Improve Your Email Productivity

Has your inbox got you locked up?

With the onslaught of new and emerging social networking tools such as Google+, we now we have bigger social circles and more friends, connections, followers and so on. This means we are communicating with newer tools other than email. Our  frustration with email has therefore increased significantly. When was the last time you checked your inbox, 1 minute ago? Luckily there are tools available that may help to ease the time you spend on your messages, or at least alert people about your current message “load”. Cue:

What is COURTEOUS.LY? is a new idea in the pipeline to help users share information about their email load. It is an academic research project conducted at the University of Georgia. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of sharing information regarding email load and to see how users respond under such circumstances. The hypothesis is that people once exposed to your message (over)load will better understand and therefore delay either sending their message or expect a delayed response from you.

How Does it Work? provides you with a personal link which you can add to your email signature. Once clicked it informs contacts about your current message load by grading it as either “Light”, “Normal” or “High”, so they can better understand the delay in your response. You can sign up at using your Gmail account and as soon as you get your link, you’re good to go. You can also show contacts how they can reach you faster by adding a personalised message in your settings. Also, by using simple tags for example [whenever] in the subject line of their email will ensure that the message only reaches you when your email load has dropped back to normal. currently only works with your Google account, including Google Apps. Although it is a research project your personal information is kept private.

Benefits to Working Professionals and Business

Being a working professional, one has to deal with loads of e-mails on daily basis. Whether it be important business appointments, meeting schedules, client feedbacks, information sharing; today all happens electronically. E-mail is your personal postman and it is all up to your email account to keep you posted. It has provided us with a simpler and more effective ways of contacting people, however sometimes a mesage stampede may work counter clockwise. Every morning there will be junk mails, regular mails and important mails in your account and you have to deal with all of them in some fashion. People do not know what is keeping you from replying but does exactly that for you. Letting people know about your email loads can help reduce your frustration as well as theirs.

When was the last time you stayed on top of your inbox? Did you go offline, or perhaps you have decided not to check your emails first thing in the morning and instead focus on becoming more productive in the way you use email? Whatever system or techniques you make use of, could become one of them.