Skip to main content

Dealing with Email

Lesson 15 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

Dealing with Email

Lesson 15 from: Time Management 101

Mike Vardy

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

15. Dealing with Email

Lesson Info

Dealing with Email

Let's let's take a look what we've covered so far because emails a big topic and actually everything that we've discussed in this point kind of inform is going to inform a lot of what we're going to talk about the mail so we talked about building a workflow in terms of digital and analog nearing most the two things together uh an analog is a lot bigger than just paper we talked about as well the power of context we just started to scratch the service with that stuff so it's this is kind of where we're starting to shit in the biz the higher level stuff right? So we had you guys choose some contacts we hit a maybe hit a home run with you a little bit it but yeah, this the reason that that one is placed right smack dab in the middle is that it kind of allows me to inform the rest of the stuff that we're bringing forward because contacts or one of those things that that you're going to really use a lot when we come to this section called email management hobo a female it's the one that tha...

t a lot of people get stuck on so what is email email is really actually I know what it is I know what how I define it but I'd like to hear from let's start with you axel how do you like what is email to you in a chronic male way to communicate with people so the basic electronic mail all right so what comes to you via email? What what when you get an email it's information officer it's a communication but email the problem with female the male problem is that what was it meant to replace? I guess there's several there's several things it was meant to replace right postal now yeah, right maybe the facts a little bit but that's where was instant delivery of messages that may not have been delivered instantly in the past right that's what it wass you know so let's let's take a look at I'm going to get back to the problem with e mail but this is the only clip art I thrown up in this entire slide show by the way but this is what I was meant to replace right? So the problem with e mail is that how many of you how many of your using it as a place to store a whole bunch of stuff everyone's hand goes out everyone of course all right, so now I get to ask the really really sinister question how many emails would you say are in your in box right now? How do you know how many no you mean everything in your inbox just in your email inbox? Yeah about one thousand one thousand all right? You don't have the record, by the way I think it's not the price is right one dollar you mean unready male are just in your inbox I'm not saying on red but but thank you for clarifying because people go on read in my hat fifty thousand more fifty thousand in your inbox okay that might be the new record how many emails in your inbox I built your emails so there's nothing in your inbox fifty right now okay that's good that's good using filters we're gonna talk about an awesome filtration system for email in a little bit that I use that rather unconventional but I know I have three hundred hundred emails but I just don't know you don't know where the couple thousand pounds I know where they are but the these are three hundred hundred emails maybe a couple thousand at least what I find out e just actually went in and checked my personal email uh forty three thousand and up your inbox in my in box on I felt when you use filtered and they're still okay yeah that bad I also amusing filters but I'm not about fifteen thousand but you know not un read at least I'm reading them all right here so this is a this is a crude rendering of a post office box I gave up on drawing after yesterday this is a crude running of post mailbox but would you imagine having even fifty pieces of postal mail in your mailbox santa claus no thanks santa claus yeah exactly you wouldn't imagine that now the problem with that is that that's what that is is a mailbox is meant it's a communication platform it's a place where this communication goes that's what it is and some of it is actionable items and some of it is just informational items right so imagine if you've got fifty emails I'm only using fifty because I don't want to really go any further than fifty thousand or forty three thousand and yes you may have read it but it's still sitting in here would be like opening your mail then throwing it back in here right instead of taking a bill out and putting it in where the bills go or taking out your junk mail and putting it in the junk mail you know folder and I'm sure that you've got spam filters that air helping you with that but we all know that mail services tend to change that from time to time and some stuff ends up in junk that shouldn't so on and so forth so the only way you'd be able find like a bill if you left your inbox is your mailbox is full is your email inbox is by flipping through to see if you can find the logo of the bill company and that would take a long time with fifty pieces of mail let alone forty three thousand emails, right arm pieces of mail so you wouldn't naturally take them out so the question is why are we not why are we treating our email inboxes that way? Why are we not taking the stuff out of it? Because that's what it's meant for its it as a quote from my friend darren barefoot in vancouver email is a loading bay not a warehouse it's not where you keep things because you can't there's no filter here there's nothing even filters in an e mail application they're great to a point but when gone unchecked it becomes that sensible default I love I love gmail I use email a lot but when gmail introduced those automatic filtering options and those pains that messed me up to no end it's like now I don't know where my mail is going to go it's moved it right so I can only imagine that was me with my inbox which is not a zero I've got e mails and I've got a few but it threw me off and imagine if you have you know a thousand e mails three hundred and it starts to put these things in other places all of a sudden you don't have one in box to check you know have one mailbox you got eight, nine four whatever right so what're email really is he is it's either when you get an email it's either gonna contain its gonna contain one of two things worth keeping something actionable right? Something that you can do for something that you will need so a piece of information so remember on day one where I showed my sample workflow my productivity path right and I had actionable items as soon as they showed up in my inbox I look at it and I'll get to the as soon as in a minute but as soon as I see that they're in my inbox, I look at it and I go what is this? What is this email? Is it an actionable item or is it something I'm going to need later it's an actionable item that I must do or choose to dio that I'm going to forward it to my team it to my task manager of choice so that could be omni focus that could be flow that could be asana