By: Kalpesh Rathod
Read time: 8 minutes
March 2, 2017
According to a survey published back in 2015 by Reuters, the average white-collar U.S. worker spends an astonishing 6.3 hours each workday dealing with emails, both during and after business hours. The split between work and personal mail time was fairly even, with 3.2 hours spent on work-related messages and 3.1 hours on personal messages. More recently, Sanebox published that 2.6 hours of the day is spent on work email. Even at a combined 5 hours of work and personal email time per day, we're talking more than 156 working days per year that we spend in our inbox! This overuse extends to business owners, who constantly find themselves checking their business and personal inboxes frequently throughout the day.
For those that are constantly on-the-go, it can be a nuisance to have to scrutinize those emails on your iPhone or iPad. Trying to see important information on the small screen and wishing you had a magnifying glass on hand! Here are 6 tips on how to better manage your inbox and save time that can be used to do more productive things.
How much time would you save if your email attachments were organized for you?
As business owners, we tend to get a lot of important documents over email. If you have multiple email accounts like I do, you should check out Cubes. This free service organizes all of your email attachments in one place. It's a great way to keep your business docs available at your fingertips when you're on the go.
If you have difficulty reading emails on your iPhone or iPad because the text is too small, there's a simple fix for that. It's called dynamic type, and it lets you increase the font size of your emails. The same setting also controls the font size of other native apps like Notes and Calendar. The following process works with iOS 8 and higher: Simply open the Settings app on the home screen of your iPhone, select "display and brightness", then "text size". Then, it's as easy as dragging the slider to make the font as large as you want.
Dynamic Type on iOS devices.
One thing that makes the email app on iPads and iPhones very useful is the ability to sort your emails. For instance, you can create separate inboxes for different kinds of emails. To do this, tap the "Edit" button on the Mailboxes screen and then, for example, tap the "Unread" button. Congratulations! You now have a separate inbox which will only show emails that you haven't opened yet. You can also do this for emails that you've received on the current date by tapping the "Today" option under "Edit." Both of these options help avoid inbox clutter and save time.
Customize your mailboxes to suit your needs.
If you're participating in an important, ongoing email conversation (as many business owners are) you can set your iPhone or iPad to immediately notify you of any updates in that conversation. This is way better than having notifications turned on for all emails. To do this, open the email then swipe halfway to the right to open up an options menu. Go to "More", then tap "Notify me". It's as simple as that. Now, whenever someone in that conversation sends a message, you will be notified.
Get notified for your important conversations.
In addition to the built-in features of smartphones and tablets, there are many apps available to make managing your inbox even simpler. Many of them are free, while some of them cost a small fee (we're talking under $10 a piece here, so need to break the bank). If you find that the Mail app's organization capabilities just aren't satisfying you, some popular third-party email management apps include Spark, Polymail, and Dispatch. You can take some time to try them out and assess which one works best for you.
Spark is one app that tops many reviewer's lists of the best email apps. It was even rated "Best of the App Store" in 2015 by Apple itself. Spark is very smart, sorting out important emails from others, like newsletters or promotions. It automatically sorts unread emails into their own folder, and its "card" system allows you to manage large amounts of emails with a single swipe. Best of all, Spark is free to download from the App Store.
Polymail won the Mac App of the Year in 2015. Available on both desktop and mobile, Polymail offers a rich feature set and supports all the major email providers with the exception of Microsoft Exchange. Though, their website says support for Exchange is coming soon. While the base version is free, you can upgrade to their Pro version for $9 per month to get additional productivity features. Email tracking, message templates and the ability to send messages later are some of the key features that Pro offers. Highly recommend taking advantage of their 14-day free trial to see if Polymail is for you.
Dispatch is a good choice if you're constantly on the move. Like its name implies, Dispatch is all about organizing emails to get things done. For instance, you can send important emails to other apps, such as a 3rd party calendar app like Fantastical or the native iOS apps like Reminders, to deal with later. This app is a bit more advanced, so maybe not the best option if you're just getting started with the world of email organization. It sells for $6.99 on the App Store.
Don't let searching through email distract you from work. See the files you need, when you need them. Focus on what matters most to you.
With all your files intelligently organized and at your finger tips, you'll never waste time again. Get started today!
Property.ca, Toronto, Canada
"I get a ton of listing docs, trade records and contracts emailed to me. Cubes makes them easy to find when I'm on the go. It's an indispensable app for me."