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Thrash Your Email!

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When it comes to tools in the workplace, email is quite truly a modern day antiquity. Yes, its been widely adopted, is used for everything online, and has accelerated communication in ways that first carrier pigeon or telephone did in their times. But still, after all the advances of technology in the last 45 years, since email became a thing, it has advanced VERY little.


Meanwhile, all the technologies around email have risen to masterful heights; computers, cell phones, websites, internet protocols, businesses, automation, the essence of the being online itself! But email remains a stubborn addiction that has been used for much more than it was intended for. In today’s office atmosphere, email has become a to-do-list, a scheduler, a filing system, a group hangout, a time-suck, and a provocateur of insanity.


We can be lofty and aim to change this behavior one day but until then let’s settle for unshackling our email-chains with the following not-so-common tips that amplify productivity and close in on the mythic inbox-zero. Check out the advice below to master your inbox and reach email-enlightenment.

1. Remove marketing emails by filtering your inbox to “unsubscribe.”

When the spam filter ain’t doing its job, this trick will easily cure your inbox of unwanted solicitations. Simply create a filter using the work “unsubscribe” and send the junk mail to its own private folder never to be seen again. For those that want to go nuclear with the unsub tatic, check out Unroll.me, where you can “instantly see a list of all your subscription emails and unsubscribe from whatever you don’t want.”


2. Finish any request with “Thank you in advance!”

One ploy to politely nudge your recipient along in getting that task done and responding, is to end your email composition with the sentence “Thank you in advance!” This psychological mind-trickery presumes that the person will already complete your request and therefore subliminally persuades them into action. Sure its no jedi feat but the courteous encouragement will go a long way and you won’t sound pushy while doing it.


3. Download the Boomerang extension.

The Boomerang extension is available for both Gmail and Outlook, has a kick-ass free plan with all the options. This lightweight and hand add-on allows you to time your emails in the event you want to send in the future automatically. It can also alert you if one of your email delivered still hasn’t had a response. This is helpful when its been a week and no one has replied to your game-night invitation. Boomerang will resurface that email in your inbox to remind you how unpopular you are!

4. Use Search Operators to target and locate previous messages.

When I learned of this cheatsheet my inbox knelt in fealty. Below are just some of the many many search hacks in the aforementioned link.


email search


5. Input Sender address last.

Save yourself the heartbreak of sending out an incomplete email. Wait until you’ve completed composition and proofread before adding the Sender address.


6. Recall or Undo Sent Email

Yes that’s right you can prevent embarrassment when accidentally sending NSFW memes to the entire company by using the Recall option for Outlook or the Undo Sent Email option for Gmail. These hacks are pretty easy to set up and are worth the effort in gold. Now if you could only take back that terrible joke you made to the Judy from down that hall…


7. Ignore or Mute irrelevant conversations

This trick is easily missed when in inbox rapture but a godsend when remembered. There are enough distractions at work so stop letting those saccharine-happy “Congratulations on your promotion!” email replies about your coworker depress you. You can Mute or Ignore those responses with a click of a button. For Gmail and Outlook respectively.


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