3 Tips for Staying On Top of Overflowing Email Inboxes

Many people use their email as a sort of to-do list, knocking off tasks reactively as they go through their messages one-by-one. And to some extent it makes sense; their inbox is constantly overflowing with email and they’re fighting to regain control.

However, this approach can be a huge productivity drain that not only distracts them from the bigger picture, but also means they’re allowing other people to dictate their work days, rather than ceasing the reigns and structuring their days strategically.

Here are three tips to help you take control of your inbox — before it takes control of you.

1. Remember that Not All Email is Created Equally

The first thing to realize is that not every email is created equally. As a business owner, an email from a client is likely much more urgent than one from another company pitching their services. It’s important to have a system in place — whether manual or automated — to prioritize emails so that urgent ones don’t get buried.

One solution is an app called Sanebox, which creates a new folder called SaneLater in your email. Over time, the app begins learning which emails you tend to prioritize over others. The app then places emails it deems as low priority into your SaneLater folder, and sends a summary at the end of the day of all emails placed there. This way, only high priority messages ever show up in your inbox, giving you the peace of mind you need to get on with real work. Low priority messages can then be processed systematically at a later time.

2. Use Apps to “Do It” or “Defer It”

David Allen, author of the popular productivity book Getting Things Done, coined the “do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it” principle. The “do it” part suggests that if a task will take under two minutes to complete, that it is best to take action on it immediately. The same principles can be applied to email.

To help your respond to emails in under two minutes, try Google’s Canned Responses feature for Gmail, which allows you to create template responses for common inquiries. And if an email contains a task that will take longer than two minutes, try an app like Clear Context, a plugin for Outlook, which allows you to instantly convert any email into an actionable task on your calendar.

3. Consolidate Your Subscriptions

When you sign up for a new software tool, conference or white paper, you’re often opting in to subscribe to emails, such as newsletters and promotions. Even if they are interesting and helpful, in most cases you should not be reading these emails right away. They can also clutter up your inbox and cause you to miss other important messages. To prevent subscriptions from getting out of hand, use an app like Unroll.me to organize them, which will consolidate all your subscriptions into a daily or weekly “rollup”. Unroll.me can also be used to mass-unsubscribe from emails you’re no longer interested in.

So don’t let your email dictate your workday. Cease control by keeping your inbox free of clutter so that you can focus on more important work.

5 Helpful Tips for Managing a Project or Team Remotely

Welcome to the new age of co-working where teams are no longer geographically bound within office walls. We can now enjoy anywhere, anytime access to our team, projects and files thanks to the cloud. But the challenges of ensuring that  your team is meeting deadlines and your project stays within budget still exist no matter where you or your team are. Throw in language barriers, cultural differences, different time zones and increased difficulty in monitoring performance, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. With a little effort and understanding, your remote team can work as efficiently as your in-office team. Here’s how.

Continue reading

How to plan your work week after a long holiday

image

Welcome back! Did you have a great time with friends, family and loved ones this Thanksgiving? Excellent! Now you can start digging yourself out of at least half a week of work. Take the initiative to organize yourself and your work to avoid the post-vacation burnout.

Continue reading

Tagged ,

Tips for leading great meetings

Ever get stuck in meetings that drag on and on and get virtually nothing accomplished? We’ve all been on the phone during conference calls where we go through the weather forecast, weekend plans or baby announcements from each and every single participant before anyone even begins talking about what needs to be talked about! There is a time and place for catching up and unfortunately project meetings are neither of those. Don’t be annoying; be that person everyone refers to as the boss that gets $#!% done!

Continue reading

Tagged

A new look for your task list

Yesterday we released a new design for the task list as well as a few minor improvements to the Producteev UI.


Up to 4 assignees can now be displayed in a row. A circle with the number of extra assignees will be displayed in the event that a task has more than 4 assigned users.

Continue reading

Tagged ,

Import your Do.com tasks to Producteev today

The Producteev Team here has been hard at work building tools to help import your tasks from other task management applications to Producteev. Why make the switch? Producteev is the only completely free task management application on the market. Producteev is available for the web, desktop, iOS and Android devices. You can have as many users and create as many projects as you need to get work done; all for free.

Today we released the Do.com import tool.

for more info on how to import your data!

