How a 'Snooze' Button Can Boost Your Email Productivity

A new Gmail feature could help users better manage their time spent answering emails.
April 03, 2014

Gmail may soon give its users—which certainly includes many business owners—a way to be more productive and efficient about how they use email.

Google is reportedly testing out a “snooze” button that would allow Gmail users to mark an unresponded email to pop to the top of the Gmail inbox later in the day. The goal is to make it easier for Gmail users to essentially shelve an email and not let it get buried and forgotten among a sea of other emails.

The feature was first introduced by Mailbox, an email app now owned by Dropbox, according to TechCrunch. And some people already discovered a JavaScript code that let them install a snooze feature in their inbox.

This type of feature can be a big help to business owners in need of inbox management help. Productivity experts generally say people should not read and respond to emails the minute they pop up in the inbox—particularly in the morning, during the most productive hours of the daybut all at once at a designated time of day.

In fact, productivity experts have come up with detailed guidelines for how to manage an email inbox most efficiently, with the goal of “inbox zero," meaning there are no emails in the main inbox.

Productivity coach George Kao, for example, advises that people should classify all of the emails they get into seven different categories, including “optional reading,” “optional response,” “file away,” “required to respond,” “required to respond today,” “follow up,” and “no need to respond nor read.”

“Have a set time to process your email,” he writes on Medium. “I spend 30-60 minutes at the end of each workday clearing my email inbox to zero. This is more efficient than trying to clear your inbox to zero throughout the day. Why? Because of the ‘batching’ principle. The less often you switch activities, the more flow & efficiency you tend to experience.”

Read more articles about productivity.

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