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overwhelmed by email?  Check out this app!

Mailbox out of control?

One of the hardest things to tackle in our information-overloaded world is the constant flow of email.  I’ve heard of people who spend hours every day tackling hundreds of messages.  And when it’s all said and done?  They don’t feel like they’ve made any *actual* progress in their day.  What do you do when productivity is hampered by too-dang-much email?

Enter Mailbox App for iPhone:

Mailbox is a nifty free app for your iPhone (only for now) that takes the place of Apple’s default mail client.  They launched with much fanfare last year, and have since been acquired by Dropbox.  It’s the fastest way to blast through those 50 messages in your inbox that I know of.  Ready to check it out and get a clear-head?

How it works:

1.  After installing it from the app store, you’ll want to set it up with your Gmail account (Don’t have Gmail?  No worries.  You can click here to start a brand new Gmail address, and have your old email address forwarded in so you can play along.  And Bonus:  It destroys spam for you!)

2.  Open the app.  All your email sits in this list, but wait:  No buttons?!

step one:  archive those old gmail messages

3.  After you’ve finished an email, swipe right to archive it.  Gmail doesn’t encourage deleting messages, but just archiving them so they’re out of sight.

step two:  destroy overload by swiping right!

4.  Here’s the Incredible PART:  If you know the email is something you want to be aware of….but not until later:  Swipe to the left!

Swipe left to reschedule!


5.  And here’s the kicker:  You’re presented with a screen that asks when you’d like to see the email back in your inbox again.  Need to double check on whether that Fedex package ever made it to Kansas? No problem!  Just defer that receipt email for a week and check back in on it.  Huge project, but not due for two months? That’s fine.  Send it back around to your inbox next week.

See you later gator!


For all you leadership junkies:

Mailbox has been *such* a huge addition to my productivity & workflow.  Being able to defer email and know it’ll reliably show back up in my inbox when I need it is a HUGE load off my mind.  I can’t wait for them to come out with a desktop version!  But I have to know…..what email client do YOU use?

The Strategy of Planning Your Weeks Using SoftwareLeadership – For Starters:

People define leadership in so many ways.  My personal definition is the stewardship of influence.  Influence is gained when people trust you.  And trust is created when we make and keep commitments to ourselves and others…..whether implicitly or explicitly.

Using Things Software to fill in the gaps

If you’re like me (a recovering people pleaser), it’s super important that you keep tabs on the commitments you’ve made.  I have areas of my life that need to stay on auto-pilot, but I haven’t kept tabs on them all myself.   Using the scheduling feature of software is a great way to trigger me to remember things at the right days and times.  That helps keep the wheels from coming off while freeing up our mental space.  Like David Allen said in our interview, our mind is for *having* ideas, not for *holding* them.  Creating a trusted set of reminders put stakeholders in the ground to allow us to look at our lives objectively.  It helps us think about what we should be thinking about!

For our purposes, we’ll be using CulturedCode’s Things app.  As always, check out the trial version of Things here.

Getting it Done:

1.  First, you’ll want to click on the “Scheduled” section of the Things App.  This is where we keep everything in life we have on autopilot.  The Scheduled section.  Where the magic happens


2.  Then, click on the “New Repeating” button at the bottom of the app.  This will create our reminder.

Leadership via repeating tasks

3.  Set the appropriate interval for the reminder.  The nifty thing about Things is that you can completely customize those intervals.  Need to remember to get that dry-cleaning done every other Tuesday?  No problem.  Picking the kids up from soccer practice every third Thursday?  That’s fine too!

The ability to set custom intervals.  Yay!

4.  Check your “Today” tab every morning.  When the appropriate day arrives, you get to see all the reminders for that day in a singular location.  Easy!

Custom automation shows up in your Today list


In conclusion:

That’s the gist of it!  Auto-repeating reminders have been a Godsend for me.  It’s the secretary I’ve never had, and it helps me keep tabs not only on “what I’m thinking about”…but “How I’m thinking about it.”  It’s so useful when you get to work on your own system while you’re in it.  Hope you’ve found this post helpful!

What about you?  Do you use Things or GTD software or any other life-management methodology?  What works for you?