to read and swipe through.”
..and send better emails!
Hunter – Sometimes you know exactly who you need to contact but you’ve somehow managed to lose their business card and can’t seem to find their contact info? Hunter to the rescue. With just a name (or in some cases, just a domain), you can find just about anyone’s email address. The tool can also check the validity and deliverability of an email address so you can make sure that the message you send will arrive.
Crystal – Need to connect with someone you’ve never met? Not sure what to say? Crystal knows. Crystal is a browser extension that analyzes public data to give you personality information for your contacts so you’ll have an idea of what to say and how to say it in order to “get their attention, win their trust, and earn their business.” Everyone has their own preferred communication style, Crystal helps you personalize your messages so that you can be a more effective communicator, no matter who you’re writing to. This can also help you cut down on those back-and-forth email threads that occur when there’s been a miscommunication.
Boomerang – Boomerang lets you send and receive messages when you choose. The email tool allows you to schedule messages to be sent at a later date/time so that you can be sure that it will arrive at the perfect moment. This is especially handy for those of us who often find ourselves responding to emails at the end of the day – you can schedule them to be sent early the next morning so they’ll be at the top of your recipient’s inbox!
It also sends you follow-up reminders if your recipient hasn’t responded by a specified date. This can be especially helpful for managing employees and maintaining your business contacts.
Save yourself some time and start using these tools to be more productive. We’re sure that there is a lot more important work that you could be doing instead of wrestling with your inbox. Happy emailing!