Make Email Work For You in 2014: Three Cool Tools

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“Email was destroying my life, so I destroyed email” wrote Zach Epstein in BGR last year. A sentiment many of us must share. And many of us will feel the same way as we head back into the office for the start of the new year.

Many people, have adopted strategies for managing email, including:

I am going to recommend three great tools to increase the love you feel for your inbox.

Newsle – News about your network

Newsle is a ravenously addictive product. The screenshot of my Gmail shows a month or so of Newsle mails in my inbox. I’ve opened every single one.

Newsle scans your contacts (in LinkedIn and Facebook) and pulls our news stories about them. This lets you keep up-to-date with your contacts – and provided your contact list is relevant and fresh – Newsle has proved to be the best tool I have found to do just that.

As many of my contacts are in my business (tech entrepreneurs, VCs, marketing execs), Newsle often gives me really helpful professional news that is highly relevant (because one of my contacts is involved in the story).

For the past few months, I have opened my Newsle emails religiously.

I highly recommend it. For a couple of minutes a day, it keeps me up to date on the business contacts most important to me.

Unroll me – manage mailing lists

Newsle is going to create a new email in your inbox everyday. One you are going to want to read. But let’s face it, over the years, we’ve all accumulated dozens of mailing lists subscriptions, from websites we tried once, retailers we once bought from and the cruft that accumulates as our email address is sold time and again.

Unroll.Me is a service which aggregates your subscriptions to mailing list by peering into your inbox, and magically plucks them out before you have to turn your attention to them. Daily, Unroll.me well then send you a beautiful digest of all the mailing lists mails it has found.

You can configure Unroll.me and decide which emails you want ‘unrolled’ (sent into the aggregated summary) through a lovely web interface.

Unroll.me saves me several minutes every day by automatically eliminating low-value emails while leaving me feel confident that I won’t lose these emails (if they turn out to be important.)

Boomerang – schedule your mail

Boomerang a simple plug-in for Gmail. It allows you to schedule sending an email and also trigger simple reminders on emails you send.

Why schedule emails? In my case, I often end up writing emails at inhospitable times (like late night on a Sunday night) which would ordinarily arrived with correspondents at similarly inhospitable times, buried under a nights worth of email. This is especially the case when corresponding to people in other timezones. Boomerang allows me to time the delivery of emails for when the recipient is most likely to see it.

Boomerang also has a nice power feature. You can ask it to remind you (via a simple email) if you don’t receive a reply. It’s pretty neat particularly when you run multiple projects and need to keep track of responses.

One drawback for Boomerang – it seems to only work with Gmail from the Web ,and isn’t a tool readily accessible via iPhone.

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