As you all, know on April 7 the OpenSSL project issued an advisory (of which NSA has apparently been aware of for 2 years). We deployed the updated OpenSSL libraries on Tuesday at 7am EST and renewed all of our SSL certificates.
We take security very seriously (take a look at the newly launched Security page where you can see if anyone has accessed your SaneBox account), but you should too:
b) Use unique and random passwords for all your services via 1Password or LastPass
c) Have a long and difficult to guess but easy to remember password for 1Password or LastPass. Think of a phrase or refrain from a song. “Billy Jean is not my lover, she’s just a girl who claims that i am the one” becomes bjinmlsjagwctiat1 - a 17 character password that’s impossible to break but you already remember it. But it’s critical that you never use the same password for multiple services – so if one of them is compromised, others are safe!
When we started SaneBox 4 years ago we vowed to fix communication overload. Until today this revolved around email – after all an average professional spends 28% of their time reading and replying to email. But we haven’t been blind to developments in communication: Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and, of course, fax. After doing a lot of research and speaking with hundreds of customers it became clear that the volume of facsimile messages has been exploding in the recent years. To address this growing problem today we are excited to announce our latest product – SaneFax.
As customers have come to expect of our products, SaneFax will be completely seamless. After entering your fax number on our site, SaneBox will act as a filter on your facsimile device. Urgent messages will be allowed to go through, while less important memos won’t be allowed to interrupt your day. Once a day you will get a digest of your unimportant faxes.
As always, training SaneFax is easy. If an unimportant fax managed to pass through our filter, just send a fax back to the sender with “not important” written somewhere on the paper. Alternatively, if a fax is important just reply with “important” in the message. We’ll intercept it and adjust our algorithms on the fly. It’s that simple!
Your SaneBox account just got a design makeover. Come check it out!
First of all, a big Thank You to all our SaneBox customers for your wonderful recommendations and ongoing feedback. We’re excited to share our new sleek layout which you helped design!
Our New Look
Simple Navigation With the new Dashboard panel, you’ll be able to view & navigate all your SaneBox settings with just one click!
Easy Toggle Between SaneBox Accounts Click into an email tab to easily switch between email accounts
Usage Statistics Overview Feel that sense of control and accomplishment as you admire all contacts you’ve trained, reminders you’ve sent, and all those attachments that are now neatly tucked away into your cloud storage.
Security Logs View your SaneBox login history and IP access points. You’ll also be able to see all third party services that SaneBox interacts with on your behalf.
Features To Try There is always more exploring to do. Make sure to check out SaneBox’s email management suggestions
Want to help shape the future look of SaneBox? You can contribute your feedback here.
As we all know, SaneBox helps you focus on what’s important in your Inbox. But what if you want to, say, stop working and unplug? That’s where AwayFind comes in. You can safely close your Inbox knowing that when important/urgent emails arrive in your Inbox, AwayFind will send you a notification via SMS or their iOS/Android apps.
This way you can stop checking email and enjoy life for a bit. You can create lots of rules with AwayFind, like “notify me when someone I’m meeting with in the next 3 hours emails me” and much more.
Since AwayFind just added support for SaneBox, and they’re good friends of ours, they are offering SaneBox customers a lifetime 25% discount if you sign up before March 1st . To take advantage of this, be sure to checkout with code “saneaway”.
Most people don’t realize how vulnerable their Gmail Account is to cyber threats, which if successful can lead to a laundry list of potential problems. Some of our most sensitive information is stored in our email account, imagine what an imposter would find if they got ahold of your password. The contacts in your address book, your schedule, confidential attachments and private conversations would all be compromised. Additionally, they may find access to your Facebook, Amazon and other such accounts. Perhaps even more disturbing is they would be capable of sending email as you and once logged in, could change your password and lock you out of your own account.
If your Gmail got hacked, it would be a nightmare.
