May 15, 2013

Matt checks his email once, maybe twice a day. When he comes home from work, work is over. He’s got no obligation to do anything work-related until he arrives in the building the following morning. That’s one of the benefits of working in a secured facility, I guess!

Me, on the other hand… if I don’t check my email for a few hours I’ll find 40 or 50 emails waiting for me. It’s overwhelming sometimes, and I get swamped. Inbox management is an ever-evolving skill and so far I haven’t found much that helps me to stay on top of it.

I just started using two fantastic tools that you NEED to know about if you are like me and have inbox-overload. Intrigued?

Awesome Tool #1

The first is a free app called Mailbox. If you’re a Gmail user, check it out. Seriously. Why do I like it? Because when I’m using it, I can actually get my inbox completely cleared.

Yes, my friends, right down to 0.

Usually I keep emails in my inbox until I deal with them. But some things take a bit of time. I can’t respond to that email until I find out another piece of information, which won’t be until this weekend… blah, blah, blah.

With the Mailbox app, you can “table” emails until later. With one swipe, you can choose to send the message away and have it reappear at a later time (options include this evening, tomorrow, next week, this weekend, etc). It’s brilliant. You can remove the message from your inbox for now, and schedule it to pop back up again at the appropriate time. Another great feature is the ability to add the emails to lists, e.g. “to read,” “to buy” and so forth. You really need to see it in action before you understand the true beauty of this system.

Awesome Tool #2

The second super useful tool is called FollowUp, and if you are clinician I highly recommend this one. It’s similar to the previous app, but a bit more specific and applicable to any email system rather than just Gmail. Essentially, you can register your email address(es) and use this system to remind yourself to follow up with clients, business leads, and referral partners.

I have a tendency to let clients slip through the cracks if they are not proactive. I rarely remember to check in with a client I haven’t heard from in a while. I’m sure I lose quite a few people that way. I’m using FollowUp to keep better track of my clients, and I can already tell that I’m getting more clients to schedule follow up appointments when they need them. Like Tool #1, this one is also free.

I learned about both of these things them in a very fun – and useful – online business course I’m taking. Once I”m finished with it I’ll do a review and let you know how things turn out.  Check out these tools and let me know what you think. If you know of other productivity tools & tricks that work, please send them my way!

About Camille Freeman, DCN, RH (she/her)

Hi there! I'm a clinical herbalist and nutritionist specializing in fertility and menstrual health. I run the Monday Mentoring community of practice and also offer continuing education programs for practicing herbalists and nutritionists (Check out this year's Deep Dive!). I'm also a former professor with the Maryland University of Integrative Health, where I taught physiology, pathophysiology, and mindful eating for 17 years. 

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