Setting and Achieving Personal Goals with Evernote

18. June 2013 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Productivity  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

There's a saying that goes, "If you don't know where you're going, then any path will get you there." One of the key attributes of high achievers is that they know exactly where they want to go by creating personal goals for themselves. Now, that's not to say that they have always taken the straightest path towards their goals, but high achievers make a commitment to take small steps forward on a consistent basis to put themselves closer to goal achievement. In this blog post, I'm going to show you how you can use the power of Evernote to help you set your own personal goals, be more productive and become a high achiever. More...

Getting Bills Done With Evernote

11. June 2013 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Productivity  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Keeping your bills organized, will not only save you a great amount of headache, but it can also save you money by helping you avoid those steep late penalties that credit card and utility companies love to charge. A proper bill organizing system can also maximize your cash flow by spreading out your bills instead of paying them all at once. In this blog post, I'll show you how to leverage the power of Evernote to get your bills done efficiently and on time. More...

Keeping Track of Your Expense Receipts Using Evernote

4. June 2013 12:06 by Calvin Yu in Productivity  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

As any business owner knows, keeping your expense receipts organized is often tedious and, at times, painful to do, but it comes with the job of running a business. However, that doesn't mean that we can't employ time-saving tools to help us, right? Evernote is one of those tools that I've personally discovered to be indispensable when it comes to keeping a record of all my expense receipts. In this blog post, I'll describe ways that you can use Evernote to improve your bookkeeping productivity. More...

7 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

22. May 2013 07:00 by Calvin Yu in Productivity  //  Tags: , , , ,   //   Comments (0)

ProcrastinationOne of the common complaints about the Getting Things Done (GTD) method is that it teaches you how to get organized, but it doesn’t do much to address the actual "doing" part of getting those next actions done. In this blog post, I'll go into some of the common causes of procrastination and how to overcome them. More...

4 Steps to Getting Projects Done with GTD

13. May 2013 08:00 by Calvin Yu in Productivity  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

It’s one thing to write about how to get things done, but what happens when those things are projects? GTD practitioners often get stuck when it comes to projects simply because projects in and of themselves are not actionable, so when projects get lumped together with next actions, it’s like throwing a wrench in the gears of your productivity. In this post, I’ll explain how to make projects work within your GTD system. More...

8 Ways to Capture Information Using Evernote

1. May 2013 08:00 by Calvin Yu in Productivity  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

One of the core concepts of GTD is the process of capturing all the bits of information that flow into your daily life and storing them in a trusted system until you can process them later. What complicates the whole situation of capturing information is that you have to deal with both analog and digital information flying at you from both sides. You get post-it notes pasted to your monitor, you get email receipts, you get paper receipts, you get text messages, etc. The fact that you have a ton of information coming in that are in two incompatible formats means that you potentially have more “collection buckets” than you should which only serves to diminish the effectiveness of the GTD process.

Although some GTD’ers are die-hard fans of either analog capturing or digital capturing, my philosophy is to find a system where you can live with both - because let’s face it, paper isn’t going away anytime soon. That capturing system for me is Evernote and in this blog post, I’ll describe some applications on how it can be used in a dual analog/digital environment to collect and manage all the stuff that flows into your life.

1. Capturing Typewritten Notes

This is probably the most simplistic approach to capturing information using Evernote, but it’s still worth mentioning here. Saving a typewritten note in Evernote is as simple as clicking on the “new note” button and typing away. Evernote automatically saves as you go, so there’s no need to worry about having to save your note before you exit. This application is great for when you’re working away at your computer and some random task or thought pops into your mind. You simply create a new note in Evernote and then keep working away. You’re also able to do the same thing on the go with the Evernote smartphone app.

2. Capturing Your Emails

Email capturing is probably the single best Evernote hack that you can set up because it enables you to clean out your inbox, knowing that all your emails are sitting safely in your Evernote software. You can either send emails to your Evernote account manually, or have your email system automatically forward a copy of all incoming emails over to your Evernote account.

One of the prime benefits of storing your emails in Evernote is that you’ll then be able to leverage Evernote’s powerful search features to find what you need. All it really takes is a few choice key words to bring up the email and any other relevant information that you want. Evernote will even save the attachments that come with your emails, so you'll have access to all your documents as well.

