What’s the first thing you do when you start your workday?
Let me guess: check your email?
So do I, and we shouldn’t feel bad about that. Emails occupy about 23% of the average employee’s workday, 28% of their total work week, and an average employee checks their email 36 times PER HOUR.
These statistics really don’t sound promising…
It’s 2019, and while we’re trying to keep the communication on the chat platforms, email still plays a huge role in our lives - both personal and business. However, many people rely on email so they feel the pressure of being buried under a stack of incessant messaging. Yet, this isn’t the biggest issue - the biggest issue is that most of these people actually believe it HAS to be this way. Newsflash: it doesn’t!
We’ve discussed the problem of emailing during office hours already, and there are some good email management tips there. Those are some universal guidelines on how to optimize your overall email time, but it’s important to note that not all important emails are equally important.
In general, important emails can be spread into 3 categories:
- Client or customer emails - which should be dealt with as soon as possible;
- Coworker emails - which should be dealt with at some point, but not as urgently as category 1;
- Newsletters - emails which clutter your inbox, consume your time, and don’t really give much in return.
How to Put an End to Your Email Misery?
Unless you have a fear of missing out (FOMO), you can resolve the issues with the third category by unsubscribing. If you do have FOMO, then you can use filtering and nesting labels to sort your emails automatically.
The other two categories are those that can give you headaches. But, additional problems can arise when your clients need to include other colleagues in the communication, then someone clicks Reply ALL, when there’s no need for it, and so on… There’s no point in explaining further, you all know how the story goes.
Your best bet in this situation is to accept that technology is your friend. There are so many tools that can help you out with mailbox organization, as well as with time management.
Here’s the list of our favorite email apps:
Hiver is the best for Gmail shared inboxes, and for companies who have multiple people using the same account, such as support@, or info@ emails.
Thanks to its features you can:
- Assign emails to team members and mark them done
- Access shared mailbox and track tasks
- Share labels with the entire team
- Get notifications when someone else is replying to an email
- Get notifications about new tasks
- Schedule emails for later
- Make emails come back to the inbox at a future date
- Write notes on emails that can be shared with the rest of the team
- Create email templates, and much more.
Yanado promotes itself as a tool which is a task management tool within your Gmail. It’s great because it turns your communication with the clients into tasks and reminders.
Here’s what it does:
- Creates tasks and to-do lists from emails and adds them to projects;
- Manages project progress and tracks who is doing what in your team;
- Tracks project updates;
- Allows setting due dates and reminders on tasks (synced with Google Calendar);
- Enables delegating tasks and discussing details with team members;
- Improves search by using tags.
Keluro was designed with Microsoft Outlook users in mind. It helps increase team collaboration by making all relevant conversations available in shared channels.
This speeds up the process of distributing important information, while saving you time you spend finding information and emails related to a project.
Boomerang is a Gmail plug-in which comes with helpful features like email scheduling, and follow up reminders. But what we like most about it is the feature that allows you to “boomerang” the email you received if you can’t attend it to it right away, and it will bring it back to your inbox later. Pretty neat, right?
In order to manage the time you’re spending on emails, you must know how much you actually spend on emails, and we know a great app for that. Insightful is a remote employee time tracking and monitoring tool. Within its dashboard, you can see how much time you and your employees are spending in each app, on each website, task and project. Once you’re aware of the time that goes on emails, you’ll be able to optimize your processes and save time (and money)!
Plus, it tracks email response time, a critical KPI for sales and customer service teams (but important for preventing internal bottlenecks, too!). Use it to visualize and rebalance team email workloads, identify your fastest email responders, most frequent email senders, email activity over a 24-hour period, and much more.
This article was originally written on June 13th, 2016. It was updated on October 1st, 2019.