It’s hard to believe that in 1998 when the movie “You’ve Got Mail” came out, people actually looked forward to opening their inbox. Back then, “Inbox Zero” was an insult (“You have no friends at all, Inbox Zero-boy”). Now it’s considered a mythical utopia, a place where only a select few can ever hope to visit, and only very briefly. At SaneBox, we’ve done lots of research and thinking on ways to get better at email, and compiled this list of 100 hacks that will let you get to Inbox Zero every day.
Better yet, we’ve asked some of our friends, some of whom get even more email than you (VCs, journalists, etc.), to share their personal tips. You’ll find their opinions sprinkled throughout this book. We promise that after reading, you’ll be able to go back in time, to 1998, when you wished you got more email. Disclaimer alert! We do not guarantee that this guide will win you a date with Meg Ryan to Tom Hanks.
THE 3 EMAIL COMMANDMENTS
You’re In Denial, So Get Out
Clearing your inbox feels productive. There’s an instant gratification. But just like in Tetris, no matter how good you are, more emails will keep coming, and faster.
Today, the average professional sends and receives 122 business emails each day. By 2019, this number is expected to climb to 126 emails per day. Because days in 2019 will still be 24 hours long, something has to change—you.
Don’t Let Email Be Your Number One Priority
Email is your to-do list that other people can write on. Be proactive and focus on your own to-do list. Scan your inbox for urgent/important items in the morning, and then work on your top priorities. Dedicate blocks of time to processing email, and treat email processing as one of your priorities—not the default #1 priority. If you’re ever sucked into “doing email,” ask yourself, “Is clearing my inbox really the best use of my time right now?” Eventually, it will be, but make a conscious decision about it.
Not All Emails Are Created Equal
Some need to be dealt with right away (urgent/important). Some can wait
(non-urgent, but important). And others should be archived or deleted in bulk (unimportant). According to our data, the unimportant bucket contains, on average, 62% of emails, and this has increased from 58% over just a few years. We’ll get back to this discussion later.
CH 1. THE BASICS Don’t Be A Rookie
CH 2. SECURITY Anti-hack
CH 3. INBOX Zero Hacks
CH 4. POWER Hacks
CH 5. THE SECRETS Of Gmail
CH 6. EMAIL ETIQUETTE Tips
CH 7. TRAVEL Hacks
CH 8. AWESOME Email Apps