3. Capturing Multi-Media Into Evernote

You’re not limited to inputting text by any means in Evernote. The software allows you to capture audio recordings, video from your webcam and digital ink from a stylus. I can’t say that I use these options too much myself, but if you’re more inclined to take notes this way, it’s available for you.

4. Capturing Your Website Clippings

See something on a website that you want to capture? It's pretty easy to do with Evernote's web-clipper plugin. Just install the plug-in and it allows you to clip parts or the entire webpage with a click of your mouse. This is a great option if you're doing research or you're a writer collecting reference material. A somewhat hidden feature that many people aren’t aware of is the fact that Evernote will also allow you to clip images and screenshots which can be useful for people like web designers.

5. Capturing Paper by Scanning it

Getting around paper is virtually impossible these days. You’ll always have receipts and documents that get sent to you in paper format. Generally, you’ll need a high level of resolution with important documents for them to be accepted by organizations like the IRS, so in these cases, the camera on your smartphone won’t suffice. However, migrating your paper documents into Evernote is simple if you have a scanner handy. Most inexpensive multi-function printers these days have a built-in flatbed scanner that is plenty powerful enough to digitize your paper documents. If you’re more of the road warrior type, then a company called Doxie manufactures a cordless scanner that integrates perfectly with Evernote, making document scanning portable and simple.

6. Capturing Paper With Shoeboxed.com

One of the drawbacks about digitizing your own documents is that it can take a tremendous amount of time using standard office equipment if you have a lot of documents to digitize. Let’s face it, productivity isn’t exactly increased if you’re sitting in front of the office scanner all day long. But never fear because there's a great service out there called Shoeboxed that will digitize all your documents for you. Shoeboxed works similar to Netflix. For a monthly fee, they send you pre-paid envelopes to your location. You fill the envelopes with all the documents that you want digitized and send it back to their secure processing facility in North Carolina. They then digitize all your documents with IRS-grade resolution and make those images available to you on their SSL-encrypted website. The nice thing about Shoeboxed is that they integrate directly with Evernote, so as soon as they digitize your documents, they are sent directly to your Evernote account. This is a great time saver if you have a lot of receipts and documents that you need scanned every month. I highly recommend it.

7. Capturing With a Smartphone Camera

Evernote pushes the envelope of what you can do with the 1.0 digital snapshot. Sure, you can take snapshots of friends, family and locations and send it to Evernote, but to limit yourself to just that application would be a mediocre use of a smartphone camera and Evernote.

The game-changer here lies within Evernote’s OCR technology that allows it to read text within digital snapshots. Why is that important? Well, if your images contain text, then that means that they are now searchable just like any text document you have in Evernote without any added tags or notes attached to that photo.

So let's say that you were passing by a restaurant and you wanted to capture their menu for later. Well, so long as the name of the restaurant is legible in the photo, Evernote should be able to read it and you can do a search for that restaurant later on. Or let’s say that you’re taking off in an airplane and have to shut off all your electronic devices, but just at that moment, you get the idea of the century. You write it down on a cocktail napkin to get it out of your head and when you’re allowed to, you snap a photo of that napkin with your Evernote app and not only is it saved, but OCR is also applied to it making your text searchable (granted that you have neat handwriting).

If document quality isn't too much of a concern, then your camera makes for a pretty nifty portable scanner that you have with you wherever you go. This generally works best on smaller documents like notes, journal entries and receipts. There are apps available for your smartphone that will enhance the image of the document by automatically adjusting the contrast so that the text pops out more, but I’ve found that the Evernote widget apps work just fine. This application works great for meetings and conferences where there is group collaboration on a master document or a whiteboard. You can document those collaborative notes with your smart phone and send it to Evernote.

If you need your handwritten notes transcribed into text, then a great service that will do that for you is idictate.com. You simply upload your handwritten document image to their website and a human transcriptionist will transcribe your handwritten notes into text.

8. Capturing Audio on the Go

The Evernote smartphone app gives you two great ways to capture audio. You can either capture straight audio, or you can use the native voice-to-text software on your phone to have your note mechanically transcribed as well. This is great when you don’t have a free hand to type or you want to capture something quickly while you’re on the go.

A pretty neat service called Quicktate integrates directly with Evernote and leverages the accuracy and power of real live transcriptionists to automatically convert your audio files into written text for you. This is a great service if you prefer accurate transcriptions of your words, or if you do quite a bit of dictation. The service is inexpensive and much more accurate than the software on your smartphone can ever be. Quicktate will automatically transcribe any voice audio file uploaded to your Evernote, so it’s also a great option if you do interviews or want to transcribe your recorded meetings.

