6 Best Productivity Tools
A recent study found that an average professional checks their email app 11 times every hour. They take another 25 minutes before fully concentrating on what they are doing.
Assuming you work 8 hours daily, you will spend 4½ hours every day trying to regain concentration on your work.
However, this doesn’t mean email is an enemy of your productivity. It’s a free and convenient way to communicate with your team, vendors, and customers.
Nevertheless, to ensure it doesn’t waste a chunk of your work time and distract you from running your ecommerce store, you need to make email work for you.
This guide will look at six email productivity tools to help you spend less time on email.
Good email productivity requires sensible email usage. If you’ve been using email for answering common customer queries regarding your ecommerce store, your inbox is bound to flood and your productivity will drown.
This is why it’s a good idea to reduce the need for email wherever you can. And Jivochat is a great platform for doing that when it comes to interacting with customers. Instead of having customers email you for common queries, it’s a better idea to employ intelligent chatbots for your ecommerce store using Jivochat.
Not only that, but Jivochat can also help you bring all customer contact channels to one location. This includes live chat, social media, messengers, emails, and even phone calls. This makes customer interactions more streamlined and takes the burden off your email inbox.
Plus, Jivochat’s mobile application can help you manage your ecommerce chat even when you’re not on the computer.
Of course, reducing the need for email doesn’t apply only to customer interactions. As an ecommerce store owner, you probably use email a lot to communicate with your team and other stakeholders involved with your store.
But there are a variety of tools that can reduce the role of email in running the day-to-day operations of your business. For example, project management tools like Trello, Asana, and Basecamp can eliminate the need for using emails to assign tasks, track them to their completion, and provide feedback.
In addition, project management tools can help with resource capacity planning by allowing managers to see how much work they can give their team and how much time different tasks will take. This allows for better planning and allocation of resources, which in turn helps the team stay on track and meet deadlines.
Similarly, workplace communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams can take care of a lot of the emailing back-and-forth between you and your team.
So make sure to explore all the options for reducing email usage before implementing any of the email productivity tools below.
Interruptions disrupt your state of deep work. You stop working anytime you hear an email notification ring. Reading the email disorganizes your thoughts, and it takes longer to concentrate on your work.
When you get back to that focus zone, another notification pops up, and the cycle repeats for the whole day.
To avoid this, simply turn off your email notifications until you finish a task that you’re working on. Gmail allows you to change notifications for each email account attached to your device.
Or even better, you can shut all notifications on your mobile device if you mainly check emails on your phone. This is handy as you also don’t give room to interruptions from your social media or phone calls. That is especially useful for store owners who are also introverts, and who need peace and quiet to be most efficient.
The only disadvantage of turning off email notifications is that you might forget to reply to an important email you received before you started working. To avoid that, use an email reminder tool like Right Inbox to send you a nudge in case it happens.
The general rule of email communication is that if you send an email, you must expect a cycle of replies on the same thread.
For example, if you email 20 people in one day, expect at least 50% of replies. And if you email more people, they’ll drag you into an endless cycle of replies that eventually consume your work time.
Worst of all is if you don’t know the recipient’s email address. You’ll spend more time searching for the email address and start the back and forth which will probably take a couple of hours.
To avoid this, use VoilaNorbert, which is an easy-to-use email finder. To find an email address with Norbert, all you have to do is feed it your prospect’s name and company. You can do this for individual prospects, or you can upload a list of people and find their email addresses in bulk.
Norbert also offers email verification, which can help you clean up your list and update any invalid email addresses. Remember, if your list contains invalid addresses, it will take you longer to communicate with your recipient as you try alternative channels.
CoSchedule did a survey and found that professionals send emails between 10 am - and 11:00 am. That’s understandable because most people want to kick off their workdays by clearing any email tasks beforehand.
But on the receiving end, you’ll have so many emails to check that you might waste your precious morning work time.
In the same study, CoSchedule also found that most professionals check their emails from 8:00 pm to midnight. In short, they don’t want emails to disrupt them during work hours and would instead read them later in the evening.
But is this actually good for your business? Not necessarily. As an online business owner, email is one of your main modes of communication. Your customers, team members, and vendors won’t be happy if you keep replying to an email they sent in the morning when you’re about to hit the bed.
The solution is simple. Use a notification batching app like Daywise to receive email notifications at set times. You can check them every two or three hours, depending on your schedule. That means you won’t miss out on important messages while still not wasting time on email.
Tracking the time you and your team members spend on email is important.
If your team consists of a lot of remote workers and freelancers, they’re probably getting paid based on the hours they take on a project. But in most cases, time spent on email isn’t accounted for, which is one of the challenges freelancers face.
Why? Well, we assume that time spent on emails isn’t part of the job. But it is because your team members primarily exchange work-related questions and answers, which might take many hours.
Let’s bring that into context so you can see how much they lose.
Assume that a remote team member spends a modest 2.5 hours on email daily, which would be 600 hours put into email every year. Multiply that by the average $50/hour wage for top-earning remote workers.
That’s an extra $45,000/year that they lose due to the time you’ve not tracked. The result? An unhappy team, reduced productivity, and dwindling revenues.
Clockify is an email time-tracker that can help you in this regard. It will track every second you and your team members take on an email app, set time estimates to see how much you take crafting an email, and even bill the hours spent on email.
For your team, this means fair compensation and higher productivity. And for you, this will allow you to determine if you spend too long on emails and take steps to counter this.
As an online business owner, you’ve likely subscribed to a dozen newsletters. Maybe you have a couple of hobby-based newsletters, weekly podcasts, and a few from experts in the ecommerce industry.
While these come in handy in expanding your knowledge, you won’t have the time to read every newsletter.
The more such emails pile into your inbox, the harder you’ll find it to reach your inbox zero goals.
And sometimes, you can be afraid of unsubscribing from newsletters because you think you might miss out in case they publish something incredible.
However, the question is, if they’ve been sending crappy emails all along, how sure are you that they’ll start creating excellent posts? One newsletter with amazing content is better than tens of outdated newsletters.
So make sure to use Unroll.me to unsubscribe from unwanted emails. You could do this manually, but Unroll lets you unsubscribe in bulk, which saves a lot of time.
The tool also lets you combine the subscriptions you keep into a single daily digest, which minimizes notifications and helps you stay more focused.
Unfortunately, Unroll uses your data to fuel its market research business. They’re pretty transparent about it and claim to collect information from only transactional emails (like purchase receipts, shipping confirmations, travel reservations, and email subscriptions).
And they also give you the option to opt out of their email measurement panel.
Still, if data privacy is something non-negotiable for you, then it might be a good idea to unsubscribe from unwanted lists manually.
Email is inevitable to all online ecommerce store owners. It’s one of the primary communication tools. But this doesn’t give it the green light to waste your time.
These tips can help you greatly enhance your productivity, but make sure you’ve set your priorities straight. Set your goal, analyze your daily routine, and then make a move.
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