Don’t Just Read Your Email. Act on It!
Email is incredibly challenging for everyone because we tend to read it and forget about it. For example, how often do we read an email thinking we’ll respond to it when we have more time, but end up dropping the ball because it gets buried in our inboxes? Or, how often do we receive something interesting, such as a link to an article or an attachment that needs attention, but once again we forget about it. This is not only frustrating for us, but it’s also annoying for the people who are waiting for our responses.
Fortunately, this is a problem that’s easily solved when you start thinking about and tackling your inbox a different way. For example, quickly deciding what to do with an email message the first time you see it, instead of acting on it immediately or forgetting about it can significantly improve your email productivity.
For example, think about your inbox as a holding area for tasks, and tackle your inbox by choosing to take one of the following actions:
- Takes Fewer Than Two Minutes to Address: Tackle it now
- Can be Delegated: Assign it
- Requires Time to Address: Schedule it
- Not Important: Trash it
Lucky for you, LifeTopix assists you in making this process as painless and seamless as possible through its in-app purchase, the Pro Inbox Pack. This pack gives you the ability to create custom inbox feeds for email, as well as Twitter, Facebook, web content and Evernote® notes. Furthermore, you can filter email by setting up custom rules.
The Pro Inbox Pack is shown below.
1. Setting Up Inboxes
You can easily set up email inbox feeds in LifeTopix. You have the flexibility of adding one or more accounts; filtering by senders (your boss!); filtering by keywords; viewing read or unread messages; and choosing the number of days to search back in time.
Once your email inboxes are set up, you can perform many of the functions that are allowed by your email client. However, LifeTopix isn’t meant to replace your favorite email client. The added value of LifeTopix is the ability to convert your email messages to actionable items that display directly on your LifeTopix Calendar, which works seamlessly with your device calendars. This way, you’re certain not to let an important item fall through the cracks.
The following images show examples of the (1) configuration of a feed from a sender, and the (2) the resulting filtered email messages (3) and an example of the feed in the Inboxes view.
2. Delegating Items Found in Email
Delegating items from your email in LifeTopix is easy. As mentioned, you have many of the same functions as your email client so you can simply forward an email to the person to which you wish to delegate the task (image 1 below).
Alternatively, you can convert the message to a task and assign an owner to it. Once owners are established (image 2, below), you’re able to easily email those tasks to the owners directly through the app (image 3, below). The recipients are able to open the task directly in their copy of LifeTopix through the email message.
3. Scheduling Items Found in Email
Scheduling is where the power of LifeTopix comes into play. LifeTopix comes with 8 powerful calendar views out of the box that give you more ways to schedule and view your calendar than with the stock calendar that your device provides. When you pair up LifeTopix’s powerful inboxes and superb scheduling capabilities, the magic starts to happen. As you can see below, with the Pro Inbox Pack, you can convert email messages to tasks, projects, products, appointments, hosting events, attending events, notes, trips, visitors and inbox items.
Let’s consider a real life example. Imagine you’re a Real Estate agent who has set up a web form on your website for Rental Property Requests. When these requests are sent to you via email from the web form on your website, they’re presented with the title “Rental Property Request.” Consequently, in LifeTopix, you can set up an email feed that filters Rental Property Requests specifically for this high priority item.
When you receive a new Rental Property Request, you can easily convert it to a LifeTopix Project with start and end dates, participants, locations and associated items, such as tasks, expenses, appointments, reminders, notes, checklists and more. All of these items are conveniently displayed on your calendar ensuring that you don’t miss a beat.
Image 1 shows an example of email message and the variety of items available for conversion (with “Project” selected). Image 2 shows an example of a converted LifeTopix “Rental Property Request” project. Image 3 shows the new project on a weekly calendar.
4. Saving Attachments and Links from Email
Like I mentioned before, there are times that we receive links to interesting things and file attachments. Wouldn’t it be nice to have the ability to save and schedule these items? With LifeTopix, you can.
For example, imagine a coworker would like you to review an article, but you don’t have time at the moment to finish the request. The best way to keep track of this item is to convert it to something that is actionable. In LifeTopix, you can easily convert it to a project and the attachment is included with the project as an attached file. The beauty of this is you can schedule it at a time that is convenient for all parties.
Image 1 shows the email message that’s ready to be converted. Image 2 shows the resulting project with the attached file.
In addition, there are times that friends, family and colleagues send links to websites that they want you to check out, but there’s never an easy way to save these links. With LifeTopix, you simply convert the email to a note and all the bookmarks are conveniently saved into one place as shown below.
Image 1 shows an example of the email message. Image 2 shows an example of the bookmarks during the conversion process. Image 3 shows the resulting bookmarks.
Getting to Inbox Zero
What’s great about all these features is you’re able to have a clean inbox every day. Are you ready to stop using your email inbox as a to-do list? Try LifeTopix today!
LifeTopix is available at the Apple App Store
Marilyn is the Marketing Director at LightArrow, Inc., the makers of LifeTopix, a complete productivity app and organizer available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. She is a regular contributor to the Life Blog from LightArrow, which is a blog dedicated to sharing tips and tricks about LightArrow products, personal productivity, time management, organization, and getting things done.
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