 

How to Stay Organized With a Tickler File

19. April 2013 09:06 by Calvin Yu in Productivity  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

During your quest to become a master of Inbox Zero, you’ll inevitably come across stuff in your inbox that doesn’t seem to have a home of its own. As we already know from experience, any stuff that doesn’t have a home, by default, makes its home right there in your inbox, along with all the other homeless stuff that gets piled up on top of it. 

Usually homeless stuff comes in the form of reminders. Reminders become the vagrants of your inbox simply because there’s unfinished business associated with it that prevents you from filing it away. So how do you deal with reminders?

What if I told you that there actually is a home for all those vagrant reminders? That home is a tickler file! And in this blog post, I’ll describe how this useful tool will ensure that no reminder is ever left forgotten or left sitting there in your inbox.  If I didn’t have this system, I don’t know how I would have grown remembered all the things to do for my toner cartridge business.

What is a Tickler File?

A tickler file is a reminder system that works in conjunction with your calendar and allows you to essentially “mail” physical items, such as bills, notes and paperwork, to yourself on specific future dates. It consists of a physical filing system of 43 folders - 12 folders for each month of the year and 31 folders for each day of the month. 

Let’s say that you get a bill in the mail that you want to handle three weeks from now. Most people would probably leave that bill in their inbox until the time came to handle it. With a tickler file at the ready, you simply drop that bill into the appropriate folder dated three weeks from now and presto!...That bill is now gone from your inbox and into a trusted system that won’t let you down.

And that’s the real beauty of a tickler file system. It’s a great solution for getting things out of your face that you don’t need to spend your precious attention on right now, yet it makes those items “magically” reappear when it’s time to deal with them.

Some Potential Uses of a Tickler File

What are some common applications of a tickler file? Here are a few common uses:

  1. Mailing yourself reports and support materials needed for a future meeting.
  2. Reminding yourself of bills that need to be paid before a certain date. This is great for avoiding late penalties and for maximizing your cash flow situation. 
  3. Revisiting purchases that you were considering on getting. You can either use your tickler file to give yourself a “cooling off” period before you make a large ticket purchase, or you can postpone a purchase and revisit it later when the budget is there to actually buy it.
  4. Keeping event tickets safe until the day you need them.
  5. Reminding yourself about upcoming events. Contemplating going to a conference, seminar or event, but haven’t made up your mind yet? Just throw the event brochure into your tickler file and revisit it later.
  6. Keeping travel information & documents safe. Put your passport, maps and other pertinent travel information in your tickler file for safe-keeping until the day you need it.
  7. Storing your hotel reservations and information.
  8. Mailing yourself coupons that should be used before the expiration date passes.
  9. Storing pre-written birthday cards to be sent on specific dates. This is great if you have a bunch of birthdays spread out across the month. You can batch them all together, get them all done and put each one in the appropriate folder to be mailed out on that particular day so they arrive just in time.
  10. Reminding yourself of items to be mailed off on a specific date. 
  11. Reminding yourself of subscription expirations & renewals.
  12. Reminding yourself about car and house maintenance jobs. 
  13. Giving yourself random moral-boosters. Everyone needs a little dose of positivity every now and then. Take something meaningful like an inspirational quote, a picture of a loved one(s) or even a letter addressed to your future self and “mail” it to yourself with your tickler file. It’ll bring a smile to your face when you receive it.

So Why Not Use a Calendar as a Reminder System?

If you’re a GTD purist, then you probably know that the space on your calendar is sacred and it should only be used for hard commitments and reminders, such as appointments, birthdays and deadlines. Your tasks and loose reminders should remain distinctly separate from your calendar items so that you can glance at your calendar during your daily review and immediately know what your time commitments are for that particular day. 

A tickler file compliments your calendar. It serves to house those items that you’d like to remind yourself of in the future as well as a container to house physical support documents that are necessary for that particular day, such as a spare key, a report or event tickets. Ultimately, your tickler file serves the purpose of de-cluttering your calendar so that it remains an effective time management tool for you.

