On average, it takes over 2 hours for workers to sift through the stacks of email they get every single day.
When you break down the eight-hour work day, that comes out to more than 25 percent of “work time” spent on digital correspondence.
Despite being hailed by modern man as one of the greatest cultural innovations there is, email is the second most time consuming activity for the workforce, as reported by a 2012 study by McKinsey Global Institute and International Data Corp.
If your inbox is regularly filled with junk like notes from e-commerce companies slinging discounts, email lists you don’t even realize you’re on and don’t have the time or patience to opt out of, and even soft phishing messages from Nigerian scambaiters urging you to collect your cash winnings, you feel this pain. With the average corporate email user sending and receiving more than 100 emails a day, according to the technology marketing firm Radicati Group, that’s a lot of time hitting delete.
Time that could be spent on other things. Busy professionals barely have time to respond to all of their messages, let alone have the patience to scan and delete the crap clogging up the pipes. Time waits for no man, and a cluttered, unkempt inbox is the death of productivity.
Want to get back on track? Check out these five services to make your email experience easier, improve work flow and make your day more productive.
Unroll.me: Declutters inboxes by ‘rolling up’ all of your annoying spam-type email into one email. They call it the “daily digest.” That’s right, one spammy message to rule them all. Just hit delete. And if you want to unsubscribe from the eblasts and coupon and sale sellers and subscriptions, there’s a very handy “unsubscribe” button to click. The service only supports Google and Yahoo Mail, but unless you’re still living in the GeoCities era, you probably have one of these accounts. So click.
FanMix: A tool for heavy social media users and professionals, this service collects all of your online accounts into a Gmail-themed inbox as a one-stop view for your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blog conversations. It’s incredibly handy to use, makes sure you never miss a social mention, and gives you all your personal messages like Twitter DMs and Facebook messages. The best part is, creating an account is free.
SaneBox: Welcome to a structured hierarchy of email importance. This tool filters out non-urgent emails to help you focus on what’s important. Nothing to download, and compatible on just about any platform (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Apple Mail, Outlook, iPhone, Android), at the time of writing this post, the service has claimed to save users over 42 million minutes. Now it’s not free, but the price of as little as $2.04 a month is a reason to use the tool or simply check it out – may just be worth looking into.
The Email Game: Named to Time Magazine’s list of 50 greatest websites of 2012, this service (compatible with Gmail and Google Apps) encourages users to get their inbox to zero messages by gamifying the process. You get points for the faster you can clear your inbox.
0Boxer: This Gmail plugin tool also goes the gamification route, allowing users to earn points by archiving and replying to emails. This service is still in beta mode, but has gotten strong reviews from some top tech pubs, and is promoting a triumvirate ethos of skills, tools and attitude to get your email inbox down to zero.