Fortunately there are ways to dramatically improve the security of your online information, simply follow these 5 steps:
1) Limit the apps that have access to your personal information.
Each time you sign up for an app that requires Google account authorization, you’re providing that app with access to your information. Even if you don’t use the app anymore, the information is still available to them. To see all of the apps that are connected to your Google account, go to https://accounts.google.com/b/0/IssuedAuthSubTokens (prepare yourself, this is quite shocking).
This page displays the apps you’ve authorized and what information they’re allowed to see. Revoke access to all of the apps that you no longer use and any suspicious apps that are on the list. In the future, be aware of the apps that make you sign up using your Google account information, sometimes there are better options. This also applies to websites that allow you to sign up using Facebook or Twitter instead of creating an account.
If you’re uncertain how safe a website is, install Mywot on your web browser. The Mywot extension will warn you if you’re on an untrustworthy website or exposed to any other online threats.
2) Change your password.
It’s best to change your password every few months. You should never give your password out to anyone and if you really have to give it out, change it as soon as possible. Treat your email as if it’s your safety deposit box. You wouldn’t give the keys to your safety deposit box to just anyone and you should be even more cautious with your email account. Go to https://accounts.google.com/EditPasswd to change your password.
Creating an unhackable password:
1) Don’t use the same password on more than one site, because if someone hacks your account, they will use that password to attempt access to your other accounts.
2) Make your password long and don’t use any words you can find in the dictionary or personal information like your street address. If you can easily tell your password to another person, it is not strong enough.
3) Once you decide on a new password, test it by typing it into the password meter
The 2-Step Verification is an additional layer of protection for your Gmail Account. This is especially important if you look at your email on public computers. Go to http://www.google.com/landing/2step/ to set up a 2-Step Verification for your Google account.
Anytime you sign into your Google account from an unknown computer, Google will ask you to enter a verification code that they send via SMS, Google’s mobile app, or voice call. If it’s a computer you use regularly, there’s a box you can check so Google doesn’t ask you to complete the 2-step verification process again.
4) Find out if your email is being opened in suspicious locations
If anyone accesses your email account overseas – IMMEDIATE RED FLAG. You may think the likelihood of this happening is miniscule, but it’s good to double check. Scroll down to the bottom of your Gmail inbox page and click “details” on the right side of your screen under last account activity. Once you click the link, a window will pop up (see example below).
This window shows you the various locations your email is being opened. Make sure there are no unfamiliar places on the list. You should also change your alert preference to say, “Show an alert for unusual activity.” Then scroll to the top and click the ‘sign out all other sessions’ button.
5) Update your Gmail settings
Go to your Gmail inbox page and click the gear icon at the top right side of the screen.
Select “Settings” and click the Accounts tab at the top.
1) You want to make sure all the email addresses under the “Send mail as” section are emails you own and use.
2) Once you finish that, click the General tab and scroll down to “Browser connection”. Check to see that “Always use https” is selected. The “s” at the end of https means there is an added layer of protection. Make sure you see HTTPS before checking your email at coffee shops and any other public places.
3) You should also go to the ‘Forwarding and POP/IMPAC’ tab. Check to see that your email isn’t being forwarded to any unknown email addresses.
Bonus Tip: If you find it really creepy that Google displays advertisements that are way too accurate on your Gmail sidebar, you can easily change this. Just go to Google.com/settings/ads to view your ad settings.
Once you land on this page you can see the eerily accurate profile Google has based on your search history. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click opt-out of interest-based ads on Google or interest-based ads across the web.
You’re done! Just by taking these 5 steps you have greatly improved the security of your Gmail and reduced the risk of being hacked.
