Tuesday, October 18, 2016

4 Email Tools That Genuinely Save Me an Hour Per Day

I'm sure you agree that time is the most precious commodity that none of us can afford to waste. In business, as in life, mastering time management is incredibly important.

Clogged and cluttered inboxes drain valuable time and distract you from focusing on what really matters: your work.

I've recently tried and tested a number of email tools and techniques in a bid to reclaim valuable time from my working day. As a result, I've genuinely been able to save an hour each day from tedious admin tasks and put that time to much better use.

If you save an hour a day for an entire working year, you could reclaim 261 hours of your time. That's over ten full days a year.

There are pros and cons to every email software, There are undoubtedly others options out there not listed here; however these four have made a dramatic difference in my efficiency, productivity and time management:

1. SaneBox
Sanebox is great for a number of reasons. First, it helps me filter out spam, junk, and even downgrades unimportant emails to be looked at later on. Not only that, but it automatically organizes emails into different folders which you can create and customize.

These specific features allow you to spend time where it counts, so you can tailor the software to suit your personal needs. I like it because I get reminders to chase sent emails and I can delay responses to lesser important emails. The more you use the software, the more it "understands" how you personally like to use email.

The only downside of the service? It does generate a few emails itself, which might feel counter-intuitive. You do have to pay, as well. However, for sanity, peace of mind and a clear, clutter-free inbox, I personally find the investment well worth it!

2. Calendly
Everyone can appreciate that organizing and scheduling calendar events is an extremely time-draining task. Calendly helps save you from those annoying back and forth email chains between clients and colleagues. The amount of time I've spent opening five calendars at once to look for a mutually suitable time for a meeting is mind-boggling!

Calendly is simple, yet effective. First, you sync your existing calendars directly into Calendly itself. This tool takes the pressure off your back by giving clients, colleagues and any recipients the ability to book convenient times directly into your diary. This doesn't mean anyone can see who you're meeting and when; rather, it keeps your schedule private by only showing available meeting times (which you can customize and edit). The settings are very flexible and intuitive to use.

I use this specifically for scheduling routine events such as podcast or editorial interviews and time for my internal team to book regular huddles or catch-ups but you can use this for anyone.

3. Boomerang
Boomerang (just for Gmail) is similar to SaneBox, in that it offers you the ability to delay sending emails. However, there's one feature in particular called 'Respondable' that really makes this tool stand out: an artificial intelligence assistant. Yes, you read that right! The AI software is super smart, and can be used to help you craft the perfect email by "grading" what you've written.

Why waste time writing emails that aren't getting a reply? With Boomerang, you're more likely to get responses from prospects, and you'll learn how to write better, more actionable emails in real time. The AI tool collates data from millions of messages, and works really well alongside Boomerang's traditional email productivity software.

4. x.ai
X.ai is my personal favorite. It's a full artificial intelligence software called "Amy", and she acts as your personal assistant to take the hassle out of scheduling meetings - It's pretty cool. All you need to do is CC: amy@x.ai into an email that you've received or want to send.

She then emails your client, colleague or prospect to find the best time and location, knowing your schedule and preferences. The best part? Once you CC Amy and ask her to take control, you can literally just sit back and wait for the meeting date to arrive in your inbox even if there's multiple people involved etc.

She does the same thing for meetings, calls, reminders and any other admin task that eats up your time. If you want to sign up today, there is a slight hitch - due to popular demand, there's a waiting list for the free version that can take a few weeks to process (you can pay to jump the queue if you're not the patient type!). In my humble opinion, this is a glimpse into the future.

So that's how I save an hour every day. What's your best time saving tip? I'd love to hear from you.

http://conta.cc/1nUbaWJ



Source: http://www.inc.com
Photo Credit: Getty Images


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