Escape From Email Hell: Insider secrets from a Pro!
It’s really quite frightening! I get over 250 emails a day and over a period of a month that can add up to over 7500 emails. So like many of us, I would spend hours reading and reviewing emails and trying to get on top of this volcano of content.
I am a big believer in automating a lot of what I do and that includes pretty much all my activities during the day in my office. No one wants to miss that one important email from a client or family member so we pretty much have to go through email by email. But I have found a solution that seems to work really well for me as I want to share that with you today.
Over the past three weeks I have been following very closely an author of a new book called The Suitcase Entrepreneur. Written by world traveler Nancy Sisson, this book is dedicated to those who want total 100% freedom and bill to work in a business they can run from around the globe. The concept of managing a business from a laptop or tablet and an Internet connection absolutely blows me away as I have been working like this for many years imagine my business from afar.
In the resources section of Nancy’s book there is mention of what email product called SaneBox. This email service is designed to work with your email account (IMAP type account) and filter emails accordingly. It’s not a hard concept to figure out but I’d like to keep it really simple. So here’s my attempt at simple;
- Let’s say you receive 50 emails this afternoon. You pretty much have to read through each of them to get a handle on whose writing you. The old-fashioned way was simple… I sat down and started slogging my way through them.
- Now imagine those same 50 emails coming into your email program and 20 of the emails being flagged as spam and being dumped in a spam folder automatically. Now this sounds pretty standard. But how many times do we lose valuable emails that end up in the spam filter.
- Out of the 50 emails. 10 get flagged as very important and are placed in your inbox immediately.
- Five emails that come in are from email newsletters that you subscribe to and the software recognizes these as newsletters and places them in a newsletters folder.
- And the remaining 15 emails come in and are placed in a folder to be reviewed later.
All of the above happen very quickly and you don’t have to sit there trying to figure out what goes where. But this is where get sort of interesting. SaneBox has the ability to learn from your movement of the email into folders. So for example I might get an email from my father and I definitely one know when he is writing me and review it right away. So in this example, I simply drag his email from the review later folder and place it in my inbox. The program now knows that in emails coming in that match the sender should be filtered into my inbox.
Now it’s really not that complicated and the above process can save you a significant amount of time when dealing with lots of email. I have found the accuracy of the program and its ability to pre-filter is pretty impressive.
The other cool aspect that I like is I get a number of emails that come in daily or weekly that I simply don’t have time to look at. So when I may do is grab a couple emails that I can review tomorrow and I will simply drag them into my folder was associated with emails for review tomorrow. Maybe I get a newsletter that I like to read but only on weekends or at a later point. In this case I drag the email newsletter over into my folder for weekly review. That newsletter is then automatically transferred to my inbox one week from the day I move.
Now one of the best features that I have found has been the ability to create an email digest and have it sent to me at around 5 o’clock in the afternoon. So rather then check emails every waking moment, I allow the program to pre-filter my emails and only review what is important or in the inbox. While SaneBox is reviewing my incoming email and pre-filtering, it also creates a digest that is sent to me at 5 o’clock where I can then review where it is filtered my email and make any changes or adjustments as needed. So it’s very much like having a personal assistant who says I’m only in a put the really important emails in your inbox and at the end of the day I’ll give you a quick run through all what came in and how I filtered for you. Now imagine if that employee or assistant were to make a mistake, you could then say all emails coming in from XYZ Corporation are to be filtered into my inbox as they are my largest client. You would only have to tell the assistant once and forever more she would place the emails and the proper box or folder.
I figure conservatively that I have saved a minimum of 45 to 50 minutes a day on email. Let’s rounded up to one hour. That’s a savings of over 30 hours of my time. That is the equivalent of about $2500 of savings per month. I could hire a full-time assistant for that.
Now as I have mentioned in past blog posts, I use Dragon Naturally Speaking software that converts my voice when I re-into a microphone to text for emails and documents. I can dictate at approximately 225 words a minute, significantly faster than my typing speed of about 40 to 50 words a minute.
So in the example above, combining the Dragon speech recognition software and the Sanebox software service, this can result in significant savings and increase in productivity and profits for my business. I highly encourage everybody to do the following:
- Pick up a copy of the book The Suitcase Entrepreneur authored by Nancy Sisson. you can download the book from audible.com as well and I would encourage you to check out her podcasts, free downloads and information on her mentoring programs.
- Take a few minutes and head over to www.Sanebox.com and give the program a whirl. You will not be disappointed.
I hope this little blog post will catch your attention and help you save some time and ultimately money. Over the past 15 years I have experimented with many different programs and develop a number of different techniques to managing my business. I stay very busy, and many would guess that I really am not accomplishing a great deal. But amazingly, I’m able to do the work of 3 to 4 people all by myself. The next step for me will be utilizing a virtual assistant or more commonly known as a VA. I will be writing about that in a future post.
Have a great day and all the best to my many blog readers!