Email management gets a late 10s remix with a new tool and tip, plus evergreen advice from productivity expert Merlin Mann.
A common word associated with the modern email inbox is “avalanche” – and hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of emails mean reduced productivity, disorganization, and a whole lot of anxiety. It stands to reason that we’re all hoping for solutions that fix the deluge. Productivity expert Merlin Mann delivered his “Inbox Zero” Google Tech Talk back in 2007, but it’s a staple for a reason. His tips on managing your emails stand the test of (12 years’) time, but we think it’s time to update in light of new technology developments and indeed, new realities in the workplace. Check out our three tried-and-true methods, below.
1. Be like Mann: go inbox zero
The best advice is revolutionary and simple all at once, and Mann’s has made lasting waves: don’t wait to respond to, forward, or file your emails. Your goal should be an empty or near-empty inbox, so that you never have to go back and sift through hundreds of emails with the subject headline “Tomorrow” (or worse, “[No subject]”) again.
2. “Slack” off
We’re burgeoning fans of the workplace messaging system Slack here at MediaFace: it keeps our internal emails down to a minimum, and does away with formal greetings when you’re just trying to check in on a deliverable. The scores of extensions and apps for Slack let all of your productivity and work tools talk to each other, too.
3. Get on the horn
If Slack is the millennial generation’s answer to workplace communication, the good old-fashioned phone call is its perfect complement. If you know that a supplier only answers their emails sporadically, and you just need to know if they can meet next Tuesday at three, phone them up for an instant answer. Be rigorous: don’t phone someone out-of-the-blue for a meeting or long chat – use your dialing powers for good and make sure that the question you’re asking can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”
If you noticed that only one of our email tips involves actual email, good job! Let’s move away from fussing over email and towards more productivity in 2019.