5 Ways People Are Using Sanebox to Land More Clients
Being a salesperson at most businesses today is an email-heavy job. Okay, maybe all jobs today are pretty heavy on the email — the average person spends 28% of work time reading and responding to email. But salespeople usually have it worse. In addition to keeping up with all of the internal emails flying around the office, salespeople have to stay in touch with dozens, if not hundreds, of leads. And that means reading and sending a mind-numbing amount of emails every single day.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that we spend our own long days here at SaneBox working on solutions to your email problems. And we’ve got a bunch of tools that can make life a lot better for salespeople.
Let’s start with the basics. If you’re in sales, there’s a good chance you spend a lot of your time sending follow-up emails. And there’s also a good chance you waste a lot of your time keeping track of all those follow-ups. Well, those days are over. With SaneBox’s follow-up reminders, we can let you know when an email you sent didn’t get a response by a certain time. It’s a wonderfully simple solution to an annoyingly big problem. And, if you’re anything like SaneBox’s other customers, you’ll probably also find that follow-up reminders can be a great way to send messages to your future self.
But what about someone who has responded? We’ve all been there: you’re about to turn off your computer when four important emails suddenly pop-up in your inbox. You can’t respond right away, but you also can’t afford to let those emails get lost, especially if they’re important leads. No worries. SaneBox allows you to defer an email until you’re ready to respond. Just place the email in the SaneTomorrow, SaneNextWeek or Custom Defer folder and SaneBox will put it right back in your Inbox when the right time comes.
Progress, right? But the tools we’ve mentioned so far still leave us with a massive problem for many salespeople: to be productive, you’ve got to focus all of that following-up and responding energy on the right people. After all, some leads are much further along in the sales funnel than others. If you’re spending the same amount of time emailing with leads who aren’t likely to open their wallets as you are with more serious customers, you’re losing sales and money.
Sure, some email solutions now allow you to categorize messages as “important.” But when you’re working with lots of different leads at different stages of the sales funnel, one “important” category isn’t going to cut it. To use your time as efficiently as possible, you need to make more subtle distinctions based on the specific stage the lead is in. And that’s why SaneBox offers up to 5 levels of importance.
SaneBox also integrates with Salesforce so any leads or contacts from your Salesforce CRM will automatically be recognized as top priority in your inbox. To set this up, go to the Salesforce App Exchange page and find SaneBox. Next, click “get it now” and then “install from provider’s site”. This will redirect you to SaneBox’s website where you only have to type in your email address to complete the set up.
What about the completely unimportant messages? If you never want to hear from a sender again, all you have to do is drag the email into the SaneBlackHole folder — it’s quicker and safer than going through an official “unsubscribe” process. And if you’re not ready to go that far, SaneBox’s smart and simple filtering algorithms can move unimportant messages out of your inbox and into a separate folder. We can even summarize unimportant messages for you, so that you never have to go through the trouble of reading them.
Oh, and speaking of summaries, if you’re emailing leads all day, your brain probably hurts by the time you’re done. You may not even remember the emails you sent in the morning. Enter the Sane Summary, a daily (or more often if you want) summary of your activity that allows you to process your latest unimportant emails, upcoming reminders, and more.
Then there’s our Close the Deal feature, which actually does your job for you. Just kidding, we don’t have that, but the email management features we do offer can help you focus on important leads and be much more productive.
Webinar: The Four Step Framework for Staying Relevant with Your Network
Our friends at Contactually.com are doing this webinar and we think it will be awesome. Here’s what it’s about.
The people in your network are your business’s greatest assets when it comes to generating referrals and repeat business. After all, studies show that 72% of your clients will give you a referral if you stay in touch with them, making your address book a goldmine of opportunities.
What’s the best way to stay relevant with the people in your network? You must follow up with those people consistently and in a meaningful way. However, we can’t rely solely on our own brains to follow up regularly. When this happens and you don’t stay top of mind, you miss out on both revenue and referral opportunities.
In this free webinar, Brian Pesin from Contactually will teach you:
- a four step framework to help you stay top-of-mind and relevant with your network - how to excel at sending timely and personal follow-up messages to your most important contacts - which online tools to use to make the follow-up process easy and automatic - a bonus tool to get in touch with LinkedIn leads for free and much, much more.