that could be whatever, but I get it out of that in box and into the rite in box and this is where a lot of people when I want to talk about you know they say so I have to put it from one mailbox into another inbox, but you're doing the same thing when you take postal mail out and you're putting it in your bill in box right? You're doing the exact same thing we just aren't thinking in those terms because when you put it in your bill to pay bills box if you're still getting you know physical bills and some people still are then you know what you have to do with that you're going to have to let you pay the bills and you know what means you're going to do so you've given yourself you've informed yourself you've added context to that as long as they sit in that other thing as long as they said in this they have no context it's an inbox that's what this is if if it's a piece of information so a note from a client uh something that is just for reference or information I forward it to evernote and I ever like I said on day one each of these applications that a lot of them not every single one but many of them have email accounts associated with um that allow you to move them there just by forging the email just by typing that email address into the two at the top and fording it to it that's it okay, but when you do that, you should take things one step further when you're capturing a task of capturing an idea you get that information in that one line right? Do laundry work on ah work on event or call caterer about events um edit photos for client a you've given yourself information how many of you get emails that go re re re re re re re account? Inquiry riri forward photos you sent me? Um that's not very useful at all even if you leave it in your email inbox or you decide you're gonna keep it in your email program and I'm gonna talk about some people who still do that and what you can do to kind of make that work for you because there is often resistance to night no, I have to stay in e mail and a lot of that resistance is based on the company you work for privacy lockdowns microsoft exchange stuff, that kind of thing so I will get to that but when you ford it or when you add information you should add context or meaning to it and that doesn't necessarily have to be like your specific context it could be, you know, re or action required call client about a follow up colon client blah, blah give yourself some information so that when you ford it to that location, whether it's ever note for ideas or information or to your task manager that you could look at and go, I know what that is that's an e mail that came to me because I look at the actual body because a lot of it will add notes to it right or links to the email that initially was sent that shows you what the information is, but what you're doing is you're processing your email inbox and adding meaning creating and defining the actions or the ideas that are in there and putting them to where they actually need to go again. Why, I said, you should call every note in box that's. Why, it's one of the reasons mommy focus asano they all have in boxes. The interesting thing about asana is that if you have an email id or if females come from a specific address, so if I'm sending it from mike at productivity's dot com, if asana recognizes an email, that's come from that address, it will put it into the workspace that I've told it to put it in and that's done in account settings, so that allows you to really that puts it in that inbox right? Because I'm gonna have several workspaces, so if you're working with a multiple amount of teams on several projects, you can do that, right? So what email really is? Is it's either a task or a piece of information? So why would you use your e mail application email program to manage that? All right, so a lot of people are using we're talking this during the break, actually, but outlook or gmail or apple male, and it looks the big culprit that I find allies because people say, well, I just put into folders, I've got a project for folders and and all that stuff so that's what I do is I put them you know, afford the email and dragon into the folder and that way I could find it right? Well, first off you probably didn't assign any kind of tag or context to it, so it's gonna be hard to find because it's actually harder to find things once they've been fooled arised in those mail programs and if you leave them in your inbox that's not an excuse to leave it in your inbox to say, hey, that's, what happens, right? But secondly, when you're in your e mail application is that insular? Is that just you? Is that you on your own disconnected? Nope, that's where things come to you not just from from you're gonna get emails as long as you've got that application open and you're using the defaults, which are often check email every five minutes, which I you know we'll get to that a minute it's a two way street so imagine trying to do what you need to do all day while on the phone your focus mean and or while having to operate a phone now you're an operator and trying to do these things it's gonna be very difficult, right? So your email program that's what it is it's like a switch board it's like this it's a communication tool you know, and you wouldn't put post it notes all over your phone for every single thing that comes in through your email because the post it notes we get buried and you're not going to leave your mailbox teeming with stuff because your postman will stop coming dog or no dog, they're not gonna show up, right? So I want to talk about management best practices, and then I'm gonna go into the chat room and, uh, hopefully come out alive. Uh, so best practices. One memory talk for this yesterday's set boundaries. So somebody sent sent me an email last week. It was well past the working hours. Um, and I generally don't answer emails after working hours because I it's just that's the end of my day, I will deal with e mail the next day. Um, I answered that e mail because it was tagged is important, and I will show you some different tools that will allow you to decide that for yourself. Or let that be decided for you if you have a problem with decisions that need to be made. And I said, yep, here you go. This is what you need thanks again, by the way, I hope you enjoy dinner it's now past dinner time. You know, I was kind of being coy and playful with, um, because I just said to them, by the way you set boundaries for your email that and they didn't, they were like kind of sending it out. So it's it's a tricky it's, a slippery slope, but you need to set boundaries because and those batteries don't have to be time based either, right? Like a lot of people say, I'm not going to answer the mail from after five p m r before seven a m but they could be I'm not going to take e mails from this person or another person, or I'm not going to check this email account or I'm not going to look if you filtered things after this point, filter it in a way that says, you know what filters that come in from these? This is where all these e mails go, so I won't check that after this period