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Ask the Entrepreneurs: 11 Ways to Make Your Inbox Less of a Nightmare

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 11 Ways to Make Your Inbox Less of a Nightmare

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

What’s your favorite email hack?

1. Set up an Alias

Robert Castaneda

    Google Apps and Gmail have a feature where you can add a “+” to your name. For example: [email protected] You can use these to set up an alias for websites that send you receipts to help you easily filter where information goes when it comes into your inbox.

    Robert Castaneda, ServiceRocket

    2. Install Rapportive

    Ben Lang

      If you use Gmail, Rapportive is by far the most useful email plug-in you can install. It lets you see the social profiles of the people you’re emailing and easily connect with them on the side.

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      Ben Lang, Mapped In Israel

      3. Unsubscribe From Things

      Scott Ferreira

        I have had many friends and colleagues complain about their onslaught of emails and ask me what I do about it. For one, I cut the BS and unsubscribe from all the stuff that has built up over the years. Secondly, even if I still really want to be subscribed, I have it auto-filtered in Google so that I know I can go check it out at a later time since it typically isn’t that important.

        Scott Ferreira, MySocialCloud

        4. Filter Obsessively

        Kelly Azevedo

          I use Gmail, and its advanced filtering options have saved me hours a day and reduced my stress! Even if it’s an email that I need to read, already having a label applied saves me time and means I can organize thousands of messages effortlessly. Sure, you can manually move emails to a folder, but automating this process means I can have 200+ emails a day and only 20 or so in my inbox most days.

          Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

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          5. Create an “Answer Later” Folder

          Michael Margolis

            I constantly parse my inbox and move non-priority items into a second folder. Only clients, business development or important staff emails get my attention. This allows my inbox to stay manageable at around 15 to 40 emails at any given time. Once a day, and especially on the weekends, I batch process the unanswered correspondence in the “Answer Later” folder.

            Michael Margolis, Get Storied

            6. Use Outlook’s Offline Functionality

            Aaron Schwartz

              I’ve fallen into the trap of managing my time by what’s in my inbox. I love Gmail but find the chat and stream of incoming email to be distracting. Their offline product isn’t quality, meaning that when I’m working, I always see a stream of new work! Outlook offline is awesome, allowing you to work on projects without any external distractions.

              Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

              7. Use Boomerang for Gmail

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              doreen-bloch

                Boomerang for Gmail is a fantastic tool for managing the email inbox. Not only does it enable you to send away emails until a designated time, it enables you to program emails for strategically timed sends, too.

                Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

                 

                8. Don’t Check Your Email

                Wade Foster

                  The only time I’ve ever gotten sucked into email is when I started checking it compulsively. Now I try to only check email once midday and once at night. I spend an hour each time and answer as many emails as I can. The most important ones get answered first, and I go as far down the list as I can. Sometimes, I’ll make it to “inbox zero” and sometimes not. Either way, I’m less stressed about email.

                  Wade Foster, Zapier

                  9. Use Apps to Keep Your Inbox at Zero

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                  There are three apps that all keep me at “inbox zero” at least once a day: The first and second are Boomerang for Gmail and the Mailbox iOS app. I use them to track follow-up emails and snooze emails until later. The third app is SaneBox, which automatically moves less important emails out of your inbox and into another folder. Then, once a day, it sends a summary email of what you missed.

                  Henry Balanon, Detroit Labs

                  10. Identify Email Patterns With Toofr!

                  Ryan Buckley

                    We use Toofr! all the time to identify email patterns at small and large companies. We found early on that sending the right email to the right person yields high open rates and positive responses. This trick helped us generate over half a million dollars of revenue in 2012.

                    Ryan Buckley, Scripted, Inc.

                    11. Answer the Same Questions With Canned Responses

                    sean ogle

                      I answer the same 10 or so questions all the time. With Gmail Labs’ Canned Responses, all I have to do is hit a button, and my desired response pops up. Add a quick personal open and close to this, and you have the most effective tool for mass email response I know of.