Do you remember when you first got email? If you’re 35 or older, you might have imagined yourself as Tom Hanks or Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail,” about to get a message from your sexy soulmate thousands of miles away. If you’re a Millennial, it was probably one of the first exciting “grown-up” things you got to do—and far less disturbing than those AOL chatrooms filled with creepy guys named Bob.
Sadly, the days of pure email joy have come to an end. Email has changed a lot in the last decade. Today, email often feels less like an exciting new friend and more like a bipolar stalker who screams at you all day. And if you’ve ever had a stalker, you know that they make it IMPOSSIBLE to get anything done.
Consider the following:
1) The average person spends 28% of work time reading and responding to email.
That means that the average employee is spending 650 hours a year reacting to largely non-urgent and irrelevant messages, distracted from the kind of work that actually moves a company forward. For employers, not having a smart email system is akin to burning money, which is totally illegal, by the way.
2) Less than half of emails deserve your attention.
You may feel like you need all of your emails right away, but that’s simply not the case. According to billions of internal SaneBox data points, only 42% of emails in the average inbox are important or relevant. The majority of your email can be processed in bulk at a later date or time. Imagine a world where your inbox is less than half as full. It’s pretty beautiful.
3) It takes 64 seconds to recover from an email.
That employees spend 28% of their time reading and responding to email is bad enough. What’s even worse is how long it takes to recover from an email. A case study conducted by the Danwood Group found that it takes an average of 64 seconds to recover from an email interruption and return to work (regardless of the email’s importance).
Imagine that you receive 10 emails an hour during the average workday. About six of those emails don’t need your attention, which means that if you check every one, you’re spending an additional 10% of your time (roughly) recovering and getting back to work.
4) Email overload increases stress levels.
If you feel like the last time you felt happy was during the Clinton administration, it doesn’t just mean that you’re probably a Democrat. It could also mean that your email habit is making life more stressful. A team of researchers at UC Irvine and the U.S. Army found that participants in a suburban office environment switched computer windows 18 times per hour if they did not have email access, versus 37 times per hour if they did. Those switching windows 37 times an hour were constantly in a “high alert” state, which resulted in a constant, “high-stress” heart rate. Considering the psychological and physiological damage that stress wages, getting your email under control may be the smartest health move you’ve made in a long time.
5) Banning email doesn’t work.
A 2012 study by the Grossman Group found that banning internal email or forbidding employees from using email outside of work hours simply doesn’t work. It stifles internal communication, and employees overwhelmingly hate such a policy. But that doesn’t mean employees are happy with the status quo. They want their email, but they also want the experience of using their email to be less insane.
Most people use email as someone else’s to-do list. Each email that comes in is another thing to do and another distraction that takes you off what you actually need to be doing. You might feel like you’re more productive by constantly checking emails, but as the studies above show, you really aren’t. You have to get in control of your email if you want to work efficiently and effectively. This means limiting the amount of email that comes in and limiting the amount of time you spend on your email. Turn off the notifications while you work and don’t check email every spare chance you get. If you want to increase productivity, one of the best things you can do is get in control of your email.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has a hefty new reportÂ out this week looking at the app economy.Â The report’s authors studied what privacy permissions are requested by the most popular Android apps in the Google Play store. Of the 134 permissions that any app can ask for, each app on average asked for…
I understand more than anyone how difficult it can be to keep email from running your life. I’m an “Inbox Zero” kinda girl. So I thought I’d talk about some of the strategies and tools I use to keep my inbox from dictating my day, my workload and my life. Watch How To Keep Email From […]
If there’s someone out there who should (or simply can) deal with one of your emails while you’re traveling - by all means, forward it on. It’s helpful to use our SaneReminders feature to make sure the person you delegated to gets back to you by a certain time.