of time, I'm gonna work ahead on, you know, on other things because if you don't set boundaries and someone's going to set boundaries for you and we've already seen that happen with e mail, right? Because it's such an awesome piece of technology it's such a great thing. People it's like the phone, the answering machine that we talked about earlier where it's like, yea, look, let's, let the phone ring until we can hear what it says on the machine, right emails like, look how wonderful it is. We could be in touch within moments, but should we should we some cases? Absolutely, but there's a lot of cases where we don't need to do this, so you need to set boundaries and you need to do that and that. And I mean, uh, if you guys out here have you guys have any boundaries that you've already set with email that you kind of said, you know, hey, this is these are my kind of rules. After all, I know you. You, you, you and I have talked a little bit about this. Yeah, like I used to check my mail as soon as I got out, but I just get up a little earlier now, so I don't have a check right away. So if I need to check my mail, it's seven thirty, I try to get about six thirty second d'oh, something for myself, like either work out, take a walk or read or whatever this for an hour before I get to my email, right, that's, one boundary that's one boundary you've said those and that's sometimes all you need to set like just that one, right? Um one of the things that I noticed there is that you said you don't check e mail first thing in the morning, right? But you really you don't do that, but you haven't necessarily done what I've done where I've actually said no! If it's before this time you're not going to hear from me, you've instead adjusted your framing, your structure, your foundation to say, you know what? Email is still very important part of my job, I need to make sure I'm on it by seven thirty, so I'm going to slowly adjust my schedule because I'm sure you didn't go you probably incrementally made your way to that point where you all of a sudden said, hey, I'm gonna do this in the morning instead and some people will have to go like fifteen minute increments to get up that much earlier or they're going to stay up a little bit later. So the demon deal with email later on because that's often when I'll do it is after hours is when I will sometimes check email depending on what things air are happening but very aware of when I respond right? So you said you don't check e mail first thing in the morning that's a great boundary to set it's a great boundary to set, and the first thing I'm going to hear from from people when when we talk about this is but I need to I need to know what what came in overnight, and you know what happened? Like, there might be something important there. Well, first off, it's still gonna be there number two. What about the emails you got yesterday that you're dealing with but are also important? They came to you first? Should you deal with maybe that on the on that first that'll be a task now that's in your task manager because you forward it there because it's not sitting in your inbox anymore, correct, because you didn't open your e mail application first thing in the morning, and all the sudden, he didn't see the emails flying because, you know, when you open email, no first thing in the morning, what happens? Bling, bling, bling, bling, bling bling, all the e mails show up and you feel compelled to check them, right? So not checking e mail first thing in the morning is a good boundary to set and doing one important thing for yourself instead is and there's one the big defining factor behind that is is what I've said this before, uh, if what you're saying when you check e mail first thing in morning is saying what I had in mind for the idea is not nearly as important as what you had in mind for my day. Do you have anything from the chat room so far on this? Yeah doing run hide or wait no uh we're just trying to get some general information about what people are currently doing with their current system is and here's one from alaia william she says that she currently has labels and gmail, but she also uses various colored stars and have multiple inbox has turned on, so she sorts her e mails four clients once I need to be addressed in the next twenty four hours, the next seventy two hours and someday rights that's working for her right now awesome awesome carriages, santa says I check email twice a day midday and evening I respond only once unless it's an emergency. Some clients get immediate response, but they pay me to be available. I love the butt that's the female thing is a great is great, right? Like I mean I've said don't manage your tasks inside inside your email application and she's not really doing that she's managing email inside the email application and when you're using a task manager, you can have that member you said answer emails when you start to add those contexts in there and you start to add those you know those different areas you can say hey, you know what now it's time for me to go into email and it's already there that's when you do all that processing as opposed to just sitting in email and waiting for the things to come to you general you guys understand what I'm getting at here um mitigate distractions how many of you have email notifications turned on on your computers? One raising hand raising hand on your phone to just phone so my phone but yes I'm my computer okay? So as soon as an e mail comes in you don't okay? So as soon as email comes in you get a message whether it's open or not we're the applications open or not when the application is on its way for that but yeah there's certain like email can actually there's no notifications that allow you to get that even when you don't have the application open, you know notification center right? Well, you have an email you've attached a notification center on your phone same thing guess what notifications are guess what that is that's a distraction it's not a disruption because the disruption it's only become a disruption because you haven't done anything about it's a distraction because you can control distractions in many cases you could destroy almost every occasion remember the guy who put the headphones on no music that's mitigating distractions, he's putting he's put something in place that allows him to keep things were distracting him. So the first thing you could do to mitigate the distraction female is turned off. I could say notifications because that's going to scare people but turn off the automatic checking that happens when you have your e mail application open make it manual because then you have control, you can manage it instead of lenny email manager, you manage it, so then you can decide who I want to hit that send receive, but now do I want to hear that hit the check mail, but now am I ready for that? You get to make that choice and that choice could be based on it's. Time for me to go through my email or you know what? I'm waiting on an e mail from someone I'm going to do that and be prepared that you might be an email longer than you