                      Sean Ogle, Location 180, LLC

                      More by this author

                      9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

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                      Last Updated on June 13, 2019

                      10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

                      10 Best Success Books You Need to Read to Be Great at Business

                      Take a minute and think about some of the most successful people you know.

                      I’d bet they’re great with people, are super-productive, and think differently than most. After all, that’s how they got to be where they are today.

                      Jealous of them? You don’t have to be.

                      You can learn these same skills by studying some of the best business and success books that can help you take your game to the next level. Here’re 10 of my favorites:

                      1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

                        Dale Carnegie’s best-selling book that helped to launch a personal growth empire should be required reading for everyone who wants to learn how to build and nurture relationships for a lifetime.

                        Read this book and you’ll learn some simple advice than can help you build popularity points within your current network and just as important, expand it to others.

                        Get the book here!

                        2. Focal Point by Brian Tracy

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                          Got a lot on your to-do list? Of course you do. But what separates productive people from others is their ability to focus on a singular task at a time, and getting it done before moving on to the next one.

                          Sounds simple in theory, but this can be extremely difficult in practice. In Focal Point Brian Tracy offers tips to help build discipline and organization into your day so you can get more stuff done.

                          Get the book here!

                          3. Purple Cow by Seth Godin

                            Creating a “me-too” product can be easy at the start but can doom you to business failure. That’s why marketing maverick Seth Godin recommends creating a product that is truly different from anything already available in the marketplace.

                            In essence by making the product different you’ll be building the marketing into the actual product development…which just makes your actual marketing a helluva lot easier.

                            Get the book here!

                            4. The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

                              If you’ve struggled with procrastination or small thinking, this is the book for you. In it Schwartz offers practical advice that can help you get inspired and motivated to create a bigger life for yourself. And with it can be a more lucrative and rewarding career.

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                              Get the book here!

                              5. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankel

                                It can be difficult for lots of people to keep things in perspective, especially when working on high priority and urgent projects at work.

                                Man’s Search for Meaning can be a life-changing book in the sense that it can open your eyes to a first-hand experience of one of the greatest atrocities in the history of mankind, while also teaching a valuable lesson about having purpose.

                                Get the book here!

                                6. The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

                                  Solo-entrepreneurs can learn a ton from the guy who made lifestyle design popular. But guess what? The 4HWW isn’t just for guys and girls who want to start a small online business.

                                  Smart moves like outsourcing, following the 80/20 rule, and automating processes should be made by entry-level workers and established executives alike.

                                  Get the book here!

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                                  7. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

                                    I remember sitting on a couch and opening this book on a Saturday morning, thinking I’d get through a chapter and then get on with my day. Instead, about 12 hours later, I was finished with the book. The concepts in it were mind-blowing to me.

                                    To think that thoughts can create your reality sounded a little far-fetched at first. But after going through the book and understanding that your thoughts create your beliefs, which lead to actions, which then lead to habits….well you can get where I’m going with this.

                                    If you focus your thoughts on success, achieving it will be much more likely than thinking about obstacles, failures and everything else that can get in your way.

                                    Get the book here!

                                    8. The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard

                                      If you’re going to read one management book in your life, this should be it. It’s simple. You can read it in an afternoon. And the advice works.

                                      Get the book here!

                                      9. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries

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                                        Before you create any sort of business you’ll want to give Lean Start-Up a read through. Doing so can save you money, time and other resources you could have potentially wasted otherwise.

                                        Get the book here!

                                        10. The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar

                                          The story Randy Komisar shares in the Monk and the Riddle offers advice about not just about how you need to think when starting a new business, but also about how to build a life you’re passionate about.

                                          Understanding the technical aspects of launching a start-up is great, but if you don’t have the staying power to stick with it when the going gets tough then it’s not likely to work.

                                          This book can help you understand this lesson before you spend blood, sweat and tears on a project that you’re heart isn’t into.

                                          Get the book here!

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                                          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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