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7 Ways To Manage Emails So They Don’t Eat Up Your Time

7 Ways To Manage Emails So They Don’t Eat Up Your Time

If you are like me, then you probably spend a good amount of time each day managing your e-mail. However, I would probably be spending much more time if I did not find efficient ways to manage my email inboxes. I have heard of others complaining about their e-mail inboxes containing over 1,000 unread messages, and well, that just amazes me.

Below are tips to effectively and efficiently manage emails in your life.

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1. Do not check your e-mail excessively.

Yes, checking your e-mail and handling them as they come in is nice, but if you are obsessively checking your e-mail and wasting time by re-reading the same e-mails over and over again, then you are not saving any time. Set a designated time (or times) each day to read and reply to e-mails. This will significantly help you have a better work-life balance.

2. Label your e-mails.

With most e-mail inboxes, you should be able to label your individual e-mails. This way you can label certain e-mails as items that you need to immediately respond to, items that can wait, items that are personal, items that are business related, and so on. Labeling your e-mails can save you a lot of time because you can glance over the e-mail instead of having to open it up.

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Also, if you read an e-mail and you determine that it can wait until later to respond to because it is not urgent, you may want to label it as “unread” so that you do not forget to reply to it later. This way you can easily skim through e-mails and determine what needs to be responded to immediately and what can wait until later.

3. Have a template.

If you find yourself saying the same thing to multiple people, then you might want to create a standard template. Of course, you should still personalize these e-mails if you can, but if you say the same thing in many e-mails, then having a template can save you a lot of time.

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4. File your e-mails once you are done.

A clean e-mail inbox is a wonderful thing. Once you are officially done with an e-mail, completely file it away so that it does not show up in your main e-mail inbox anymore. This way you will not waste time by wondering if you have read the e-mail yet or not. Instead, you will know that the work is done because the e-mail is gone.

Also, having a smaller number of e-mails show up in your inbox can be refreshing and less stressful.

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5. Unsubscribe from website e-mails that you do not use.

Everyone receives e-mails that they never open but receive all the time. If you have these type of e-mails popping up in your e-mail inbox daily or weekly, unsubscribe from them. These can be from retail stores, social media websites, and so on. Also, turn off any notification alerts to websites that you do not really need notifications to.

6. Handle e-mails as you read them.

Instead of reading every e-mail in your inbox before responding or handling any of them, you should try to handle each e-mail as it comes in so that you do not have to spend time reading each e-mail more than once. Read and be done with it.

7. Do not send as many e-mails.

If you do not want to receive many e-mails, then do not send as many out. It is that simple. The more e-mails that you send, the more e-mails that you are likely to get back.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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