might like when you do that, but that's one mitigation one one thing you do to mitigate distractions amore amore ramped up version of that would be to turn off notifications altogether on your phone or to again make it so that they show up as time permits you can, you can play with the defaults on both android and on on on on the iphone those ones for sure t manage those to make them less intrusive right? Because when your phone buzzes in your pocket and you're working on something having dinner, hanging out with a friend whatever you have to decide my going to grab that most often the bus happens from an email right? What what you can do also on ios for sure and what I've done is I've actually created custom ring tones or custom alerts so if my wife e mails me that's a pretty distinct buzzing going on in my pocket would you do that for clients to you could do it for if you if you have a specific if your boss you do with your boss those air that's mitigating distractions because then you can say hey, if if somebody e mails me I'm going to get that buzz all the other buzzes air just singular ones I just let those go I acknowledge that they're there and then I let them go right? Right, okay um let's see here uh so I said check email second thing and I think that that when when we when I talk to people about email and they say I don't, I can't email is part of my job I again go back to that you have email from before all of you have e mail in your inbox is that air here you have email that you can deal with you either moved it to your task manager, you've got an idea, you're gonna work on me because you never know, do whatever you can do that first when you check its second thing, even if you get sucked into the abyss known as outlook or mail dot ap or gmail, you can at least say, guess what I did, I did that work out this morning. I didn't, you know, we're talking in the last section about, you know, you give yourself to ours, and it takes six. The other thing that can happen is if you say that's going to take me two hours to do this and you go, I have two hours later, I have two hours later, and then you don't have to ours anymore, right? Because you're focused on the quantity, rather quality you you know what you're doing, you built that structure and saying, you know what? First thing in the morning gonna go work out that's a routine that's, a habit, then email, right? So that's, that's a big thing, right? Okay, do you have any? Any other questions or any comment from the chat room that so far, and then actually go teo what're you first what's, but for me, I think that mistake I'm making is using it as the mail program is a sort ofthe task manager the reason why I have these hundred emails that I need to respond to them at some point that's why leave them on red? And I realize that I read them once when I say, ok, I have tons of this, I'll leave it for now and then I come back, I read it again, it means twice losing the same amount of time we're on the same email whenever you process an inbox, and this is a gt strategy whenever you process an inbox whenever you're looking into my process, it if you're in your inbox. So capturing is one thing right? Like we talked about capture that stuff's all going into your either into your inbox or if you've I decided to be a bit more precise, it can go into where it actually belongs, but when you're ready to process your inbox and that can happen when you decide I'm going to go on the email at one o'clock in the afternoon and process that inbox. But that's, when you can't say, I'm going to answer that later at because no, you're you're not saying answer that later you're saying deal with that later, we're gonna deal with that later and deal with that later instead you got to say, do I do this now? Yes no, I'm going to defer going move it to the task manager do I need to deal with this? Do I need to have it no, I'm going to delete it great oh, this is for my assistant because my assistant handles this I'm going to delegate it. You need to go through those four d's that david allen talks about for every inbox not just the email inbox but the email inbox when you start doing it there you're going to proceed you're gonna get out of email that much faster because they're gonna deal with it in a way that is both efficient and effective with the working out or taking a walk even if I tell myself hey, I'll do a quick check of my mail and do it it doesn't happen I tested that no, he tested it yeah and what? You know what a lot of cases people tested because they're like, you know I really don't working out is hard or this other thing email is is generally easy in terms of the fact that you have then said what I want to do is not nearly as important right it's what these other with the these other things that were coming my way and that removes a bit of accountability which also removes the thing I want to become a better photo editor but he now I want to be you know I want to get fit but some people still doing I don't know how to do it that kind ofthe people who, you know, check their email and then they go to the gym in the morning, I don't know how to do it because they probably process it if you process it that the whole idea of processing once it's processed and is put where it needs to go, right it's like bringing home groceries and then leaving them on the counter and walking away right? Like you're gonna put him in the free when you put in the fridge, you can move on with the rest of you were the rest of you, go ahead is the same, you know? I mean, I don't usually use the off e mail on my phone because I think he said she's sucking me in that so I need to eat when I get home and the thing I do it's like when I first go to the email with skim it true and I know someone thinks I just like my book is still you know it from the library or things rose, I just leave it alone and my dad's emergency, I put it to starve it it so I come back to read it, and I know that now I only spend this much of the time with that email. Right that's that's your way of deferring it though when you wanna start it like there are different ways to differ I don't put in the tasman issuing forth because then it become a task and then you become so light you need to do it like a big project I don't know I would say that likes a return library book you said right that is a task to me that goes in my task manager because then when I'm wanting to go on value to like an errand I know I've got to return my library if you leave it an email it remains simply a communication, right? You mean there's something warren and action it's an action. Okay, it's, not information. Okay, if it's your library book is now in, that still leads to an action. Right? Go get library, book you ford that email. If you want to your task manager and change the subject line to errand cole and go get library book or you just simply write it, just create an action out of it, right? I would ve just tell my husband I said, hey, you know what everybody's doing and you've delegated way we borrow dvds all the time, so I say, hey, you know, I think that one is deal that's