- 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
Skill Level Appropriate for all
- [Instructor] In previous lessons about email management you've learned several different strategies to tame your inbox and slowly get it down to the coveted inbox zero. And so far the tips that you've learned have been directly inside your email program. In this lesson I'm going to show you how to further clean up your various inboxes by delegating and outsourcing your messages to both Trello and OmniFocus, and I'm also going to introduce you to the third of my favorite programs in the productivity trifecta, Evernote. In doing so you can make it much more likely that you act on your various tasks not treat your inbox like a to-do list and most importantly be able to quickly access reference information without having to get sucked into your email when you don't want to.
So since we've last been in our email inbox, we have accumulated a lot more messages and you can see that SaneBox is still doing some of the work but we're up to 205 again and that's kind of messy. What I want to do is show you three different ways that you can outsource messages and get them out of your inbox and make sure you're taking the proper actions. So I have three messages here that we're going to get away from Gmail, or your email program of choice, and send them somewhere else to make sure they get taken care of. So the first of which if you remember, or if you have watched the lessons about OmniFocus, one of my recurring tasks is to make sure that I call my mom back.
So she has emailed me again and said, "hi dear, please give me a call when you have a moment. "I would love to chat about your visit over the holidays." All right, mom, I get it, I haven't called you back. Here's the thing, I don't want this message sitting in my inbox forever 'cause I'm going to keep forgetting, I need to do something with it. When you look at some of the different ways that we've tackled task management, whether it's been using Trello for projects, whether it's been using OmniFocus to delegate all the different things that we need to do into projects and contacts as well, this would be a single action.
This is probably not something that belongs on a project board in Trello so I want to put this in OmniFocus again but I want to take the email directly from Gmail. So what I do is I use this thing, it's called the OmniFocus Clipper. All you have to do is do a search, so OmniFocus Clipper Chrome. Send to OmniFocus. You just go to Send to OmniFocus. Add to Chrome, which I have already done. Then when you're inside the email you just clip it, make sure that OmniFocus is open, and if it's not it will prompt you to do so.
Like it says here, remember my choice in the future, open OmniFocus and guess what? The subject line of the email message and the recipient become the name of the task so I probably just want to rephrase this one. Say make sure to call mom. Here's the really cool thing if I need to reference this email, the URL is right here and all I have to do in OmniFocus is click on this and anywhere with an internet connection, whether it's your phone, your iPad, your computer, your work computer, your home computer, this is going to take you to the message.
So I can put everything in here in this little prompt, I don't even have to open OmniFocus, it's super fast. So my project is Single Actions, my context could be phone so I can create a new context called Phone. If I know I need to do this by tomorrow I can write tomorrow. And I hit Save and I'm done. It's not even in my inbox, it's already sorted under Projects, Single Action, make sure to call Mom. I can open up the notes, click on the link, and I'm right in the email. So she said call me and let's discuss these five things.
I can put the list right in front of me. So that's one way to get very simple single actions out of your inbox. The next way you can do it, going back to our inbox, and now, of course, the biggest thing is we need to make sure to archive this so it's not in our inbox anymore. The next email that we have is about project related. This is for work. So I open this up and my boss John Smith is saying here's a link for all the visual effects that you have to download and drop into scene 27. And I click on the link and oddly enough it's a picture Bill Lumbergh from Office Space telling me to do something.
I don't know what's that all about but this link is going to presumably send us to some visual effects that we need to download. Once again, this is a task. I don't want to treat my inbox like a to-do list but I don't want this to go to OmniFocus because this is most likely a task that I would want to give to my assistant so I want this to go to Trello. Very similar process. I have now installed a Trello clipper. So I go to Trello for Chrome.
Once again add it to Chrome, it takes about five seconds, completely free, you don't have to have any addons, no subscriptions. And while I'm on the email message what I do is I click on the clipper and it asks me as long as I've logged into Trello, the first time you install this it's going to ask you to log into your Trello account. It's going to have all of your boards so I want this to go to my episode 101 main board and for now I'm going to send it to the general info workflow and docs but I actually prefer to create an inbox list to put all of the various things that I throw in my Trello inbox that need to be organized and delegated.
But we'll put it into general info and I want to attach this email and now all of a sudden it becomes the subject line. So I hit Add and I go to Trello and there's our email. This is now a card. Here's the thing though, there was an attachment for a link. If I click on this link right now it takes me back to the email but what if I don't want to have to click on the link in the Trello card to go back to my email to go back to this link? That's a lot of clicking and linking. What I want to do is have the body of that email directly in my Trello card and there's a way to do that as well.
What I do is I go to Show Menu on my board, I go to More and it's called Email-to-board Settings. So there's an email address specifically for this Trello board, it's not for your Trello account, it's per Trello board. So I want to click on this and copy it and what I want to do is forward this message. So I forward the message to this address and you can actually save this in your contacts list so you only have to do this once and it will remember it from now on.
And I hit Send. Guess what? The same thing is here again but now the subject line is the card description but inside I have the body of the entire message including the hyperlink. So what is now directly in front of me in Trello, I click on this link, and for some reason it's Bill Lumbergh again, I don't know what that's about but this guy needs something asap so we're going to asap this. That's why we've got Trello.
So that's two emails down the drain, out of our inbox, not turning our inbox into a to-do list. So we're going to archive that! Now my friend Ashley Johnson is emailing me saying I just saw this article on networking and it is awesome, you should definitely check it out. I'm like oh great! I click on the link, I'm like, oh this would be awesome to read, oh, who's that guy? He looks familiar. Anyway, there's this great article but I'm scrolling through and I'm saying okay, this is really really long and this looks great but I don't think I have time to read this right now.
What I don't want to do is leave it in my inbox and I'm inevitably going to forget that this is sitting there so I want to get it out of my inbox and somewhere else and the place that I like to put all of my reference materials where it isn't an action, it's more something that I want to reference in the future or read is Evernote. So one option, if it is an action where you say I have to read this by a certain date, you send it to OmniFocus. If you're thinking this would be great to read someday when I'm relaxed and I'm reading like I'm reading a newspaper, then we're going to put it in Evernote.
And to do that we go to our Evernote account and once again, Evernote is free. So Evernote is a standalone application but it's also web-based and right now I'm using the standalone application. You can see that I'm in a brand new version. What I want to do is email this note to my Evernote account and to do that I go up to the Help menu, Account Settings, and it brings up my account settings, and now I have an email address no different than I did when I sending to Trello. So I'm just going to copy this, Command C, I want to forward this message, Command V, and I send it.
And in Evernote I'm now going to sync my account and now I have a reference of something that I want to read in the future but not necessarily right now. So the last step, of course, once we have it in Evernote, we get rid of it in our email inbox because why? Say it with me: email is not a to-do list! We archive it and we're done! Now in future lessons in this course I'm going to dig deeper into how to organize Evernote so you can then sort all of your reference material whether it's personal stuff that I demonstrated here or maybe it's professional articles, videos, how-tos, tutorials, that you can use while doing creative work.
Either way, having a system that allows you to spend less time in your inbox is ultimately going to buy you more time to do the creative work that you love.
Q: Why can't I earn a Certificate of Completion for this course?
A: We publish a new tutorial or tutorials for this course on a regular basis. We are unable to offer a Certificate of Completion because it is an ever-evolving course that is not designed to be completed. Check back often for new movies.