How to manage your time at work so you get out at 5pm sharp

Time management is an essential skill that many of us have, unfortunately, NOT mastered. It’s the reason why we’re late for work, why meetings run long and why we usually can’t get our butts out of that office chair by 5:00 PM. We then compromise by working through lunch or, worse yet, working on the weekends. Managing your time at work these says is less about keep work strictly at work (because, let’s be honest, who can afford to do that anymore when we are so connected?) but keeping a healthy work life balance with effective task management. Let’s get started with a few basics that will help you establish a foundation for helping you get what needs to be done on time everyday of the week.

Set yourself up for four solid hours of work each day.

I know, your overachieving self probably aims to get in a full eight hours of work done each day. But just think of all the legitimate distractions you face during the 9-to-5 like meetings, last minute requests, urgent fixes and technology issues that may prevent you from actually getting work done. An once your work flow is interrupted, it takes a while to get back into the groove of it. If you’ve set yourself up for more work that you can realistically finish in one day, you 1) end up staying much later than intended and 2) set yourself up for feeling of failure and disappointment. Be realistic with what you can humanly handle and set those expectation with your colleagues and peers. Make a to-do list for your weekly tasks and projects and reinstate those feelings of accomplishment as you check more and more things off that list!

Do a 4pm wind-down.

Set aside the hour before your workday ends to wrap up. Don’t set any meetings for this time. Go through your Producteev tasks, emails and if someone is making a request, notify them that you will get back to them first thing tomorrow morning. If you coworkers are sending you last minute requests frequently, you should share this list with them as well! Make a generic checklist of all the things that need to wrap up everyday, focus on that, and give yourself a pat on the back as you wrap up and leave the office at 4:59 PM.

Repeat after me: “There will always be work.”

You won’t ever really finish everything that needs to be done. The best you can do is prepare and schedule yourself for the work that needs to be done to meet those deadlines. Once you acknowledge that there will always be works that lingers at the end of the day (and know that you can address that the next morning) you will feel a huge weight lift from your shoulders. Reorganize tasks, give yourself a much needed break and prepare for tomorrow!

These mantras will not resonate with everyone, but if you can take away one thing from this, know that you can achieve a better work/life balance with just a little organization in your day.

Until then, stay productive!

Linda

Tagged

A new look for activity streams

We’ve been talking about this for months and it’s finally here… the new Producteev Activity Stream!

You can access the activity stream by clicking on a project and choosing between the Task and Activity view for the project.

We’re continually rolling out new features for our users so check back again soon for more updates!

Tagged ,

Migrate your data from Do.com to Producteev

Do.com (formerly Manymoon, acquired by Salesforce back in 2011) announced that it will discontinue its services on January 31st. Over the past few days we have received a variety of inquiries from Do.com users asking for migration paths to Producteev.  With that in mind, we are introducing a one-click import tool that will be available within the next few days.

Please visit www.producteev.com/do for more information.

We want you to know that Producteev is the only completely free Do.com alternative on the marketplace that is backed by Jive Software, the leader in social business collaboration software. Use Producteev with as many people and for as many projects as you need for as long as you need it. With over 100,000 businesses using Producteev as their go-to task management solution, rest assured, we’re are not going away anytime soon.

  • Totally, utterly, completely free.
  • Cloud-enabled desktop, web and mobile apps
  • Unlimited users
  • Unlimited projects
  • Dedicated technical support team
  • Active user support community (powered by Jive!)

image

Please bookmark and enter your email at producteev.com/do for continued information about the Do.com migration tool. We look forward to having you!

All the best,
The Producteev Team

Producteev for iOS7 is now available on the App Store

Good news, iPhone users!

The iOS 7 version of Producteev is now available on the App Store. On top of providing full iOS7 compatibility, this update is all about “I don’t know what they changed, but I’m glad they did it” (see before/after screenshots at the end of the post). You will immediately notice a color change with way less contrast (that’s Senior Engineer Julien Rousseau‘s magic touch).

We’ve also slimmed the font to make the app a little more clean and readable. You may also notice a simplified calendar/date picker tool which we will go into more depth about next time. The new look and feel of the app leads to a better experience and users can focus on getting things done. Many thanks to Producteev iPhone developer Jerome Miglino!

Before / After:

before-after-users.jpgbefore-after-create.jpgbefreo-after-cal.jpgbefore-after-task.jpg

This update is also packed with tons of little changes, improvements and fixes. Since our launch in May, this is the biggest update we have released! If you don’t want to update to iOS 7, the app remains fully compatible with iOS 6.

Until next time!

Tagged , ,
Subscribe