2. Mobile = Important, Desktop = Can Wait
Checking your email while traveling can be a pain, so make sure your mobile inbox is used exclusively for important stuff. Use SaneBox to get unimportant emails out of your Inbox into a separate folder. Then when you’re back at your computer, you can process them in bulk.
3. Forward itineraries to the day of your trip
If you use SaneBox, Simply forward your travel itinerary or e-ticket to <time>@sanebox.com (e.g. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org etc) and we’ll automatically put it in your inbox on (you guessed it) that day.
4. Some emails shouldn’t interrupt your vacation
SaneBox customers can set up Custom Snooze Folders, which let you defer emails until you’re ready to deal with them. If you’re on vacation we recommend setting up a Snooze Folder for the day after you get back, effectively snoozing unimportant emails until your vacation is over. Brilliant, we know.
5 Hacks to Combat Email Overload, by Ryan Holmes (CEO of Hootsuite)
I now spend more time in my email inbox than I do on the phone, on social media (yup!), or in meetings.
Volume is a huge problem. I receive a few hundred emails a day, but I don’t think it’s just me—we’re all getting busy on email. According to a recent study, the average business user wades through 114 emails daily. Our inboxes have become an open door for anything and everything, some of which is pure spam and most of which is neither time-sensitive nor relevant in the here and now.
All of this is can be seriously detrimental to productive people. Did you know that the average employee checks their email 36 times an hour? But the worst part is, each time we’re distracted dealing with emails, it takes 16 whole minutes on average to refocus on the task at hand. Start doing the math and it’s a wonder we get anything else done.
I know how easy it can be to end up on the hamster wheel of responding to emails. So here are five techniques I use to manage my constantly overflowing email inbox:
1. Adopt the three sentences philosophy. Guy Kawasaki suggests an effective emailis five sentences…but I say three! I’ve recently even added a custom signature for all my emails, that says: “Sorry for the short response. I wish I could be more thorough, but it isn’t possible with the volume of emails I receive,” along with a link to a site that explains the philosophy in a bit more detail: http://three.sentenc.es/. The three sentences principle has worked extremely well for me. Treating all of my email messages like SMS text messages has been like going to communications boot camp. It trains you to leave out the fluff and keep only the most essential parts in an email. And if you find you absolutely say more, you can just pick up phone or go and talk in person.
2. Use SaneBox to filter noisy stuff out. SaneBox is a cloud-based service that filters email. It uses a unique algorithm to start sorting through your incoming emails and puts messages that are considered non-priority into a designated @SaneLater folder (that you can check at your convenience). I love this system. It’s cheap, effective and simple. And it works with all major email providers, like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, or Apple Mail. SaneBox has saved me a lot of time and lets me rest assured that all my top priority emails aren’t being drowned out by lesser important ones. Another great aspect of SaneBox is it’s intuitive, which means if you move a message from your @SaneLater folder into your inbox, it remembers it for next time.
3. Shift conversations over to social media. Email was never intended for collaborative work. Try setting up a meeting time with a group on email and that becomes painfully obvious. Messages flood in, getting out of sync and leaving users scrolling madly to track the conversation. And what about the important information that gets lost in these never-ending company threads? All of that locked-up knowledge represents a massive, wasted reserve of internal expertise. A better option: Facebook-style discussion threads where multiple employees can post, reply, and view centrally in real time. We’ve developed such a tool for businesses called Conversations. Our 300 employees use it daily to share top company highlights and key information with each other. Other effective email-alternatives to internal collaboration are Yammer, social networking for the Enterprise, and Nimble, a unique collaboration tool for small businesses that combines CRM with social media.
