Tools to help you tidy your emails
How software can help you tidy your emails
Following on from our previous blog, about making the most of your time and having the vital clear-out that will help you to reclaim your email inbox, we thought that it would be a good time to share a few of our favourite add-ons and bits of software that will help you to tidy your emails without having to continually put in the leg work involved in clearing your inbox out to start with.
So, read on for our fourteen favourite email tools that will help you keep your inbox tidy and make your office a happier place to be and you a more productive person.
Throttle is a browser extension that can make your life in the office much less stressful. It effectively creates a bottle neck, to stop you being bothered by the countless emails that you get sent every day. It does this by creating a unique email address for any newsletters, e-book downloads and apps etc. that you need to sign up for online.
Then, rather than allowing you to be harassed every few minutes by one of these emails dropping in, it creates one daily email newsletter, featuring links and blurbs from all the emails it has intercepted – and, by removing these less important emails from your inbox, Throttle allows you, in one quick email, to choose whether you’re interested in all the others, or not.
It makes you more secure online, too, because you aren’t giving out your email address. In addition to all this, in just one click, you can revoke access from any sender, you can completely shut down the email address, should you want too, as well.
This is another browser extension, specifically for Gmail, that will enable you to manage myriad Gmail accounts at once so you don’t have to keep signing in and out of accounts.
Its most impressive feature, in our eyes, is that it gives you instant email notifications, even when Gmail isn’t open. Checker Plus sends you desktop notifications when you get a new email, without even needing to open your browser – these notifications even come with the option to read, delete, and even listen to your emails.
The listen to option is fairly self-explanatory. If you’re busy doing something, but think an email might be important enough to sound out (if you’ll forgive the pun), then it will read it out to you, without you needing to stop what you’re doing.
Checker Plus also has great online support and documentation.
Todoist for email
Todoist has both Gmail and Outlook extensions, to help to make your time in the office ultra-productive. The extension integrates a very nicely presented task manager into your inbox, allowing you to review everything you need to do from within your email inbox.
Todoist allows you to turn emails into tasks with one click – with the added ability to set deadlines and add labels as necessary. You can access your list from anywhere and when you click a task you’ve previously created, Todoist will open the original email for you, too. Saving you from having to root through your inbox, and helping to stop things you meant to do from slipping through the cracks.
Todoist makes your productivity, in and out of the office, hit its peak easily.
Hiver is a brilliant tool to help you and your team collaborate and project manages tasks you need to keep track of to complete as a team.
The Hiver app works with Gmail and allows you to share labels with other people – even if they weren’t a recipient of the email in the first place – by adding a shared label to the email in question. You can use these labels to assign tasks, delegate responsibilities and track progress.
You can also use Hiver to create and share email templates with your team, share notes on emails that you’ve received and keep track of progress across threads of emails that multiple people have been involved with.
Hiver has both free and paid versions. Both of which are extremely useful, depending how much you need from the app.
IFTTT is an acronym, meaning: If This, Then That. It is a very powerful tool that can be used to simplify your entire life – both in and out of the office – not just your emails.
In keeping with the theme of this post, though, we’ll keep to what it can bring to your attempts to tidy your emails.
IFTTT can automate the more time consuming and monotonous manual tasks that can take up precious time that you could be spending doing your actual work.
You can use it to generate what IFTTT calls ‘recipes’; alerting you to urgent tasks contained within your inbox and associated to do lists, sending attachments directly to Dropbox or Google Drive, sending important emails to a specific folder, or texting you when you receive an email from a certain person.
IFTTT is one of our favourite tools, and it is hugely powerful above and beyond tidying your email inbox.
This one is one of the few and far between extensions for Outlook. Simply File can help you to spend much less time filing your emails. It adds a toolbar to your Outlook inbox with a selection of customisable options and files that can enable you to quickly and easily file emails in to the folders they need to be in.
It’s a simple case of drag and drop. You can not only organise emails you receive, but also emails that you send – filing them as you send them.
