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CevApps 'Priority Inbox' let's you spend less time on email and focus on your tasks

posted Aug 31, 2010, 12:09 PM by Francois Tricot   [ updated Feb 21, 2011, 3:10 PM ]

Problems ?

Checking email several times a days is an addiction many have in our world today. However it distracts us from our main task.
You may not like spending long amounts of time in your inbox, but you probably think about checking it pretty often. When you feel the vibration, you know there's something waiting for you.

To make things worse, because you do not receive email at set intervals and you don't know if that email is going to be something you want, your curiosity is peaked the moment the vibrate occurs just so you can find out if you've received something you want or if it's a waste of your time.

I recently moved from old fashion plain regular phone to a smartphone, and it is not news that I'm checking my emails many times a day. Previously I might check my emails several convenient times a day, now I'm requested to pay attention to emails at the right moment they fall into my inbox.

If you're spending time with another person, being polite requires that you give them your attention. But, there's still a lot of debate over whether or not it's appropriate to, say, check email over dinner, meetings, while watching a movie, while driving ...
The trend seems to be heading toward giving first priority to our devices, and this isn't just a social problem but also a productivity problem.

Any solution ?

Check your email a little less

If you don't have it, you are less eager to watch it. Having a device that does everything is a trap. You just want to check the time, and you finish asking yourself if you have to answer immediately to an email.
Having a sophisticated smartphone may not be the right solution. However it's going to be hard to mandate regular old mobile phone against iPhones, Blackberries and Android powered phones. It is more realistic to train yourself to let them quiet in your pockets.
Decide to check your email a little less. If it gets problematic, don't take the phone with you or turn it off when you go out at night or go to a meeting.

Stop multi-tasking

While we can act like we're doing several things at once, we're really just quickly shifting our attention between different activities. Checking emails while following the presenter or watching a film. Do you think you give both the appropriate level of attention it should require ?
If you want to form good habits with your technology, consider interacting with one device at a time to avoid multitasking and the poor prioritization of digital interaction over real interaction.

Never apologize

Maybe you've said something like this before: "Sorry I didn't answer your email. I get bad reception in the meeting room."  Not only you have apologized for being unavailable during ameeting but for your phone's inability to get you the message immediately. If you do that regularly, you're a slave to immediacy. Stop apologizing and welcome the freedom of responding when you can and when you feel like it. If you create the expectation that you're not always going to respond at the precise moment of the email, people will begin to assume that you'll respond when you can.

Get organized

According to the statistics, within Ceva, top email users receive and send more than 50 emails a day. After 6 months, some have been able to fill 12 GB of email (when they had a 100 MB limit before with Lotus Notes).
One effective way of dealing with information overload is actually organizing information. This may be an obvious one, but most of us think more about organization than actually doing it. You're going to get organized at some point, so you might as well start now (if you haven't :). Email is one of the toughest things to get under control and there are more solutions out there than you could ever really try.

CevApps's new Priority Inbox is a great new way to focus on the important messages in your inbox. It splits your screen into 3 box :
  • Important and unread
  • Starred
  • Everything else
You can declare that emails are important, you can set-up filters to tell CevApps that emails are importants, but there is better : CevApps learns by itself what is important for you, who is important for you.

This feature is being rolled out this week. It will appear on the top right on your screen. If you don't like it you will be given the opportunity to switch back to the regular interface.

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tag:collaboration, tag:tips

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