This week on the Systems Made Simple™ podcast, I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite business systems and its three simple, game-changing features for streamlining your inbox. Plus, uncover the real reason you waste so much time on email in the first place and what you can do about it.
Luckily, there IS a simple business system that can stop you from wasting so much valuable time on your email and keep you from being a slave to your notifications.
Not only that but this easy way of systematizing and streamlining your inbox can give you back an extra 10 or more hours in your week! This is not a joke or a drill.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING TODAY, YOU’LL DISCOVER:
If this episode inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me, whether it’s building an operational system or learning how to streamline your business overall. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.
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Courtney Elmer 0:11
Hey everyone, what's up, I’m Courtney Elmer, and Welcome back to the Systems Made Simple™ podcast. This is Episode 78, and this is the next installment in our summer series designed to help you streamline the back end of your business. This episode will ultimately teach you the best business systems, and how to streamline your business.
In today's episode, I'm going to give you three quick tips to help you streamline your inbox so that you can stop wasting so much time there and save 10 or more hours a week. Yeah, I'm not kidding! You’ll save that much time when you implement the business systems I’m about to give you.
Did you know that a recent survey found that the average person in the workplace spends 3.1 hours a day sending and checking their emails alone?
When you add that up, that's about 15.5 hours per week. When you sit and do the math, this is about 20 full weeks of the year. (Yes, it's frickin nuts). Why don’t people use more effective business systems?
I'd be willing to bet that these stats are worse for online business owners as most lack effective business systems. How many times a day do you look at your inbox? Between your phone, your computer, maybe even your iPad? Go ahead and take a guess: how many times do you check to distract yourself when you're feeling bored?
When you're waiting on a response, and you keep checking to see if it's there yet? When you're procrastinating a bigger task that needs to get done? Add in the statistics on how much time the average person spends on social media... Now we’re getting into some messy territory, it's downright scary.
So today's quick tip is a simple business system that's going to help you streamline your inbox so you can stop wasting your valuable time there, and being a slave to your notifications. But before I give you this hack, a word of caution.
Streamlining your inbox is only half the battle. Learning how to streamline your business is the other half. The real reason people spend too much time in their inbox isn't because they don't have anything better to do. We both know there's more important things on your to-do list than checking and responding to email. The real reason you waste time in your inbox, is because you value your time too little.
That's why in our programs, we don't just hand out business systems willy-nilly. Because as much as we all love Advil to get rid of our headaches, quick tips, and business systems aren't going to solve all your problems until you get underneath the root of why those problems exist in the first place.
Any business system that I give you here on the show is meant to support you, yes, but it's only going to take you so far. Which is why if you ever have the opportunity to work with me, we dig deep into your systems, we dig deep into your mindset, and dig deep into the shifts that you need to make in both to create the freedom, influence, and impact that your business needs to grow. The kind of freedom and impact that is sustainable and scalable for you specifically.
That said, the tool that I'm about to give you is one of my all time favorites. To my knowledge, this plugin only works currently with Gmail, Outlook, and email on any mobile device. It's got a ton of features. But when you install this plug in and start using just three of those features that I'm going to share with you here today, you will save yourself hundreds of hours of time and your inbox in the long run. Think of what you could do with that time! Think about how this will streamline your business systems.
If you've ever fantasized about pausing your inbox, so no one can bother you, listen closely to what I'm saying right now.
FIRST: First things first, you're going to install this app called Boomerang by going to Boomerangapp dot com. I'm not a sponsor, we're not affiliated with them in any way. Yet they have multiple options. There's a free forever plan; they have some paid versions, and you get a 30 day free trial of some of the higher tier versions. So go to Boomerang app.com. Download Boomerang for your device for your email provider, whether that's Gmail, Outlook, whatever you use. Then follow the instructions to get it set up. This is the ultimate simple business system.
NEXT: Then, play around with my favorite features, one of which is the inbox pause feature. What this does is it allows you to set a schedule to bring your emails into your inbox. So just like your mailman might come with the mail every afternoon at 4pm, you can do the same with your inbox. Who knew right? It's amazing. You’ve got to try it. It’s the pause inbox feature and you can set a schedule for this app to bring in your emails at a time that you set. That way you're not getting distracted from your focused work time by being tempted to go check your email just to see if anything new has come in. I find this business system saves me dozens of hours every month.