Calendly helps you to integrate meetings you’re trying to organise via email.
Rather than a constant back and forth between participants who are all trying to find time for the meeting within busy and conflicting schedules, Calendly lets you do it all with just one email.
Just set your availability and send the options to all parties. They then choose which times they could make and the best one is picked as a result with just one email, cutting out the chain of time consuming to and fro.
Unroll.me is a great tool that will help you to relieve the pressure of newsletters and other detritus that has built up in your inbox and has it bursting at its seams.
Want to tidy your emails? This is your first step.
Rather than needing to manually, and individually, unsubscribe from all the rubbish, junk emails that you’re flooded with, let Unroll.me do the work.
You can either let it remove everything or pick and choose in one simple interface.
What could be better?
With the Sidekick browser extension, you can see who has opened your emails and when they opened them. You are provided with detailed profiles of your contacts, within your inbox, and you can schedule emails to send at precise times in the future.
This scheduling feature allows you to churn out a bunch of emails at a time that’s convenient to you, and then deliver them to their intended recipients at a time when they’re most likely to get opened, and actioned.
Sidekick provides you with detailed contact information that enables you to have all the information you need about your contacts right at your fingertips, without having to trawl through past emails, or LinkedIn for job titles etc.
This is a great tool for reminding both you and your colleagues, clients and other contacts to follow up on particular emails.
Any time you write an email that you want to use this feature for, just include [timeyouneed]@followupthen.com in the ‘to’, ‘CC’, or ‘BCC’ field of your email.
For a fuller explanation of how to use FollowUpThen, check out this video.
Mailbird has both free and paid for options. Both of which provide you with excellent message unifying features.
By using the Mailbird email client, you can amalgamate your email inbox with your messenger apps, like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, all into one simple to use interface that you can customise to suit you.
Boomerang is a great tool that can help you to tidy up your inbox. It can attach, as a Chrome extension, to your Gmail inbox, and has two particularly effective uses. It allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a later date, and it will archive your emails to then re-emerge as unread at a later time of your choice.
Similar to FollowUpThen, except it gives you a lot more control over when your emails re-appear. And, as if that wasn’t enough of a reason to use it, it’s also free, and can be used both on desktop and mobile.
Gmail Special stars
If you want to tidy your inbox, and you use Gmail, then Gmail Special Stars is a must.
Rather than being an extension or an add-on, this is built in to Gmail. It works. Really, really well. Read this article to find out more. It will get your inbox from bursting at the seams to manageable and tidy in no time.
SaneBox has been left until last, as it is a paid for service.
It helps you to automate and prioritise every email that comes into your inbox, as it comes in.
You don’t need to install anything, it works with any email client and will create three new folders for you: SaneTop; SaneLater; and SaneNews. It analyses your historical interaction with all of the emails that have come into your inbox and will determine how important an email is, and send it to one of these folders accordingly.
If SaneBox decides that an email you receive is important, then it will keep it in your inbox, otherwise, it will send it to one of the aforementioned folders.
At the end of the day, you get an update from SaneBox, to tell you what you’ve received that it has filed, and you can then decide whether any of them need your attention. With time, you can teach SaneBox to filter emails of certain types into the folders too.
In addition, there is a fourth folder, SaneBlackHole, which will help you to delete and unsubscribe emails in one quick move. As soon as you drag any email into this fourth folder, it will delete and unsubscribe automatically.
You have a tidy inbox!
Now that you’ve seen the tools that can help you to tidy up your emails, crack on and give some of them a try. They will undoubtedly help you to get more work done in your office and life in general.
And although, we have to admit that at Business First, we can’t do all of this for you; what we can do, is provide you with state of the art office space – serviced offices nonetheless – in Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, Glasgow, Liverpool and Padiham. If you’re in need of office space that will help your business to grow, then why not give us a call?
And with professionally manned receptions in every one of our centres, we can help you to reduce the stress of the inbound calls you don’t want – even if fielding your emails for you might be a step too far.