Wonder Tools to reduce inbox overload 💌
TIP 1: Clear, Distinct Subject Lines
I was a data center manager, who handled installation of cables. I supported many projects across my global company. A project might send an email widata center workstream.
However, I'd get a bunch of "Data Center" emails from 5-10 projectth the subject "Data Center" or "Cable Request." Made sense to them--this was the *only* s. I couldn't tell what was what without digging into the thread. As such, I'd *always* update the subject line ("PROJECT NAME Request for 5 Racks" or the like). This kept my inbox sorted, and reduced confussion as we emailed back and forth, and especially forwarding it to downstream suppliers.
A ticket number is somewhat better, if not clear. "REQ90125" is distinct, but not informative. Better is "REQ91025--Access for VENDOR on July 14, 2023."
TIP 1A: Update the Subject
Threads evolve, spin off, and fork. Update the subject to reflect this *especially* if it forks.
TIP 2: Update the "To" and "CC"
If someone is on the CC but needs to pay attention, move them to the "To" field. It's not uncommon for people to assume being in the CC is at best, optional, and, at worst, put there just to intimidate someone else.
If some folks are no longer relevant, remove them. Help the signal to noise of their inbox.
TIP 3: The SmartPhone Rule
Put the important, must-read part of an email (especially up the chain of command) in roughly the first SmartPhone screen’s worth of an email. State the core problem and the requested action. "New software SOFTWARE NAME needed to support project PROJECT NAME. You will receive a PO request--approve ASAP." Assume they won't scroll past that first screen.
If you need to put supporting details, context, etc., you can place it under that, but don't count on it being read.
This really speeds me up, thank you for the unclog
@Jeremy, after reading about Shortwave, I wanted your take on an idea as it pertains to Readwise Reader:
Currently, I have a Gmail filter that labels ALL Substack emails, forwards them to Reader and removes them from my inbox.
Ideally, I'd delete, rather than archive, the Substack emails. However, I wasn't up to speed on Reader at the time I created this workflow and, in retrospect, I'm glad I set it up this way. The reason is that I have a handful of Substacks that I DON'T want to forget to read. Reader is not my default go-to app, yet. Gmail gets used every day, so I look through the archived mail to see those newsletters.
Anyway, Shortwave bundling and auto-labeling seem like just the thing I need to finally wrangle those archived emails. Do you think it would work by granularly retaining just a few substacks, such as firstname.lastname@example.org?
If that works, I might just give it a shot. Archived email is still deferred email and, by not being out-of-sight-out-of-mind, it drives me crazy!
I'm not part of an organization, thus my email angst doesn't approach the level of someone that might need to implement Charles Barilleaux' tips.
On a personal level, due to the large number of newsletters to which I have subscribed, my number 1 tip is to use an app like Readwise Reader (which I learned about from you, thanks!!!)
Some other tips for Gmail users:
1. It takes more time to navigate through labels to delete emails. Minimize the number of labels, using broad categories.
2. Use the same filter to delete unwanted email. Instead of creating a new filter, just edit one and prepend the latest domain.
3. Speaking of domains, it's often better to leave off the @ portion of the email address, so that your filters can capture everything from a sender's domain
4. Use throw-away email addresses to subscribe to websites that you want to access, but do not want to hear from. I use Burnermail. It has blocked 1,624 messages from reaching my Gmail account.
This is so helpful, Jeremy. Much needed for my sanity.
The j and k keys to go forward and back in Gmail is another great way to go from email to email.
Jeremy, thanks for the tips and suggestions. A question for you and the ninjas - is ChatGPT Pro worth the $20/month?
I find that Gmail has most of the features I need like snoozing and scheduling emails so I stopped using other extensions and tools because the gmail native functionality does the trick. But curious to try Superpowered
About that "digital notebook"--? Did you just mean another file, or what?
The 5D frameworks is really useful. I wrote something very similar a couple of months ago: https://www.leadinginproduct.com/p/how-to-manage-tasks-as-a-product
You'll recognize the similarities, even though it's not just 5D put into practice.