7 Email Changes to Make You a More Efficient Blogger
Most bloggers rely on email for dozens of tasks related to their work. They use it to communicate with editors, contributors, and webmasters. They use it to get daily digests from their most commonly consulted sources. They even use it to gather feedback and concerns from their readers.
Considering the average professional spends more than 4 hours per day on email, any inefficiency in your platform or your approach could quickly eat away at your productivity. Fortunately, there are a handful of simple changes that can make you a more efficient blogger.
Email Changes to Try
Commit these changes to your email resources and habits to become a more efficient blogger:
- Switch to Gmail. For most bloggers, Gmail is the superior solution. You can learn how to switch from Outlook to Gmail in less than an hour, and since Gmail is free for personal users, you have nothing to lose. Gmail offers far more features and options in terms of layout and functionality—plus Gmail has far more third-party apps and extensions available, which you can use to improve your productivity even further.
- Unsubscribe from the lists you aren’t using. Take the time to unsubscribe from any lists that you don’t read on a regular basis. It may seem more convenient to delete those individual emails manually, but over the course of months, that adds up to tons of wasted time. Use a service like Unroll.me to make it easier on yourself.
- Commit to an organization standard. You can choose to organize your email however you’d like, but you should have some system of organization in place. In Gmail, for example, you can use labels, stars, importance markers, and category tabs to ensure all your emails are sorted to the right locations (and are easy to find when you need them).
- Get used to shortcuts. Gmail has dozens of keyboard shortcuts you can use to access various functions within the app. If you learn to master them, they can save you a few seconds per interaction with the app, and over the course of months, you’ll save hours of time.
- Try canned responses. You can access canned responses in the advanced features within Gmail, or use a third-party app to access them. The idea is to write a template you can use for future emails, which is handy if you need to send out lots of pitch emails to publishers, or if you reject lots of contributor applicants.
- Keep your threads succinct and to the point. Email threads have a tendency to spiral out of control and waste time. If you need to manage a back-and-forth conversation over email, make sure your messages are short and to-the-point, and close the thread as soon as possible. Use bullet points and directed action items to keep all your recipients on task.
- Disconnect regularly. Don’t stay connected to your email 24/7, or it will be a source of constant distraction. Instead, schedule regular periods of time where you disconnect entirely, refusing to check for new email or send emails. You can do this on a daily basis, establishing “dark” hours where you can focus on writing, and on a bigger scale, like refusing to check email while you’re on vacation.
The Importance of Consistency
While some of these changes are one-time upgrades that can instantly make you more efficient, most are habit changes that will only be effective if used consistently over time. Start with incremental changes so you aren’t overwhelmed, and apply them on a daily basis if you want them to stick.