what she's on first and he knows that next thing he has to do is just drop it off I think the keys they're about e mails to look at is again like we just had this happen it's either a task it's an actionable item or it's something that's for information if it's neither of those you let you don't need it I mean, even a thank you could be an information you know, those emails we get to say thanks and it's a long thread of like everything you've done you may want to keep that because it's a client file that you want to say okay, you know what? I'm gonna put that in the client folder because it shows that they there was an agreement made and they later on the comeback remember that thing that you didn't do? Oh no way did member this email that you said thanks like that? That could be information, but if you've been working with him for a long time or it's from your mother and it says thanks for that, you can decide who I want to keep it doing delete it's not really actionable unless you want to reply to it right away, but you would hey, no worries mom, you know? Or you could pick up the phone or you something that's more instantaneous because then you're just putting stuff in her in box that she doesn't necessarily mean see either the whole thanks back and forth stuff gets rather tedious with a long threat of e mails sometimes were using the wrong platform to do we have stuff in there um we do we dio howto request for some clarification especially for those of us who are new to the concept of task management and these sort of things in mark in los angeles I asked him, what do you mean when you say moving email to a task manager? Is that an integrated thing or does that mean just copying and pasting? And if you could explain that process there's a few others in the chat room that we're concerned that that might be like just another thing they have to d o c and that's that's the problem is that that what happens is is that's exactly the opera it's another thing I have to do but it's another thing that you should do it's not because again the email component and that's why we're seeing a lot more email applications that are coming up that have task management built into it. But the problem is is that there's still a two way street coming there's still a delusion? E mail coming your way so you've got these tasks in there and as long as you've got other stuff coming at you it becomes an endless flood or at least a perpetual flood for a lot of people but when it comes to moving it to a task manager uh yeah, you could copy paste it if that's what you want teo I'm not suggesting that because there's far easier protocols to put in place like forging it like I said earlier too if you're using an application and we talked about this on day one like a sauna or like ami focus and if you will have some task management tools available tomorrow I'm going to put a whole block post up because there have been a lot of laps discussed so I'm gonna I'm gonna make that a high energy task for me tonight is that it's got a context to it I'm gonna make sure that that's up tomorrow so that people can say okay, you know this is what this app is and this is how you might want to use it um and so you can forward that e mail so you're looking at the email right? You look at the email is it a task? Is it an information item that's a task and you're using a digital task manager which which you would you should be in this case then you're saying all right I'm gonna forward it to you whatever the email address that's associated with that task manager so if it's a sauna omni focus has one thing's has won there's many of them do it dot I am a lot of them d'oh and then it's going to end up in that in box which is the inbox that's goingto it's your task in box that's what that is if it's a piece of information so something you're gonna you're gonna want to use later yeah, you could file that in email if you so choose but remember that once it's in there the year you're still in a two way street you're still in this conversation mode that's going to be happening with other people you're still in ultimately a communication platform right? You're at a water cooler don't get much done we're standing around a water cooler right? Um seed forward it is something like ever note or google drive or something like that where you have a bit more insular stuff going on bit bit more ability to connect with what you need to do as opposed to what others are also thrusting at you at any given time. So yeah, it's it's a lot of people and it's not gonna work for a lot of people are going to say no I need to use email I don't understand why I'm jumping into another tool, but email is a communication platform it's not designed as such as is especially right now as a task management application it serves both as a pour it serves as a portal to bring tasks or information into your your system, your workflow do we have anything else over there? Yeah here's a similar question from dr shrew me so when you're processing these emails he wants to know do you process them all with either do now defer delegate or delete and then do you automatically jump into the do now so I think people are trying to figure out like how much time should allocate to something like this is it when are those the only four things that you would separate the emails by or will that depends it depends but what I do is I mean I don't once I'm done checking email I don't okay and I'm going to do all the email right? I don't jump into that because that maybe not what's next I'm just processing the inbox and in a lot of cases if it's a do then I'm going to be doing it at that time right like it's a dew and aiken the david allen rule for getting things done that have you done in two minutes or last do it right do it if it's something that you no you need to defer then you move it into the plate you defer it toe later and for me in this case it's putting it into the task manager that I'm going to be using or if it's something I'm going to be needing for information it'll go into my information manager so ever know but what I will do is again, I have a task will check, check, email or look respond check email is actually a task right check email is responding to emails are also individual tasks, right? So when I say hey, I'm going to check email, I will check it two to three times per day like keira, right and that's when I will do my processing, I won't go okay, I'm gonna check email, then I'm going to take a half hour off, then you go back in and check e mail again. I'm making conscious decisions to check email at specific times of the day. Ah, and we're going to get some tools that for people who go oh no, I can't do that. I need to be always checking email I'm going to get to some of those tools in a minute, but or later? Not quite in a minute, but that's that's what I do so check email is a task answer emails like we said, yes, you're not a task because that email is going to have a different response, but the action of checking email like like you do in the morning you mean when you do it in the morning you took it, you check your e mail