Tech-Savvy Tactics to Simplify Your Work Life

Taming the Email Beast

Start with that bloated inbox. We typically spend more than a quarter of our day reading and responding to email*. Here are some tools that can make your inbox manageable.

  • Boomerang for Gmail lets you program messages to pop up again within a specified time frame — for example, if you email a potential new client and want a reminder to follow-up in a week. You can also schedule emails to send later, and set reminders for emails you’d like to deal with later.

  • Sanebox analyzes the importance of each message based on your past interaction with your inbox. It saves and summarizes low-priority messages in a separate folder. The program works with any email provider or device, it also scans attachments and moves them into the cloud — like DropBox — for easy access later.

  • Pocket converts online files to offline versions and saves them so they’re accessible from any device — without ads. Perfect for the inbox that’s inundated with articles and videos from colleagues and friends.

 To-Do List

Once the inbox is cleaned up, you can make to-do lists less scary, or even fun.

  • Carrot for iPhone is a slightly sadistic taskmaster. “She” rewards you with things like compliments, stories, and program upgrades when you check things off your list, and “Hulks out” iPhone-style when you don’t. (“You do not want to make me upset,” is a common refrain.)

  • Evernote is a catchall program to help you manage your work schedule. Use it to collect ideas, inspiration and data in any format, and organize projects with digital file cabinets — on any device from anywhere. It’s tough to top.

  • If This Then That for iPhone lets you connect different online services and apps that normally don’t go together, so you can create “recipes” that make sense for you. For example: “If I get an email via Gmail, send me a text message.”

    What’s next?

    1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
    2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.

* 2012 study by McKinsey & Co.