4. Use an autoresponder that redirects people to the right place. Being the face ofour company, I get a lot of mail from all sorts of people with all sorts requests. These range from job inquiries to event speaking requests for other members of my executive team. I want to help everyone, but this outlook ended up with me becoming resident air traffic controller rather than CEO. The solution? I’ve now set up an autoresponder message that is configured to help get people connected to the right people asap. It says, “Sorry, my email volume has become overloaded, I have set up this automation to hopefully help you get connected with the right people at HootSuite.” Below this is a list of contact information for the right point people across other departments of my company, like HR and Sales.
It’s worked wonders. This type of autoresponder is like sticking a signpost in the ground that directs people to the right place. It can also give you peace of mind that you’re getting back to well-meaning people in an honest and helpful way.
5. Create a Canned Responses with Gmail for messages you send often. Like me,do you often type out emails while wondering, “Didn’t I just write this same email?” TheCanned Responses feature in Gmail is a perfect solution. It lets you keep a little library of messages you send frequently, that you can access when composing a new email, with just two simple clicks. Gmail will automatically plug the chosen message into the top of your reply, and all you have to do is hit send.
Bonus tip: Silence annoying group Gmail threads with the Mute feature. Did you know about the Mute button for Gmail? It’s great for making those long annoying email threads involving too many people, disappear like magic. Next time your inbox starts getting congested with coworkers starting to reply like dominos to a group thread, just select the conversation and click Mute in the ‘More actions’ drop-down menu. From then on, any new responses added to that conversation bypass your inbox and be archived for later.
Email. Love it or hate it, you just can’t avoid it—especially in the workplace. And the problem is that it can make a serious dent in your productivity on the job. So start taking your workday back by incorporating the above tactics, or share some of your own ways of coping, in the comments below.
Blog post at Asian Efficiency - Time Management and Productivity : Let’s talk about email management - a topic no knowledge worker ever gets any coaching on. That is quite strange considering that emai[..]
Snoozing your alarm clock feels good, but it’s actually bad for you. Snoozing non-urgent emails, on the other hand, not only feels great but is also fantastic for your productivity. Here’s why
There are 3 kinds of emails: important/urgent, important/non-urgent and unimportant.
The unimportant ones are easy - just delete them in bulk (that’s what SaneLater is for). You should deal with important/urgent emails right away (that’s what your Inbox is for). But what about those important emails that just aren’t actionable yet?
Most people just leave them in their Inbox. This causes your brain to think about them every time you see them. This is bad for your productivity and happiness.
Followers of GTD move non-urgent emails into a Defer folder. This is much better - you can go into that folder regularly and re-evaluate whether emails are now actionable. This is better, but still requires discipline and wastes time.
But the best way to deal with these emails is to snooze them. Simply drag them into one of SaneBox’s Snooze folders and they’ll reappear in your Inbox tomorrow, Monday, or whenever you specify. Then if you’re still not ready, you can snooze them again. If you do this religiously, the only emails in your Inbox are the ones you’ll deal with today. Everything else is out of sight - out of mind (until needed back on your mind, of course).
Three months after we launched our beta in 2010, Gmail announced Priority Inbox, which does almost exactly what we do – prioritizes emails. That was a scary day for us: half of our beta customers left. Since then, most of them came back, and today 60% of our customers are on Gmail, and prefer to pay us money for something Gmail offers for free.
We have been keeping a close watch on Gmail Tabs. Thankfully this elicited even less reaction from our user base than Priority Inbox. Here’s why:
1. SaneBox works everywhere
On any device or client - not just in the Gmail web interface (not to mention literally any email provider - not just Gmail)
2. SaneBox is smarter
Our algorithms are personalized based on your past behavior (which emails you open, which you respond to, how quickly, how often etc). That makes us much more accurate for you personally.
3. SaneBox is simpler and more powerful at the same time
If you like things easy, you get 1 other place to look (SaneLater folder - that’s where all unimportant emails go). But if you’re OCD, you can create lots of optional filtering rules and folders.
