Managing Email: Using Categories in Outlook and Gmail

We all know how much time email can take up during our day. We often try to focus our time on completing specific tasks but end up monitoring the messages that come into our inbox, constantly distracted by the “new message” icon. While email in the workplace is problematic when it comes to productivity, there are ways to manage your email account that can make it easier to deal with the number of messages coming in. This includes sending less email to receive less, and using applications and organizational systems that streamline the functioning of your inbox. While it is very time consuming to manage messages that come straight to one general inbox, filtering your messages and breaking up your emails into categories can be a very helpful way to manage your emails more effectively. Often though, we don’t have the time to sort through all of our messages manually, which is why applications that automatically sort out the emails in your inbox can be very effective at simplifying your workday and making you more productive. While email is very difficult to stop using in a world so accustomed to using it, in an effort to make email easier here are five of the most popular ways to organise your inbox in both Gmail and Outlook: 1. Make Better Use of Gmail Tabs Gmail introduced a new layout system in 2013 that automatically included three tabs, which divides your inbox into three default sections, namely Primary, Social and Promotions. Primary emails are those considered general by Gmail’s default filters, with Social being emails sent from social networking sites and...

The Problem with Email Is: It Becomes Your Task List

Our personal and working lives have become synonymous with email and other forms of digital communication, especially social media. The ability to easily connect with people is one of the benefits of evolving digital technology, but how often do we really consider how email affects the way we live our lives? We’ve become accustomed to the passive process of typing words and waiting for a response, but this is not always the most effective way to get things done, or to get the desired response. In fact, relying on email to define your working day is a problem, as the time spent responding to emails and composing them often wastes time that could be spent completing other important tasks. The truth is, these kinds of tasks can be more easily achieved through other, more direct forms of communication. Although most of the world is fully involved in and accustomed to the process of email communication, here are three points that examine the problematic way in which email becomes your task list: 1. You Spend All Your Time Checking Your Inbox Even if you turn off the alert noise, the “new message” envelope at the bottom left hand corner of your screen will distract you nonetheless, as your eye is constantly drawn towards it. Even though you might be trying concentrate on putting together that brief, or writing that proposal, you’re constantly thinking about all the emails that are piling up under “Today”, and you feel compelled to check them constantly, even though many of them can wait. We’ve become so sucked into the cycle of read, respond, and send,...