and then you deal with it accordingly, right you to respond or you deferred or what have you right? Right yeah I mean if it's something that great a quick response I do and if it's something which takes longer I tried putting my only focus and if I think that if I responded now and you get in e mail back immediately I wait to respond yeah yeah that's it that's another thing too and I want to I want to touch on that a little bit but some people are always on landry yeah I think I think when it comes to this to one of the big the big frustrations is that we've used email this way for so long the people are like but I don't know any different I don't know any other way to do it I have people that are expecting instant responses and that's where that will setting limits comes into play where you say ok look and like you said you get an email right away I don't respond necessarily right away either because I maybe not in email anymore and if I've already processed it and I happen to be in there and I'm down maybe I'll respond right away maybe depending on who it isthe right but I've got awareness about me to kind of go yes no maybe I've seen people they have like one window they always have their email open and then they're working I don't know how to do it but I don't know either because basically it's like leaving your door open and having people constantly come in while you're trying to do stuff right? I mean there's something to be said about having that the email using it as a tool as it was intended. The problem is is that a lot of people have used it to replace the telephone instant messaging, direct messaging they mean, instead of picking up the phone to call the hey how's, that thing going to go hey, I'll check your email but emails not meant it's not designed for instant response. Now they are adding task management protocols to even I want to be clear they are. But the problem again therein lies is that there's a two way street, something like a sauna where you, if you open a sauna first thing in the morning or flow for working a team based environment, you get to see the communication within the task manager as opposed to looking at tasks within the communication manager, right? And you're gonna get a lot more done when you're looking at communications within a task manager, then you know, but then the other way around. So, um, but I want to move on to a couple other tactics that are going to help people maybe get through e mail a little bit quicker, mohr effectively more efficiently and maybe realize that they've got emails in there that they really don't need to have in there, so this is flip the switch and this comes this is actually a tactic that's from mark hurst and bit literacy, the book bit literacy and what it is is basically is first in first out. So instead of putting the newest emails at the top, put the oldest emails at the top, so just have your oldest email on this scares a lot, like what I'm going to see mail from two thousand nine at the top, but you're going to get a really good idea of, you know what may still be on your plate, what you've dropped, what you may have wanted to foster like, oh, I wanted to that's right? My cousin I now figured out where he or she is, I want to connect with her better, I want to connect them better, so when you flip, when you go to first in first out, then you're going to get a sense of not only what emails you have to deal with, but but what he knows and what order you have to deal with, right? Because you knew his team males at the top. If you're getting fifty mils a day, let's say, and I know you have one point, jennifer, you were and you deal with only thirty of them write say only then you got those twenty but they're gonna get pushed down by the next fifty linde was another thirty s we got forty laps always losing the little things so you just flip it and it's every email application every major one has this capability where you can say I want the oldest email at the top of the email client I used on the mac is called airmail uh and I was testing it in beta and I actually that was the one feature that was missing and I'm like please put in reverse order you have to because it's not gonna work for me otherwise because they do have emails coming in some older emails that are still in there for when I want to give a measured response or something like that but again I'm down to like ten emails purr purr in box you don't get to that in a minute but flip the switch like that to me is a really valuable tool even if you're using filters same thing flip the switch and all of them because then you get to see what's what oldest first right you're not going to eat food that's the newest going to drink the carton of milk that's in your fridge that's gonna expire first right so why are we not doing the same with e mail right that makes sense to you guys okay no alternative to mail here airmail I like your mail that's more minimal than mail dot up. Um, I like some of the features that it has I'm not a big fan of mail dot at e I think it's much better now than it wass but I've just been using other other email applications since then and I'm going to get into some of those at the end as well I should wear started getting them right now they need a lot of mail by doing this, you will you'll delete a tunnel like those forty three thousand e mails that you have evidence dinner right now I'm going t o thes air from, like, but that's but that's what's gonna happen right is you're going to see a lot of e mails that are not relevant anymore. You're gonna get that fourth d and get be able to take care of it and yeah, you're goingto feel probably crappy about some of because you like how I let that go, which further illustrates my point that it should be put is that's not what email platform is meant for it's not meant for managing it's been for it's a communication platform and it's a tough thing because I'm using it for so much and because it came around first by the way task manager's came second email always came first, right? Would you suggest against the idea ofthe instead of deleting them, putting them in a separate fuller in case you need to find an email again, I archive all like I'm on air bill. They have ascended, archive, function and there's a lot of email like email I don't rare, the only email actually delete is like junkie now archive email, so for that very purpose, because then it's out of my inbox and goes in the e mail archives. So when I say delete, in some cases, that means archive basically just means get out of your get out of your sight. So yes, I mean, when I'm done dealing with it, like, if you using folders to manage clients and email applications when you're done with that folder, archive it right, just get it, the less you have there because email applications trust me, I've seen them, and I'm sure there's people out there that have they have this, they get really unwieldy when you leave stuff in there that doesn't need to be in there anymore. So if you start archiving it, you bring down some of the clutter than the focus obviously will increase, right? So here's, a couple of