Your mind is free to focus because it knows that, hey, at four o'clock, all of my emails will be in my inbox, or 12 o'clock or 8am, or whatever time it is that you set. Boomerang is the ultimate business system. I love to have them come in first thing in the morning, as I review and respond to them before AJ wakes up. That way they are done, and everything I need to respond to has been responded to before we start our day. Then I have them scheduled another time in the afternoon, generally around the time when he's napping, so that I can sit down during that focused work time, and quickly respond to anything that needs responding before moving on with my day. It is the most liberating thing ever, you’ve got to try it for yourself. This really is the best way to streamline your business.
THEN: How many times have you emailed a link to your Calendly or Bookafy or Acuity or whatever scheduling software that you use? Imagine how much simpler it could be if you could share specific times in the body of your email, so your contact could book right then and there without even leaving their inbox? This is great for those specific scenarios where you might not want to open up your whole calendar. Maybe you're just trying to squeeze in a specific appointment, or maybe this is something that you don’t have listed as an “event” on your calendar software, just a one-off type of meeting. With Boomerang, you can schedule meetings directly in your email.
There is a calendar integration feature that you plug into your email that makes it so easy for your contacts and clients to book appointments directly from the email. We’ve had so many people comment on how awesome this is. They can literally click in the email, pick the time they want, and it sends a calendar invite to both of you and blocks the time off on your calendar. Boom done. Simplest thing ever--the ultimate business system.
It has saved so much time from us constantly having to make sure that our calendar software is updated and sync’d. And because we have the control to go in and select what times for the person to schedule, it saves so much time. So that's feature number two.
FINALLY: Feature number three is something that gets a little bit cool and crazy. This is a feature called Respondable that uses AI to help you write better, more actionable emails. So what does that even mean? How can an AI tool write my emails?
Well, imagine, all that time you spend with those fingers hovering over your keyboard, trying to figure out what to say, and how to say it. Well, with Artificial Intelligence (AI), it helps you get more responses to your emails, and always makes sure that you're striking the right tone. It can also give you insight into how you write to help you enhance and strengthen your writing. Amazing stuff. That feature is really fun, and the ultimate business system. You see there are simple and effective ways for you to automate your tasks and business systems.
BONUS: If you don't use Gmail (which has this feature built in), another little bonus feature Boomerang provides is the ability to schedule messages. This is a feature I use all the time. When I'm only checking my email at certain times of the day, that also means I'm only replying to email at certain times of the day. Sometimes those times of the day are weird times, because my work hours are around my family schedule. So sometimes I'm working at 6am. Sometimes I'm working on a Saturday morning. It just depends week to week, when I'm actually sitting down to work. I don't necessarily want to email someone at 9pm at night or on a Saturday morning--that’s just not fair to them. But I can schedule that email to go out at a more reasonable time, the next day or the following week, or whenever I want to schedule that out. So that really helps as well when utilizing that batch method to sit down, reply to your emails, schedule them out, and pause your inbox the rest of the time so you don't have to worry about missing anything coming in.
Boomerang does it all for you--this is the best way to learn how to streamline your business. Now, why is this useful? Think about it for a minute. If you weren't spending 3.1 hours on average every day in your inbox, how much more focused work could you get done? How many distractions could you minimize? How much time could you save? What would you do with that time? What business systems can you use? Boomerang is learning how to streamline your business.
Courtney Elmer 9:27
What Boomerang does is it frees you up from that time suck of email. And it allows you to stay in control so that your inbox doesn't control you.
So for your action item this week, you're going to go install this app and try it out. What do you have to lose? Only more time in your inbox if you don’t, that's what!
Next week on Systems Made Simple podcast, I'm going to share one more secret with you on how to streamline your business and how to save time when it comes to replying to emails and automating that process, so that whether it's you or someone on your team handling your inbox, you can stop frustrating time suck of replying to each and every inquiry that comes through. That's all coming up next week. So join me back here. Until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.