Your Email Client

Emails have long ceased to be merely a means of communication. The service has expanded to become the most convenient (and affordable) marketing tool, with a great majority of businesses relying on it to keep in touch with their customers and clients, as well as find new ones.

Coupled with the rise of modern workspaces and cloud storage, email has evolved into an omnipotent tool billions of people rely upon on a daily basis.

The other side of the coin is dependence; it is a well-known fact that most people keep checking incoming messages throughout the day, in all kinds of situations and places, some of which are inappropriate. Mildly put. I.e., statistics show that people spend ca. 5.4 hours per day checking email. Approximately 69 per cent of people check email while watching TV, 57 per cent while still in bed and 79 per cent while on vacation.

Leaving those malign habits aside, the obsessive habit of checking email all the time has led to some uncomfortable stats. I.e., ca. 660,000 people attempt to check email while driving, with 390,000 injuries occurring annually in the process. As a matter of fact, one out of four car accidents in the U.S. is caused by drivers texting. Experts say that texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk. One of the main reasons for that is that the practice reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by a stunning 37 per cent.

Obviously, email has become a dangerous service somewhere along the road. In addition to managing your everyday life more efficiently, it is necessary to cure unhealthy impulses relating to email that put you and other people in danger.

Setting Personal Email Rules

Many things have been said about efficient email handling. Nowadays, there is even a thing called “email etiquette,” guiding senders in terms of scheduling and proper replies. Similar to netiquette expected in chat rooms, email etiquette aims at respecting recipients’ free time.

However, no such thing applies to sales promotions and newsletters, at least not to a significant extent. The first thing to do in order to not be distracted by incoming emails, therefore, is turning off email notifications.

The first rebuke after such a statement is, without exception, “what about urgent emails?”. The answer is simpler than it may appear at first. For one thing, auto-responses have proven to be one of the most efficient methods when dealing with urgent messages, and for another, there is nothing short of a myriad of apps addressing the issue.

Most email clients and webmail services offer various scheduling options, which can help greatly in this matter.

Remember that social media and various other services use email notifications, which means every day is a hectic day for the lovers of email notifications.
Make Use of Folders,
Next, you should choose when to check new messages. The best practice is to do the task twice a day — once before going to work and again sometime after your working hours. Also recommended is to limit the time spent on handling emails with the help of a Gmail tracker. Up to two hours should be more than sufficient. Don’t cheat on those rules, or else you’ll soon find yourself getting back to your old habits. When checking email, address all new messages and clean the inbox after that. In that way, the next time you check your inbox, you will see only new messages, and there will be no pending tasks.

Make Use of Folders, Labels and Templates

All email clients and webmail services feature standard folders and allow the user to make customized ones. Use this to your advantage. In addition, labels can be extremely helpful and increase the visibility of emails.

When that has been settled, it remains to optimize the time spent responding to new messages. The first thing that comes to mind is templates. If you tend to get many messages of one type (e.g., inquiries), templates are just the thing you need. Free templates are to be found literally everywhere, so a simple search should do the trick.

Whitelist and Blacklists

Whitelists and blacklists are often either forgotten or misused. Did you know that many marketing email senders end up being blacklisted because people neglect to unsubscribe from the services and newsletters they are no longer interested in? Blacklists do marvels when it comes to unwanted emails, and whitelists ensure that all-important messages end up exactly where you want them.

Value Your Time

Finally, you will see your everyday activities improving very soon if you learn how to compose emails more efficiently. On top of that, the practice will make recipients happy. Namely, to not waste either your or the recipient’s time, make certain to write compelling subject lines that state the purpose of the message that follows it, along with short and informative body text. Although there are no general rules, the optimum length of a message should not exceed five sentences (plus a signature).

Following these tips is certain to help you manage your everyday life in a more efficient way (not to mention that it will leave you with more free time to enjoy other activities).