4. SaneBox does way more than just filtering
BlackHole (unsubscribe with 1 click), snooze non-urgent emails, reminders to follow up with people who ignored your emails, moving attachments to Dropbox, monitoring your spam folder for emails caught there by mistake, etc (and LOTS more cool stuff in the works). Watch this video.
5. SaneBox is not free
You are our customer, not our product. We will never sell your data or annoy you with ads. You can try it free for 2 weeks, and our plans start at $2/month - that’s not that much to ask for a little email sanity, is it? ;)
Start your 14-day free trial, No credit card required.
Email is like Tetris. No matter how fast you are, there’s always more coming, and faster. An average person today gets 110 emails/day. By 2015 it will be 125/day (a 14% increase). Since days in 2015 will still only be 24 hours long, something has to change – you. You need to change the way you think about email, and the way you process it.
2. Don’t let email be your #1 priority
Email is your to-do list that other people can write on. Be proactive and focus on your own to-do list. Scan your Inbox for urgent/important items in the morning, and then work on your top priorities. Dedicate blocks of time to processing email, and treat email processing as one of your priorities - not the default Priority #1. If you’re ever sucked into “doing email”, ask yourself if clearing your Inbox really the best use of time right now! Eventually it will be - but make a conscious decision about it.
3. Not all emails are created equal
Every email interface gives the same amount of real estate on the screen to each message. This tricks our subconscious into thinking every email is equally important. But that’s wrong - some emails need to be dealt with right away (urgent/important). Some can wait (non-urgent/important). And others should be archived/deleted in bulk (unimportant). According to our data the unimportant bucket contains, on average, 58% of emails. Here’s how SaneBox helps you:
- SaneBox filters out the unimportant emails into the SaneLater folder so you can archive or delete them all at once.
- You can move the non-urgent/important emails into one of our Snooze folders
- Now your email only contains emails that you need to deal with today. And if you don’t get to all of them, it’s ok - just snooze them till tomorrow!
An average person today spends 13 hours/week processing email – that’s 30% of our working time spent on a completely reactive activity! And “doing email” is only in your job description if you’re doing customer service
Inbox Zero is not just “having no emails in your Inbox”, its’ also a process for how to achieve that state consistently. There are only 5 possible actions for each email in your Inbox: Delete (or Archive), Delegate, Defer, Respond or Do (actual work)
The Inbox Zero process takes lots of discipline, but there are some hacks. Here’s how you can get to Inbox Zero every day easily with some help from SaneBox:
If you can tell by the subject line and sender that the email is not important - just delete or archive it without opening. It’s critical to process unimportant messages in bulk. It will not only save you countless hours, but will preserve your sanity.
SaneBox filters unimportant emails into the SaneLater folder, where you can scan them briefly, move the ones that deserve attention back in your Inbox and hit “delete all” or “archive all”. Your Inbox is saved only for important emails.
Pro tip: If you never want to hear from the Sender again, drag that email to SaneBlackHole and all future emails will go straight to trash. It’s like unsubscribing, only easier.
If there is a poor sucker who can deal with some of your emails - by all means, forward it on. But how do you know for sure if they get it done? One helpful tool is Sanebox’s SaneReminders feature. Just BCC email@example.com (or firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com or any other timeframe), and if you don’t hear back from the them by then, we’ll send you a reminder.
Pro tip: Add “keep” to the address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and you’ll get a reminder whether or not you get a response.
Super pro tip: CC the reminder address instead of BCC’ing it for additional pressure.
If an email is not urgent, or not actionable until later, most people tend to leave it in the Inbox. It forces you to subconsciously pay attention to that email every time you see it, which is terrible for productivity. SaneBox’s Snooze Folders help with this too. Just drag an email to SaneTomorrow, and it will reappear in your Inbox tomorrow morning as unread. You can also create folders to hold emails until next Monday, or any other time frame. (Or you can also just forward it to a reminder address same as above and we’ll put it at the top of your Inbox when the time comes).
