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Two Tips for Gmail Users to Manage Email More Efficiently

Two Tips for Gmail Users to Manage Email More Efficiently

A lot has been written on how batch processing is the most efficient way to manage email. If you’re unfamiliar with the practice within this context, it more or less advocates only checking and processing your email a few times a day. By limiting task-switching, you’re able to achieve better focus and get more done.

Even though we may be cognizant of this, only checking and processing your email a few times a day is not easy to do for a whole slew of reasons: The best way to overcome any challenge is to create an environment where it’s easy to succeed. For managing your email efficiently, creating an environment that reduces your temptation to frequently check email encourages practicing batch processing.

Here are two simple ways that Gmail users can design an environment that’s more conducive to batch processing and subsequently manage email more efficiently:

1. Bookmark Ancillary Services

For many of us, Gmail is more than just a mail client; it’s where we chat with co-workers, store important documents,  and access our calendars. It’s literally the central hub for productivity.

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In its current state, the gateway to most of these ancillary Google services is on the top pane of your inbox, so the process for retrieving your documents requires first heading to your inbox. If there are new messages dangling in front of you every time you want to open a document, resisting the temptation to check your email can be very difficult.

A simple trick to circumvent this is to bookmark each ancillary service so that you can access it without checking your email. Google Docs, Calendar, and Reader are great ones to begin with, but you can even go as far as bookmarking the Compose function so that new messages can be initiated without entering your inbox.

 

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BatchProcessing

     

    Most browsers enable you to append bookmarks on the toolbar, which essentially replicates the top pane access available in the Gmail client. If you access a particular document frequently, you can even save a step by adding a direct bookmark to that doc in your browser.

    2. Pause Your Inbox

    Again, batch processing is easier to execute when you limit the temptation of checking your email frequently. Inbox pause is an amazing free plugin from Baydin that does exactly that.

    In short, Inbox Pause allows you to control when messages appear, so “pausing” your inbox prevents new messages from showing up until you dictate that you’re ready for them to appear. From the moment you click pause, you could receive 100 emails, but they’ll be kept in purgatory until you “un-pause” your inbox via a simple button.

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    Inbox Pause

       

      Say your goal is to process email 3 times a day (i.e. 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm). By pausing your inbox after processing at the designated time slots, you can maintain a clean inbox until the next time you’re ready to check it. Not only does this make batch processing easier, but the mere fact that no new messages await diminishes the temptation to constantly check your email. After all, there’s nothing new in your inbox across any device until you click un-pause.

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      If you’re truly making an effort to commit to batch processing, inbox pause allows you to shift the paradigm of email—without it, you’re at the mercy of other people. And though you still have to refrain from continually un-pausing your inbox for it be effective, the fact that you need to opt-in against your intentions through one more additional action (clicking un-pause), serves as another line of defense in the struggle to maintain discipline.

      These two practices are both excellent ways to create an enviroment that promotes effective batch processing.

       

      What practices do you use to manage email efficiently?

       

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      Last Updated on July 10, 2019

      11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

      11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory

      Whether at work or at school, people these days are under tremendous pressure to perform, perform and perform! Stress and pressure can have adverse affects on the well-being of a person, and need to be controlled.

      Now, this doesn’t mean you make a dash to your nearest therapist. There are a number of wonderful and smart apps that you can use on your phone. These brain training apps have been scientifically designed to target specific areas of the human mind and control harmful emotions such as anxiety, as well as to improve memory and sharpness of the brain.

      Here are 11 iPhone apps that you will not only enjoy but also find useful in keeping your mental health balanced at all times.

      1. Lumosity

      This app consists of games that focus on improving the user’s memory, problem-solving capability, attention span, and thinking. There are three games in each session, and they challenge the brain by changing every time. The user has to complete the games while playing against a clock.

      Free of trial. $15 per month for the full version.

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      Luminosity Mind training apps-Lifehack

        2. Fit Brains Trainer

        This brain training app has 10 sets of games that work on different areas of the brain and improve memory as well as concentration. A user is required to finish a particular task from each category on a daily basis and the app tracks the progress by a color coded graph.

        Free.

        Fit Brains Trainer Mind training apps-Lifehack

          3. CogniFit Brain Fitness

          Developed with the help of neuroscientists, this fun app improves a person’s cognitive abilities, which includes memory and concentration. The progress made by the user over a period of time can be tracked. Users can also play challenge rounds with their friends. The app also modifies the difficulty level to suit the profile of the user and provide recommendations based on the results. Spending 20–30 minutes a few times every week can give measurable improvement in the performance of a user.

          First four games free, then $13 a month.

          cognifit-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

            4. Brain Fitness Pro

            The makers of this app claim that it can improve the IQ of a user, and improve intelligence and memory. The app is fun and is user friendly, and 30 minutes a day can fetch you results in less than three weeks.

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            Buy for $3.99.

            5. Happify

            If nothing else makes you happy in life, this app will. Well, this is what the developers claim at least. This app comes loaded with lots of quizzes, polls and gratitude journals, which work on the fundamentals of positive psychology. The app also helps to control stress and emotions to make you feel better.

            Free to use.

            Happify-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

              6. Clockwork Brain

              You will like the little gold robot that comes in every time to explain the next game you are going to play. While the games are not much different to those offered in apps such as Luminosity, the look and feel reminds me of a workshop from old times.

              Free.

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              Clockwork Trsin-Mind Training Apps-Lifehack

                7. ReliefLink

                Initially created as an app for suicide prevention, it has found its use as a great app for tracking the mood of the user by taking measure of all things relevant to the user’s mental health. In case the user experiences high emotional stress, the app has a coping mechanism that includes voice-recorded mindfulness, exercises and music for relaxation. There is also a map that informs the user of the nearest therapist and medical facilities for mental health treatment.

                Relief Link - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                  8. Eidetic

                  Eidetic is a memory enhancement app and uses a ‘spaced repetition’ technique to help users memorize information such as important phone numbers, words, credit card details or passwords. It also notifies you when it’s time to take a test to see what you remember, so that you retain information in your long-term memory.

                  Eidetic - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                    9. Braingle

                    Braingle helps to maintain the sharpness of the brain and improve the reasoning ability of a person through riddles and optical illusions. It is different from other brain training apps that employ memory and reaction based tests. You can also compete with your friends and family members in figuring out the fun riddles.

                    Free.

                    Briangle- Mind Training Apps-LIfehack

                      10. Not The Hole Story

                      If you have a penchant for solving hard riddles, then this app is a must-have for you. Filled with exclusive riddles along with a simple-to-use interface, the app gives you riddles that you have to solve through a book. You will be given hints along the way, and when you give up, the answers will be revealed. This app will encourage you to broaden your thinking and put your mind to a challenging test.

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                      Free.

                      Not the hole story - Mind Training Apps - Lifehack

                        11. Personal Zen

                        This fun brain training app follows the journey of two animated characters who travel through a field of grass. Personal Zen is a nice app meant for reducing anxiety and trains the brain to focus on the positive aspects. The developer’s advice is to use the app for 10 minutes a day to see the best results.

                        Free.

                        personal zen- mind training apps - lifehack

                          Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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