Setting Up Your Tickler File

GTD tickler system using foldersSetting up your tickler file is both simple and inexpensive. You’ll need the following materials:

  • A narrow file box. Make sure it’s big enough to hold 43 manila folders and avoid getting a large file box because your folders won’t stay upright. You can find a narrow file box at any office supply store. Optionally, you can use the file drawer of your desk if you have one.
  • 12 colored manila folders. These will be used as your monthly folders. Colors are optional, but they do make identification a lot easier. If you’re going to be using your desk filing cabinet as your tickler file, then these should be hanging file folders instead of manila ones.
  • 31 plain manila folders. Make sure you get the manila folders with the tabs all in one spot for easier review. The manila folder packs with the assorted tab placements make a mess of your tickler file system.

Start by labeling each month of the year onto the 12 colored file folders. Then get the 31 day folders and label each one numerically from 1 to 31. Get your file box and place the monthly folders in the box with January facing you and December at the back of the box. Send those monthly folders that have already passed to the back of the file box. The current month should be the closest one to you. Insert the 31 day folders in the current month’s folder. Remove the days that have already passed and send them to the next month's folder. For example, if today is January 10th, then I'd remove day folders 1-9 from the January folder and send them to the February folder. Congratulations, your tickler system is now ready to use!

At the beginning of each day, take the current day's folder out of the tickler file and dump the contents into your inbox for processing. That empty folder then gets inserted at the back of the next month's folder. All the items in that folder then get processed according to standard GTD methodology. At the end of the month, the expired month’s folder gets put at the very back of the tickler file.

If you have an item that needs to be tickled beyond the 31 days, simply place it in the appropriate month’s folder and when you reach that month, empty out the contents for processing and re-assignment to one of the 31 day folders if necessary. The beauty of this system is that you’ve created a perpetual reminder system that never expires.

Analog Versus Digital Tickling

GTD tickler system in EvernoteOn one corner, there’s the GTD purists who stay true to the analog version of the tickler file system originally described by David Allen. On the other corner, are the techies who love to take the philosophy of the tickler system and hack it with the latest technology. Which one is better?

Well, who says that you can’t use both analog and digital tickling systems integrated together? Then you have the best of both worlds. Digital tickling makes it simple to send reminders, notes and emails to yourself. Analog tickling really helps for handling stuff that’s not digital, like files, reports, tickets and small items. I say use whatever you’re most comfortable with, but I’m a digital person that utilizes Evernote with GTD.

One idea for trying out digital tickling without downloading any new software is simply to use your existing email system. Most email systems nowadays allow you to send delayed emails. This is a wonderful feature because it allows you to write emails that can be sent later on to people and it allows you to send messages and forward emails to yourself on specific dates as well. Those emails that seem to linger in your inbox can now get forwarded to yourself on a specific date, allowing you to clear your inbox of those pesky lingering emails.

Getting Into the Habit

While the tickler file is a fantastic and versatile reminder system, it’s main crutch is that you actually have to develop the habit of using it every day otherwise it won’t work as a trusted reminder system. Most people who claim that tickler files don't work simply never got into the habit of regularly using them in the first place and without systematically checking your tickler file daily, the system breaks down. Experts generally agree that it takes about 21 days of unbroken practice to develop a habit, so start today and make tickling a regular productivity practice.

Getting Things Done (GTD) With Context-Based Task Lists

11. April 2013 10:22 by Calvin Yu in Productivity  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

There was a time not so long ago when I would write down all my tasks on a single master list in my day planner and as I completed my tasks, I would cross them off that list. That worked fine in my earlier days, but when I started my printer supply business, that master list went from being a single page to an entire pad of paper! I quickly realized that I needed a new system for managing my tasks.

That’s when I came across David Allen’s book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, which offered a new way of managing tasks that made a lot of sense to me. Allen said that trying to manage tasks via a master list was mentally-draining and it didn’t adequately address the fact that tasks have inherent dependencies assigned to them that need to be met before they can actually be completed. Allen suggested that it’s better to have your tasks grouped by common dependencies and assigned to one of multiple task lists, which he refers to as contexts. There’s less mental stress involved when you’re dealing with a task list that you can actual get done versus one where you must pick and choose which tasks you can actually get done right now. I quickly adopted this system of context-based task lists and my productivity sky-rocketed.

What is a Context?

