In order to maintain 'Inbox Zero' in the 21st century, it's important to integrate outside tools that can automate the message filtering system so you don't spend hours per day wading through unwanted messages. Zack demonstrates how to use two apps, Unroll.me and Sanebox, to ensure that when you open your inbox you are only seeing the messages that truly matter.
- [Instructor] In previous lessons, I walked you through several different methods for organizing and managing your email inbox including how to create filters to sort your common incoming emails automatically into the proper folders so you're never bothered with notifications. In this lesson, I want to show you some of my favorite strategies for organizing and sorting incoming messages using my two favorite tools, unroll.me and SaneBox, both of which I mentioned briefly in my earlier lesson, Introduction to Inbox Zero.
So here we are back in our tutorial email account that currently has 1361 messages in the inbox, all of which are fairly random. Now, if you'll remember in an earlier lesson, we did start to sort some of the most important emails into categories such as Calendars, Call Sheets, specific people, Progress Report as well as messages that we were CC'd on. Now, we're going to automate the process of organizing this inbox. The first step is we're going to sign up for a free unroll.me account.
So go to unroll.me, get started and we're going to sign up with Google and once you've logged in, you're going to ask unroll.me to access your email account and you allow it to. And the next step is unroll.me is going to scan through your email inbox and find all of your regular subscriptions. So you can see in this tutorial email account it found 11 subscriptions. So we're going to hit Continue and this is all real time.
There was no editing. It took about five seconds for it to scan the inbox and now you'll see that it has chosen these emails as things that would belong in the Rollup. So what I want to do is just select all of these and add them to my daily Rollup and you can see that I've now cleared all of my subscriptions. So that means that all of these emails rather than coming to my inbox are now going to come into one daily email as I mentioned in that earlier lesson.
So I'm going to hit Continue and then it's going to ask me when I want to receive my one email. I generally like to receive it in the morning. It's kind of like getting your morning newspaper. If you want to set it for the afternoon or the evening, those options are fine too. I'm just going to hit Finish and that's it so now I go to my Rollup. Once again, I can see everything that's here. However, let's say that there's something in here that was wrong and you said, no, no, no, no, I want to get emails from the California Film Commission.
So rather than rolling it up, you want to make sure that it stays in your inbox. The other option is you can go through these and say, wow, I didn't even know I was getting some of these things. I don't want to receive them at all so I'm just going to go ahead and Unsubscribe from this completely. So you don't have to go through individual emails, go into the footers and find the Unsubscribe link. You can do it all via unroll.me and then when you go into your inbox every single morning, you're now going to have an email that shows up with all of those notifications wrapped up in one email.
So that's pretty cool and unroll.me is free. However, if you want to go to the next level and really automate your email organization, the next step is going to be using SaneBox. Now, just as a warning, SaneBox does have a monthly fee of between, I think it's roughly 30 and $35 but once you see how powerful it is, you're going to see it's well worth it 'cause it's like having your own personal assistant reading your email for you. So we're going to go ahead and set up an account. We're going to link it to our Google email and now it's just going to walk you through the process that it's going through.
So you can see that it's first of all going to create a daily digest which is similar to unroll.me but it's not just for subscriptions. It can be for every different type of email that you specify. You can also make sure that anything that's going to be a distraction that you don't need to read is going to go into a folder called SaneLater instead of your inbox and what's really cool is that you can train the system. So if you see something in your SaneLater folder, and you're like, no, no, when that comes to me, I need it to be in my inbox, you drag it back and forth and vice versa.
If you start getting emails to your inbox that are distractions, you drag them to SaneLater once and every single email you get from that same sender will then bypass your inbox completely. You can also unsubscribe instantly by taking any email that you're subscribed to and dragging it into what's called the SaneBlackHole. You can also do what's similar to a rollup using SaneNews. The only difference here and the reason why I still like unroll.me better is you're still going to have a giant folder with tons of subscriptions rather than having them all rolled up into one single email but it's the same idea and then probably my favorite feature is the Snooze feature which allows you to take emails in your inbox that you know require action but you can drag them to other folders or as I'm going to show you in a minute, you could email yourself a reminder so it magically pops up in your inbox at the right time to respond to that email and you can see right here how you're actually going to do it is you're going to specify the time that you want the email to return to your inbox and just put @sanebox.com.
So for example, in the BCC field, if you're sending somebody an email and you're thinking, alright, well, if they don't respond to me within a week, I want that to be back in my email inbox to remember to respond to them, you would put email@example.com and then you also have a NoReplies folder which means that if you sent out an important email and you're thinking, hey, has that person replied to me yet, it's going to be contained in the NoReplies folder until they've replied to you.
So what happened while I was going through that tutorial is SaneBox started to scan our email account and it started to put things in different folders. So I'm going to go to my Dashboard and you can see that it has all of these different features for how to use it. So I'm going to go to my inbox. I'm going to refresh it and it looks like it's still scanning. Well, actually, it's pretty much done. So you can see that in real time, in the last three to four minutes since signing up, we now only have 85 messages in our inbox and we have over 1300 emails in the SaneLater folder and this is based on previous usage of this account.
So SaneBox said, you know what? You don't really seem to be replying to these specific addresses, you don't have conversations with them therefore I don't think they're important to you but it recognized that this is an important person and it recognized other important people in this account and it left them in the inbox but now I have a giant mess of emails that I most likely don't need in a totally separate place all done automatically. If somebody asks me how many emails that I receive per day, I honestly wouldn't even know anymore because the vast majority of messages that I receive now are filtered.
I'm able to access any message when I need it but I'm also no longer interrupted constantly by emails that don't require my time, my attention or my energy and as I've mentioned already, if you want to protect your energy and your creativity, the place to start is your email inbox.
- File management
- Time blocking
- Cleaning up your email inbox
- Organizing and prioritizing notifications
- Selecting apps to help you with task and time management
- Filtering email messages and paperwork