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Emptying your Inbox

Emptying your Inbox

If you think emptying your inbox is impossible, think again. Check out these tips and tricks to get an inbox completely free of things to do.

The first step

The first step to emptying your inbox is setting up time to go through your email at its current state. There are three methods to tackle this approach.

  1. Delete everything. If you haven’t done anything with the emails already, then they might not be as important as you think=. This is the quickest way to get a clean slate.
  2. Take time to go through every single email. That’s right, take a day (or two) to open and do something with every email. Plan on spending 15 to 30 seconds on each email.
  3. Do a combination of both. The most common method; plan on deleting every email more than three months old, and then take the time to review what’s left.

Processing your inbox

After taking the first step to cleaning out your inbox, come up with a system to make sure it stays clean. This means making folders, template responses, and unsubscribing to newsletters and promotions you don’t need or care about.

If you create a folder to place emails you need to come back to, make sure you set aside the time each week to address that folder (and stick to it).

Another method is to address the email as soon as you open it. Whether this means scheduling a task, making a phone call, or replying with a brief message, taking care of the email immediately can help to maintain productivity. And remember, you should never treat deleted emails as its own folder.

Inspiration for this post came from “The Path to Emptying Your Inbox,” by Gwen Bortner.


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Cabin Fever

bored.pngIt’s the first week of April and spring doesn’t seem to be any closer. Daydreams of warmer days and a summer to-do list seem to get longer and longer, while our work sits around us. Motivation is no where to be found.

Maybe all you need is a change of scenery. Literally. The creators of Instagram and the musical Hamilton we’re both on vacations when they incepted their two brilliant ideas.

While you don’t need to go across country to strike big on something you’ve been working on, it isn’t a bad idea to pick that project up and head to your nearest coffee shop. If noise seems to be your main source of distraction, studies show that coffee shops provide the perfect amount of noise level to productivity.

And while you’re trying to optimize that productivity, leave your cell phone in the office. Another study found that even when a phone is left in a bag, just the thought of it is still more distracting than if it were in another building.

So maybe this “whole warm weather is never coming” thing isn’t as bad as we think. Cabin fever may cause boredom, but when boredom strikes, creativity reigns according to this article.

So the next time you’re bored out of your mind, try to stay there. Let your mind wander, and see where it goes. Who knows, maybe you’ll create the next best app?


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Make the Most of Your Time

Being a business owner correlates to a busy schedule. Fortunately, apps are available to organize your life and increase productivity. The following is a review of user-tested apps to help you breath easier and manage more.

EvernoteEvernote: If you had to chose one app to simplify your life, Evernote would be the app to download. This app is all-encompassing; the main screen includes different “notebooks” that can be organized with tags and shared with others to work on projects. Notes can include alarms, shortcuts can be made to access information more quickly, and a search option pulls key words and phrases from all your chicken scratchings.  Ease is the name of the game with Evernote; a work chat feature even stores conversations in one area. This app can be accessed from phone, desktop, or tablet, and includes a premium option for $7.99/month.

SlackSlack: Speaking of storing work conversations in one area, Slack is the app for business communication. Similar to Twitter, mention people by using the @ symbol and create trends by using phrases behind a hashtag to organize the conversation. Other features include liking messages and creating a status. Use this app for multiple group chats; groups are stored by clicking on the top left tab. Perhaps the easiest to use for anyone who knows how to text, Slack is available on phone, tablet, and through a website URL, and is free for all users. Note: the administrator, or the one who creates the group, is the only one who can add others to the chat.

NozbeNozbe: Put your entire staff’s schedule into this calendar-like app. Aside from just sharing your schedule, store and work on projects with your team and create templates for future use. Also included is a priority to-do list and a category option for even further organization. Available on phone and tablet, this app costs $5 a month for a team larger than two people, and includes less features than Evernote.

 

Flyp1Flyp: Make a lot of business calls with your personal cell phone? Flyp turns one cell phone into two. Flyp is an app that generates random numbers, and makes calls from the app like any other messaging system pre-installed in a phone. Contacts can be imported from your phone, or added manually to the app’s phonebook. Flyp is free, unless you want to use the same phone number every call, and is the most cost effective way around purchasing a second phone.

 

CamcardCamcard: Ever want to throw away someone’s business card, but not sure if you’ll ever need their assistance in the future? Go ahead and throw away that pile of cards after storing them in Camcard. Camcard is an app only for storing business information. Store your own even, and scan a card in every time you get a new one. Never worry about looking another phone number up when you have to make that once-a-year phone call.

Life is hard enough, so why not try to make it easier, one app at a time.