How many emails are in your inbox right now?
For the vast majority of us, reaching inbox zero is a difficult and ambitious goal.
Today, email has become the primary tool of communication for businesses. According to a study by the Radicati Group, there will be more than 4.9 billion email accounts by the end of 2017.
Last year, businesses sent and received more than 100 billion emails every day.
The challenge is building a personal methodology to tackle messages and remain productive at the same time. Whenever we open an email, it requires a conscious shift in focus, and that impacts your overall productivity. In the trenches of your daily work, interruptions are the primary enemy to getting things done.
Yesterday, Brigid Schulte, a Washington Post reporter, published a story on her recent quest to tackle the inbox starting with more than 20,000 emails.
Expunging emails for days (or weeks) can get you back to inbox zero, but that is a costly time expense. Simply deleting everything is a way to start over fresh, but you may lose important information to reference later.
Earlier this week, Schulte finally managed to get back to an empty inbox, but not after establishing some protocols and a rules-based system.
You can apply a similar strategy by using Evernote to streamline your email workflow in order to be productive every day.
Get ahead of future inbox excavation by making email work for you, starting now:
1. Automatically file daily and weekly recurring messages, status reports, and updates into specific Business notebooks. Once you’ve sent work-related content into Evernote, it’s all easily searchable. Just sync first.
2. Send email receipts, hotel confirmations, and other expense documentation to easily file a reimbursement report.
3. Premium users can customize your personal email address. Take advantage of this feature by contacting Evernote Support.
4. Use special characters (@, !) to control the destination notebook of your email. Learn more.
Call on Clipper
With Evernote Clipper for Chrome, you can save emails directly into Evernote, directly from your email folder. Save single emails or entire threads, add relevant tags, and immediately organize them into your notebooks.
Evernote has a robust tagging engine and powerful search capabilities. Put them to work for you. Use the ‘#’ symbol to add a single tag (or multiple tags) to your email.
For emails you frequently forward into Evernote, organize them into similar notebooks by enabling our Auto-Filing feature. Evernote will look for related notes in your account and apply the same notebook and tags. Enable Auto-Filing from your Account Preferences > Personal Settings. That checkbox looks like this:
Set up your email client filters to automatically send email based on the sender (weekly newsletters and reports), or with a particular subject. Set the recipient email address to be your Evernote email address.
Apps to try
Stay updated by organizing incoming email into Evernote with these powerful partner applications.
CloudMagic is an iPhone and Android app that saves important work emails to your personal Evernote or Evernote Business notebook. A few taps is all it takes to quickly save emails by auto-magically creating a new note inside your default notebook. Or, you can target the notebook by including the Evernote Business notebooks. Add tags to ensure that you stay organized and are able to find important content when you need it. Taking ownership of your inbox is difficult, but CloudMagic helps you focus on your daily work. Implement a few of these features into your daily Evernote work usage to figure what works best.
Dispatch, available for iPhone, makes it easy to immediately take action on your email when you’re on the move. Archive text from important emails — and attachments — by saving it directly into Evernote. The app was designed based on the ideas of Merlin Mann, an important figure in the GTD (Get Things Done) Movement that focuses on decluttering your inbox using delete, defer, and delegate as a way to respond to email.
Boxer, available for iOS, is the next generation of inbox. Whether you use Gmail, Outlook, Exchange, or Yahoo! Mail, Boxer manages your inbox so that you can diligently file and save important emails to Evernote. Stay on top of your work and increase your productivity.
Have you reached inbox zero with the help of Evernote? How did you get there? Share the best stories and tips about staying productive in your work in the comments.