Get to-dos on the list and complete them.

Leaving actionable items in our inbox basically means we have two to-do lists to manage. The problem is that we’re not in control of the inbox, people with our email address are in control of our inbox.

This means there is a constant barrage of messages and distractions coming in via the inbox. Checking for actionable items amongst the continually filling inbox can quickly derail focus. The practice of not moving tasks into a trusted system perpetuates the cycle of never being caught up.

The chances of attention being diverted when checking your inbox become much more likely if you if you have subscribed to newsletters. Content that is potentially high quality, and related to your professional or personal interests, but is almost always designed specifically to grab your attention!

A few inbox best practices from productivity coaches

Checking your email frequently during the day might be an effective way to keep your inbox at manageable levels. However, the constant interruption and distraction that comes from multi-tasking in this way can dramatically lower your productivity.

One strategy to try is to check email only at set points during the day. For instance, you may decide that you'll only check your email first thing in the morning, before lunch, and at the end of the day.

If you aren’t checking your inbox at a pre-determined time, it helps to have alerts and notifications turned off to avoid reacting to your inbox when you could be focusing on high value projects and goals.

You can also reserve time to read and respond to email after a long period of focused work, or at a time of day when your energy and creativity are at their lowest (this means that you can do higher value work at other times).

If you're concerned that your colleagues, boss, or clients will be annoyed or confused that you're not immediately responding to their email, set the expectation that you only check email at certain times. And they can call you or use IM if the material is time sensitive.

Using Handle has unique advantages over most email and productivity systems.

  • You no longer have to rely on the subject line of the email when creating a to-do from the inbox. With Handle, you can just change the title to something actionable.

  • And, having email content preserved in the to-do details means you’ll never be frustrated by searching your inbox for the original content again.

  • Also, your to-do list becomes the overall picture of what to focus on, including your calendar of upcoming events, so you know in advance how much time you have from one task to the next.

Using handle to get things from your inbox to your to-do list.

Handle makes it easy to create a todo from email and that content of that email perfectly preserved in the todo details.

For example, if you have an email you need to reply to, but dont have the information required in order to reply, simply from left to right and create a tod