applications that you can use to help you get through email in a way, that's a fifth more priority based okay, and helps you get things to where they may be need to be key males is one that's an outlook plug in and what it does is it allows you to kind of look at your email in a way that is priority ordered so you could see their says key males john doe so those are important you know, kind of acts like priority inbox for gmail but it does it for outlook they've just released a new version so this is the slightly older one and they just released it like literally this week at the inbox love conference so it's worth looking at if you have to use outlook and I know a lot of people that are out there are going to be using outlook is their email client whether by choice or not by choice just depends on what they've been asked to use or need to use this can help you really prioritize some of that stuff okay? And email and females does learn your behaviour as well so if you have an email consistently coming so if if you know of jamie sending me e mails and I've indicated that she's a priority then I'm going to get that email's going toe start to filter through a little bit more and again it adds value right uh back to dispatch e keep talking about this app but the reason I like it in terms of e mail processing again is because I can get the thing toe where I needed to be I can get it too omni focus evernote asana you know wherever I wanted to go and I'm processing it really quickly right? So that's another big one there's there's others and I don't know if you guys you guys ever hear of a mailbox theat mailbox it was on cnn covered it because it got so much but they had a waiting list for people to get on it and soon ios app it has task management built in it's actually made by a company who usedto build solely a task manager and this is going to appeal to some people out there where the gentleman behind it he was trying to get his his significant other to use a task manager and to use texting and stuff and he just gave up he's like no no what so mailboxes like I think it doesn't say a e mail for the rest of us but it's something like that where you can actually create lists and folders within it uh you can actually use it as a bit of a task manager it's for ios it's free it links up to gmail I don't know if adi stian, isha lea did there are some other platforms out there but you've seen there's tons of them out there there's boxer there all the ios app says a lot of ios may lapse especially in the ios round android not so much that kind of allows you teo bless you to process it. That's what this is all about is getting things out of email and into, uh, into the place that they really need to be. And then finally, before we movinto knowing movinto mohr of the hybrid tool lt's away fine, which I've talked about already. Um, the thing I like about away find a lot is that I can really define where I want to be able to come from and when I want to get it. So if anyone sending me when I worked for life hack, if anyone sent me an email with the at life hack dot or ge um, uh, modifier at the end, it would scare you. I would get notified by away find so that would give me instant notification if I wanted it. Uh, another thing that it would do is if I have a point with somebody. So if if if you know if if jennifer and I are gonna have an appointment and it's on my calendar cause it syncs up to my calendar and you send me an e mail, I'm gonna get a notification from away find say, hey, jennifer sent you an email like, running late or mike, where are you, you're running late, but that's not gonna happen, um so that kind of thing plus you have the intelligent auto responder which allows you which is what the tool I use a lot which is the someone sends me an e mail to whatever email addresses of assigned this auto respond or two and the auto responder allows me to decide how long I want how what duration of time people will get this auto responder and the default is one hundred eighty days it's actually one of the better defaults it's out there where if you send me an email if you send me an email and I email you back your first couldn't get a response saying, hey, thanks for e mailing me I only check e mail two to three times per day if this is something that's really urgent and important please click on the link below and you'll get my away find contact form and I'll be notified immediately if not rest assured I will get back to you within the next x amount of time, okay? And you can change that to whenever you want it to be. Now if you were to do another email to me later, you know within the next hundred eighty days you wouldn't get that auto responder so I'm not annoying you with this consistent auto responded that people generally don't like to get all the time so uh I like away find a lot for that reason yeah yes, the farm again there's that there's actually there's so basically there's a link so what you'll do is from you the water there's a link in the auto responders so if they click on it it will go to that form that they fell out and then there's a either it'll notify you ve away find because there's no way find app for android and for ios so if you're the guy that likes to care around the mobile device to get e mails, I don't get notifications for mail I get notifications from away find I said you get the email only in one hundred eighty days rates if I send your mail today and I get the link and I send you the mail tomorrow, then I don't get the lady s so how do I know how to get in touch with you on that? Because I already sent you that one uh, I'm already starting to say by that because if you didn't read that, then you know and you could you could have it happen a couple of times if you want, but basically that's my way of saying, guess what? I'm not I'm managing email, email isn't managing me so here, try the link right and I actually says in the bottom it says here's and in my signature actually the bottom says I use away find to help me process my email like there's a little footer. Click here to get my contact form, and I also say, book market. So if someone really wants to be so, if someone wants to email me fifteen thousand hours thinking book market, in which case I probably won't be emailing him very much after that, you're going to say something. So this every fine is not a male manager on it's on it's, working with you, it's it's, an adjunct it's, an ad on. So it is its own service, there's, a free component. And then there are several other layers of it's, a tiered service, so there's premium options. But, yes, you say, you basically tell it what emails you want it to monitor, right? So I have emails that it monitors and that's what I that's, what I tell it.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Productivityist Progress Planner.pdf
Productivityist Workbook Printable Exercises.pdf
Productivityist Workbook v1.2.pdf
The Productivityist Workbook v1.2 - Mike Vardy.epub
The Productivityist Workbook v1.2 - Mike
The Way of The Productivityist Manifesto Poster - 16x20.jpg
The Way of The Productivityist Manifesto Poster - 8x11.jpg