You can think of a context as a group of tasks that all share a common constraint. Usually that constraint is either a physical location or it's a required resource. It might also be a specific individual or group of individuals. A typical list of contexts might include:

@Office - for all your business or professional tasks that must be done at the office
@Home - for all the personal tasks that can be done at home
@Town - for the tasks that are done around town
@Computer - for all the tasks that can be done on your computer

GTD'ers usually designate a context by placing an "@" symbol in front of it. The beauty of organizing your tasks by context is the fact that they’re already pre-sorted for you - so all you need to do is to go through each task within your context and get them done without having to worry about priority or having the necessary resources available.

How to Set Up Your Context Lists

In order to build a set of contexts that work well for your situation, it's important that you focus on the core dependency that each task relies on. Buying milk, eggs, salad and juice are dependent on me being at the supermarket in order to get them done, so it would be logical for me to have an @Supermarket context for these. Paying cable and utilities bills for some people might be an @Home context. Since I pay my bills online, this is actually an @Computer context for me. There’s plenty of flexibility built into this system to customize it to your heart’s content, so long as you stick to the criteria for building your context lists.

Creating contexts based on physical location is probably the easiest constraint to define because it’s generally the easiest to identify. The action of buying milk has to be done at the supermarket. The action of submitting a report to your boss has to be done at work. Location-based contexts work well for people who have definite edges around their various roles and responsibilities. Employees working for a company fit well into this profile because they typically have the most separation between their personal space and their professional space. Location-based contexts might be less effective for someone who operates a home-based business or is a freelancer because technically there’s no separation between work and personal environments in so far as physical location is concerned.

In addition to location, you can also set up your contexts based on resources. Having the necessary tools available that will allow you to complete your task is every bit as important as being in the right location to get it done. A common example of this is the @Computer context. If you only own a desktop, then I guess this might be a location-based context for you, but if you’re like me and go everywhere with a laptop in hand, then location is no longer a factor - the dependency lies with having the computer with you. Resource-based contexts are used more frequently by people who travel a lot or who are always on the move, like consultants, attorneys, professional speakers and sales professionals.

I personally would not create contexts based on subjective factors such as priority level or energy level. The problem with this is that 1) they’re not true constraint-based contexts, and 2) they’re prone to avoidance at the sub-conscious level for some people. Let’s face it, we know that high-priority and high-energy level tasks are difficult, so it’s easier to avoid those and pick away at the lesser tasks first and that defeats the whole purpose of GTD.

Beware of Too Many or Too Few Contexts

One of the things that you'll have to be careful of when you're customizing your context lists is not going overboard with building too many of them. It's a common problem amongst GTD'ers and it's something that David Allen warns against. He recommends creating the least amount of contexts necessary to fit your purpose. The problem that arises when you create too many specialized contexts is that now you have too many areas to check for tasks and that defeats the whole workflow model of GTD. An example of this is someone who sub-divides their @Computer context into @Amazon, @Facebook, @Twitter, @Email, etc. While none of these contexts are bad in and of themselves, if you only have one or two tasks per context, or if you fail to regularly check these contexts daily, then it defeats the whole purpose of GTD. It would probably serve you better to combine your specialized lists together into one broad context in order to keep your GTD system clean and efficient.

On the flip side, there might be times when you need to divide your context in order to make it more manageable. Perhaps you have a growing list of 30+ next actions under your @Computer context. Large lists can be difficult to manage and review, so you might want to break it down into a separate context such as @Email to make your review and execution more effective.

When to Place Your Tasks Into Your Context Lists

You should assign your tasks to a specific context when you’re processing your inbox. Remember that in the collection stage of GTD, you’re primary goal is non-evaluative collection of all your “stuff.” Once all your stuff is collected, then you can evaluate what each piece is and assign it to its particular place. When you come across a task during your processing stage, then that’s the point where you can place it onto one of the context lists that you’ve created.

Contexts and Evernote

I mentioned in a prior post that I use Evernote as my GTD software of choice. Contexts are tailor-made for Evernote. I simply set up a group of tags in Evernote with the “@” symbol in front of it and Evernote automatically bumps those tags to the top of my list for easy sorting. I use both the desktop version and the mobile version of Evernote as my universal collection tool and when I process all my tasks in my Evernote Inbox, I simply assign it a context tag. When I’m ready to get work done, I just click on the appropriate context tag and it pulls up all the tasks that are pending within that context. It’s a wonderful system that’s allowed me to be highly productive.

