email overload If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the sheer volume of email messages that hit your Inbox daily, try these new ideas that may help reduce your overall email burden without interrupting the incoming flow of information.

*You may also want to check out Getting Email Under Control – a PDF ebook from David Allen where talks about tackling email using the the Getting Things Done methodology.


Idea 1: Ask people to only send tips via delicious for: tag

delicious If you have a blog or website where readers send you tips via email, ask them to stop sending those email messages and instead bookmark those links on to delicious with the tag for:your_delicious_username. (e.g. for:labnol)

This is your personal inbox at delicious and any bookmarks tagged with "for:user" are only visible to that particular delicious user. Such a system is in place on 43 folders.

Idea 2: Only use contact forms that provide RSS feeds

Do you get email notifications when someone sends you a message using the ‘contact me’ form on your website?

If yes, disable this setting because a majority of email messages received via web forms do not require immediate attention and hence should not disrupt you from the task at hand.

Switch to a forms manager that can provide RSS feeds of user messages so you can read them at leisure. Zoho Creator is a good choice here.

Idea 3. Master Dapper and Yahoo! Pipes

yahoo-pipes Not all web content is available in the form of feeds yet and that’s where services like Dapper and Yahoo! Pipes come in very handy. Make a screen scrapper for any web page via Dapper and you will automatically know if anything has changes through the RSS feed.

Check this excellent screencast by Marshall Kirkpatrick where he shows how to convert a regular web pages into an RSS feed. See some more services that create feeds from web pages.

4. Read all Email Newsletters and Mailing Lists as RSS Feeds

Are you subscribed to dozens of email newsletters, mailing lists and deal alerts? Now these emails do increase the daily volume of email but you have no choice because the kind of information you’re looking for is only available in the email format.

email-rssThere’s however a simple hack to help you read these emails as RSS feeds.

You know that it is possible to post on Blogger via email. Now when you subscribe to any email newsletter, instead of giving your own address, you can give that Blogger address and all emails will directly get published onto that blog which can subscribe in your newsletter.

Or if you want to keep that secret Blogger email address a secret, create a rule in your Gmail account that will automatically forward that newsletter to Blogger and will also delete the message from your own Inbox.

Also see Reduce Stress related to RSS Feeds