If you’re anything like me, just the thought of opening your inbox after being away from your computer for even a day, is enough to challenge even the hardest working high blood pressure medications available on the market today. It’s a little stressful.
I was talking with Anita Campbell earlier this year about our mutual email inbox pain. I suggested that we get together and come up with a solution that once and for all, enables small business owners to manage their emails. We haven’t yet.
One of the best ways to grow a business into something big is to solve a problem that lots of people are experiencing. I believe that whoever can solve the problem of email inbox overload simply, and efficiently, will find themselves sitting on easy street.
There are already a few innovative tools that have started to address inbox overload. Could one of these help you manage things a little better?
- A company out of Palo Alto, California has a pretty interesting approach to email overload; the software that they developed assigns a monetary value to incoming emails. Their software uses psychological and economic principles from successful multiplayer online games and market economics to prioritize things coming into your inbox. Seriousity.
- A company located in Seattle thinks that combining your inbox with the web is the answer to your inbox overload problems. In a recent post on Mashable, Gist founder T.A. McCann said, “Most of us have an inbox or three that are overwhelming, and the amount of personal communication is difficult to deal with… Most of us, irrespective of what stream we’re looking at, tend to look at it in chronological order. That might not be most effective — we should be looking at who is most important, and center the content around them.” Here’s the Gist website.
- If you use Outlook, there are probably hundreds of important conversations sitting in your folders. Do you remember any of them? Xobni has a knack for finding those important conversations, and turning them into a thread, that can be easily viewed. There’s also a search feature than enables you to type in the name of someone who you had correspondence with in the past, and in less than one second, every interaction you ever had with that person is displayed.
I’m not sure if any of the “solutions” mentioned above will solve inbox overload, but hopefully, they’re on the right track. Something’s got to give.
What’s your experience been with email management tools? Which ones do you use?
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Joel Libava, The Franchise King,® is the president of Franchise Selection Specialists Inc, a franchise consulting firm that specializes in helping prospective franchise owners all over the US find great opportunities in franchise ownership. Joel discusses all aspects of franchising on The Franchise King Blog, is quite active in social media, and serves as the community promotions director for Small Business Trends.