When you are charging by the hour for your living, ‘doing email’ can become not just a chore, but an expensive chore.
Getting through your Gmail inbox faster and more efficiently frees you up to spend more time with clients earning money and spending less time scrolling though your endless Gmail inbox and feeling stressed.
A simple Gmail extension called ActiveInbox can cut at least 1/3 off ‘doing email’ time with a bunch of innovative features designed to give you clear and effective structures and tools with which to process email efficiently and quickly.
It can also make you more reliable by ensuring you never reply a day late to an important client email because it ‘got lost’ in your swamp of an inbox, or lose track of something important you’ve carefully filed away but then forgotten to actually deal with because you don’t remember to check the label you filed it to.
Getting a grip on your inbox
So how does it work?
ActiveInbox helps you apply the ‘2 minute rule’ to emails.
If you can reply or do whatever the email asks you to do in less than 2 minutes, do it now.
If it will take more than 2 minutes you can put it in a to-do list to deal with later and add a reminder to it.
You can also ensure you remember to follow up by adding emails you send to someone asking for something to a ‘Waiting On’ list so you can track things there.
These important emails are then added to a true email task list for you right inside Gmail where you can prioritize emails using sorting options as well as rank the emails yourself as you would in a normal task list.
Because your emails are now either replied to or safely added to your To-do or Waiting On task lists, you can remove the emails from your inbox with the Archive button which sends it to be stored in your all mail folder. You can also just archive or delete any emails which are junk. This ensures you inbox is just a reception area for processing email rather than an unwieldy and cluttered list that only serves to stress you out.
The end result? A much faster, more efficient and reliable email workflow where nothing falls through the cracks and you don’t get bogged down with things you can deal with later.
Contact details at a glance
The other key tool for any lawyer using Gmail is a contact viewer that shows you the LinkedIn details of any person that emails you just on the right side of the open email.
The most reliable is a free extension that is now owned by LinkedIn called Rapportive. However, there are many other free options like FullContact for Gmail that bring some useful extra features. For instance, with FullContact you can add a new contact to your Google Contacts in one click from the sidebar and see very reliable company information for each new contact also.
With these two tools in your arsenal, you’ll soon be saving hours of billable time thanks to a more efficient approach to email and a massively upgraded Gmail.
This was written by Andy Mitchell