Posts from January 2010.

Recent Commentary on Email Productivity

Here are a few recent email management articles to chew on:

Lifehack.org: Unanswered Email Undermines Your Productivity

“What we don’t see clearly is that we do damage to our reputations and to our time management systems when we don’t manage individual habits. A bad habit that becomes a ritual can drag down our productivity, without our knowing it.”

bijansabet.com: Little things to make email better

“1 [of 4 tips] – I’m paying close attention to the number of emails I send out. … The more emails you send, the more you get back.”

Career Realism: 9 Tips for Mastering Email Overload

“Taming email means training the senders to put the burden of quality back on themselves. What’s the best way to train everyone around you to better email habits? You guessed it: You go first. Set the example, be the role model. Demonstrate a policy for a month, and if people like it, ask them to start doing the same.”

Start 2010 Right With ClearContext

Our previous blog post was about the backlog of messages many of us start off with in the new year.  Well, we’re here to help with that! We’d like to see everyone to start the new year by letting the new ClearContext v5 help them take control of their inbox.  And we’d love for you to help us spread the word!

Through the end of January, we’re giving away a ClearContext Pro license every day.  There are multiple ways to enter the drawing, such as following us on twitter or facebook, or tweeting about ClearContext.  And we appreciate everyone who has already supported us – you are all eligible as well!  In addition to licenses to new users, we’re also giving away upgrades, ClearContext Connect subscriptions, and other prizes to people who are already ClearContext users!  Click here for more details on how to participate.

Thanks so much for your support and helping us spread the word about ClearContext to all of your friends and colleagues who could use a little help getting their inbox under control!

The Post-Holiday Email Blues

The last half of December is always a welcome break from nonstop email, with many people away from work and computers during the holidays spending time with friends and family.  I’m glad to count myself among that dec6jan3emailgroup this year!  ClearContext Online email statistics show that overall people received 1/3 to 1/2 less email than normal over the past couple of weeks. What a relief!

But now it’s 2010 and the first week of January brings with it a return to the normal avalanche of email – as well as a backlog of messages waiting for us.  That’s where ClearContext comes to the rescue!

A lot of the changes in ClearContext v5 are designed to make it faster than ever to clear out overloaded inboxes. Automatic highlighting of your important messages, one-click email filing, and project buttons help you stay on top of everything you need to get done.

It’s easy to let email take control of your day, but ClearContext lets you take control of your inbox!

Inbox Era

I knew that Jason Clarke and I shared similar ideas on email management when I read his 2005 post If Your Inbox Has More Than a Screenful of Messages In It, You’re Rude.  On his new blog Inbox Era, he again makes the case for clearing the Inbox:

“To truly get a handle on your email communication, you need to have a goal of emptying your inbox regularly. When asked why they do it, most people who keep everything in their inbox respond with, “I can’t delete it; what if I need it?”

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it doesn’t scale. If you are only receiving 5 email messages per day, then sure, you can probably keep everything in your inbox and find the items you need when you need them. But if you start receiving 50 email messages per day, that gets a lot harder, very quickly. I would argue that even if you only receive 5 emails per day, you should still empty your inbox as a habit, because your email volume will invariably increase over time. Good habits are just as hard to break as bad ones are, so instill good ones now.

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