bonus material with enrollment

Paperless Organization Guide.pdf
The Way Of The Productivityist - A Manifesto.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


Mike's class was chock full of useful information on streamlining a to do list, digitally and by hand. His process seems pretty robust, and extremely well thought out, to provide maximum efficiency and success with the least amount of effort. Granted there is a learning curve, and one must practice to become proficient and use it effectively, but if you are willing to put in the effort there is a major positive impact on productivity. He goes through his favorite apps (he apparently consults with app developers) and why, which was exactly what I needed at the time. Some of his 2nd choice apps may now surpass the others, but he explains clears how to pick the best app for you. I'm a small business owner and I found the class to be quite helpful. Thanks Mike.

Pavel Voronenko

Very interesting class! I would recommend recording it as it based on apps' solutions and since 2013/2014 there are a lot of changes. Al least maybe some wrap-up session. Well done, Mike Vardy and Creative Live team! Jan. 04, 2021


Just finished Mike's course and it was exactly what I wanted and hoped it would be. Nuts and bolts, real life ideas and hands on ways to implement what he shared. If I dedicated the time spent on researching an organizational system on just USING the system, I would be a shining beacon of efficiency. Mike's class and materials helped me let go of the need aka obsession with looking for the Holy Grail of systems and just pick a combo and do it. Thanks, Mike, I'll let you know when I AM that shining beacon of effortless organization...or at least when I quit writing notes on my hand! Great course!

Student Work