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Improve your coding productivity by Email Management

Published Feb 11, 2017Last updated Apr 04, 2017
Improve your coding productivity by Email Management

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail

You need to plan your email management. I have seen many of my friends and colleagues have very huge inboxes like above 20-30k emails in their inboxes. (I haven't read emails, just checked the counts of emails.) I know you are thinking I am in similar condition. Just be with me and go till end of post, surely you will get directions. You will realize how much time you were wasting (after starting implementation) in email surfing, finding and sometimes forgetting to reply and taking follow up.

Go with following 6 rules:

1. Keep Your Inbox with less than 30 emails

Have you ever seen empty inbox. It feels good if you start this exercise. Whenever any email comes, keep only emails which are ToDo’s or need your response or important, else archive (if you may need it later) or delete (you don’t need it at all). So whenever you need to find any email, it can be found from search bar or All Emails section (if you have archived then only you can find it again). So you have now 5000 old emails, give some time and analyze emails to keep, and archive or delete remaining. You seriously need this. By doing this your inbox also will load faster than before. If you are not big fan of Search feature of emails, you can still see your all your emails (archived, sent, Inbox, different labels) in "All emails" Label.

My formula for Max Count of Inbox - 30 * Number of Hours of Management (Planning, Communication, Sprints, Scrums, Task Management, etc.) for required Role.

  1. If you need 1 hour of Management for your role of Coding - 30 * 1 = Max 30 emails

  2. If you are tech lead and need 3 hours of management (and 5 hrs of Coding) - 3 * 3 = Max 90 emails

2. Unsubscribe

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Unsubscribe emails which you don’t want/read or irrelevant to you. Mark emails Spam if you are not able to Unsubscribe. This will remove unwanted attention and will save a lot time for you. If you are not looking for Job now, bank offers, colleges, shopping, cars, etc. then unsubscribe them for god sake. You won't believe the number of emails coming to your inbox will go down drastically.

3. Use filters

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Filters will discard emails from your Inbox and directly go to your specified labels. This can be based on some rules (sender, subject) i.e. emails like automated deployments, Jira updates, for which your attention might not be required immediately. Sometimes emails like community updates, bank updates are just FYI, those will be also get discarded from the Inbox and will go to a specific label. And when you get time, you can take look at those emails.

4. Move emails of Passwords or secured things to label

Move password, accounts, secure emails to their specific label. So whenever you need it you will able to find it faster. Otherwise, you can always archive the email.

5. Create Templates

Create email templates if you often send similar emails. This will save your time as you won't need total rewrite of the email.

6. Think Before Reply

Think before you reply to emails, do you really need to reply, what to reply, when to reply, how to reply. By thinking this, you will keep it in inbox still if you want to reply. If no reply expected from you, you can surely Archive it.

This 6 will surely increase your productivity and reduce your time in managing and searching emails or responding to important emails. You will not forget to take follow up from a person because those emails are still in your Inbox. (If you have sent email and still need follow up, you can still move it to the Inbox).

Thanks for reading. Share your story after implementing this.

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