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Feeling Hectic to Manage Across Different Email Accounts? Use “Alto” to Gather and Organise Them All At One Place

Feeling Hectic to Manage Across Different Email Accounts? Use “Alto” to Gather and Organise Them All At One Place
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Many of us have more than one email account. If you have a desk job, you probably have to manage a work email as well as your personal email. Or maybe you’re in school, so you have an “.edu” email address as well as an older personal one. Perhaps you juggle several jobs, plus school, so you have three or more accounts.

Whatever the reason, it’s hard to stay on top of many email accounts at once, especially when we need to reference a particular email and can’t remember which address it was sent to! What’s more, it’s unfortunately easy for an important email or two to slip through the cracks.

Gather and Manage all your email accounts at one place

Enter Alto. Made by AOL, Alto works with any email provider, including Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL Mail, Exchange, and more. With this highly-rated app, you can stay completely on top of all of your accounts, and make sure to respond to every important message: from friends, family, your boss, colleagues, and customers.

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    Connect all of your accounts to Alto, and the app will place all the emails you receive into a single inbox. As Alto’s general manager writes, “Alto lets you add all your different accounts, but aggregates all the important time-sensitive and location-sensitive stuff in a way that lets the user get to it easily.”

    All the upcoming events come at the top of your inbox

    Additional features make Alto even more useful than putting emails in a single place. One of the more helpful features is the Dashboard (see above). Alto will automatically generate cards and place them at the top of your inbox: recent charges, flight info, package tracking information, or upcoming meetings. What Dashboard does is automatically aggregate this information into a single location. This is a far cry from digging through emails in the airport, half an hour before your flight, with several open tabs.

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        Visualise your emails so you can read and search based on media attachments

        Alto also immediately filters and organizes your emails based on content, a feature called “Stacks.” So if you want to find emails with photo attachments, or all emails with file attachments, all of those are grouped together into individual stacks. You can even personalize stacks based on the categories most useful to you, such as “starred” or “unread” emails.

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          When composing emails within Alto, you can choose which email address you’d like to send it from. If you allow the app to access your contacts, you should have no trouble pulling up addresses of people who you frequently send messages to. A beautiful and intuitive interface makes Alto a pleasure to use. It’s easy to switch between the “All Accounts” inbox and your individual ones: using the mobile app, you can just swipe left and right between them.

          You can also access your calendars (Google, Outlook, etc.), weather, email archives, and more within the app for all-in-one easy access. Integration with Slack and Amazon Echo make it easy to seamlessly connect work and home life.

          Available on Google Play for Android, iTunes for iPhones or iPods, and for your web broswer, you can download Alto immediately for free. Try it out and see how streamlined you can make your life!

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          Featured photo credit: Rawpixel via unsplash.com

          More by this author

          Brian Lee

          Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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          Last Updated on July 21, 2021

          The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

          The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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          No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

          Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

          Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

          A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

          Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

          In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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          From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

          A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

          For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

          This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

          The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

          That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

          Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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          The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

          Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

          But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

          The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

          The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

          A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

          For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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          But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

          If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

          For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

          These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

          For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

          How to Make a Reminder Works for You

          Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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          Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

          Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

          My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

          Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

          I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

          More on Building Habits

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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          Reference

          [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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