SurePayroll Features 247inktoner

surepayrollSurePayroll is one of the leading online providers of payroll services to small businesses and is our preferred provider at 247inktoner. Their interface, including the ability to access services on mobile devices, allows us to take the hassle out of payroll services. Every month SurePayroll features one of their customers to highlight "secrets of their success." For April 2013, we are their featured client.

The short article highlights our commitment to providing low-cost ink and toner catridges while creating a headache-free customer service experience from buying the cartridges to having them shipped. Some of our secrets include: free shipping for all orders $50 or more, the ability to mix and match different ink and toner cartridges to provide discounts, and our 100% satisfaction guarantee.

However, our success also hinges on our commitment to use technology to stay organized. As the article quotes me saying, "I quickly realized that I needed a process and set of tools to help me stay organized; otherwise, I would have run the risk of becoming completely overwhelmed." These tools include the Getting Things Done methodology and cloud services provided by Evernote, which we describe in more detail in a recent blog post. Using these systems have allowed me to reach inbox zero, file away important documents including receipts, and help organize daily tasks in a more systematic way.

As always, we're grateful for the support our customers provide everyday. Your enthusiasm about our products and your suggestions on how to help improve your experience with 247inktoner allow us to implement changes on a daily basis. Feel free to share your favorite thing about using 247inktoner or offer any additional suggestions below. We want to hear from you!

Is Inbox Zero Really that Elusive?

inbox zero

If you've just looked at your email inbox, it's likely that you have dozens, hundreds, or, in the worst case scenario, thousands of emails to contend with. Maybe some of them are unread, maybe others are read. No matter where your inbox stands, there's a way to unclutter all of that information. Though it doesn't happen overnight, incremental steps can help you figure out the mess your inbox might be. The following tips are mostly applicable to all email clients, though some are Gmail specific.

Start by removing the unnecessary messages from your inbox.

If you're anything like us, it's likely that you use email to receive promotional emails from businesses, whether it's for discounts and deals or product updates. However, how many of you also forget to delete these emails in your inbox? It's likely that over the years you've accumulated hundreds or thousands of emails. Try searching by specific terms (as an example, "LivingSocial") and see how many emails pop up. By searching by specific terms, you're able to delete emails in bulk, saving you valuable time.

Consider email labels and special folders to archive existing messages.

Often times individuals get multiple email accounts forwarded to a primary email account. However, many forget to label incoming messages and archive emails to the correct folders. Without search terms, you have to plug keywords into the search bar, hoping you don't have to sift through hundreds of messages. By using labels and folders you'll able to find specific information much more efficiently. With particularly valuable emails, this makes more sense, not only saving you time but helping ensure the messages might not get lost among less important ones.

Give yourself an hour every week to assess the state of your inbox.

Be proactive with your inbox. Rather than waiting until spring to clean out your inbox, give yourself 30 minutes or an hour every week to assess the state of your inbox. Do you notice important unread messages? Are there emails that can be deleted? Have you not heard from someone you had expected to? By taking time to look at your inbox, you keep it both more organized and ensure you're not missing out on any important conversation.

Consider investing in mobile apps can let you focus your attention elsewhere.

mailbox app featuresWhile it's great to have an organized inbox on your desktop, don't forget the potential of mobile apps to help you organize your inbox. One of our current favorites is Mailbox. Though it is available only for those with iPhones, you're able to use any Gmail account, including Google business accounts. What is particularly useful about this is the ability to archive messages and receive notifications for them at a later date. For instance, say you just bought tickets for a concert in three months but don't want to print them out now. You're able to select any date and time in the future to have that message return to your inbox.

By not having those emails in your inbox or having to worry about plugging in a unique calendar notification, you reduce clutter and let yourself focus on those more pressing messages in your inbox.

Finally, give yourself a break from your inbox, at least for a part of every day.

Do you ever find yourself checking your inbox right when you wake up or right before bed? We'd recommend against it. By feeling like you're constantly "on the clock" to answer emails, you never get distance between your personal life and your technology. It always feels like some communication is lingering over you, part of a constant to-do list. Not only can you get burnt out from email communication, but you're also likely not to feel like you want to keep up on your inbox organization.

Though these are just some possible tips, we're confident they can help get you one step closer to inbox zero. Though it might seem daunting at first, by taking incremental steps anyone can reach a state of email zen. My personal method is to couple David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology with Evernote, learn more about how I maximize my productivity at 247inktoner.com.  Feel free to share your favorite tips for keeping your inbox organized below!

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