If an email is really urgent, or if a response will take under 2 minutes, reply right away. Don’t postpone or waste time thinking of what to do with it. SaneReminders come in handy here too if you need to make sure the recipient gets back to you by a certain time.
Pro tip: Our Reminders are really quite magical – they work anywhere you send emails the same way (on your phone as well as desktop), and can do lots of stuff. For example, you can use them to send reminders to your future self – even recurring reminders (e.g. send an email to every.Friday.email@example.com with subject “Bring flowers to the wife” and your marriage will blossom)
Lastly there are emails that actually require you to do work. This is the one part SaneBox can’t help you with. But if you are diligent with the steps above, the only “Do” emails in your Inbox are the ones you will work on and process today.
How to finish the day with Inbox Zero - guaranteed :)
At the end of the day there’s nothing better than dragging all your unprocessed emails to SaneTomorrow and seeing the magical empty Inbox. Even though it seems like cheating (it is – they will reappear tomorrow morning), the feeling of accomplishment is good for you!
Last night our colocation provider, CDW, suffered from a massive hardware failure to their storage array that we share with many other companies. This brought our service down hard for 10 hours. To make things worse, this is the second outage in a week (Geeky details on last week’s downtime).
Please understand that there is no excuse for this. It is completely unacceptable. My job is to provide you with email Sane-ity 100% of the time. Anything less than that is a personal failure to me.
A free week of email Sane-ity
To thank you for your patience and to make up for the insanity, everyone affected will get a free week of Sanebox. This is a small gesture to reassure you of how seriously we take our 100% uptime commitment.
Steps to avoid this in the future
Ironically, two weeks ago, we purchased a massively redundant disk array just for SaneBox. This hardware is sitting on a loading dock right now waiting to be installed. Sigh… we came so so close to avoiding this whole episode. We are moving as fast as humanely possible to get onto that new hardware.
While we cannot guarantee that outages never happen, we do spend part of every day reviewing software, reviewing new hardware and trying to guess what could go wrong and trying to avoid it.
Please remember that by design, the only effect of SaneBox downtime is that all emails arrive in your Inbox. As soon as we’re back up, everything is put where it belongs - so you don’t have to move emails yourself.
Folks, by now you noticed that we are back up and running after a sleepless night. We’re very sorry about this outage. Hopefully most of you woke up to a clean Inbox (we always put everything back where it belongs after any downtime, so you don’t have to move things around while we’re down). But a particularly deep apology goes out to our customers in Europe and Asia who had to endure Inbox insanity on a Wednesday.
We have already purchased massively redundant disk array hardware so we won’t be susceptible to this kind of failure in the future. The hardware is sitting on a loading dock right now waiting to be installed (so ironically, we almost managed to avoid this downtime).
As a small way to thank you for your support and to make up for the insanity, everyone will get a free week of Sanebox. We’ll also be sending everyone an email with an explanation later today.
A giant, humble thank you to all of our customers!
You know how every VC asks “what happens when Google gets into your business?” Well, that just happened to us. Again.
Our company SaneBox has built a cloud service that makes email less painful. We have lots of features: snoozing non-urgent emails, 1-click unsubscribe, moving attachments onto Dropbox/Box etc. But the feature we’re best known for is the automatic filtering – we look at patterns in you email behavior, move unimportant emails out of your inbox into a separate folder, and summarize them in a digest. Over half of our customers are on Gmail, so when Gmail announced the new “Gmail Tabs” feature, which directly competes with what we do, we received lots of tweets around “Is Gmail killing SaneBox?”
If you’re in a business remotely related to something Google does (or could do), you’ve had the same concerns. Google has had a long history of getting into new markets, offering services for free, and hoping to monetize them via its cash cow – paid search. Here are the reasons we’re not worried, and you shouldn’t be either.
1. You get what you pay for
Three months after we launched our beta in 2010, Gmail announced Priority Inbox, which does exactly what we do – prioritizes emails. That was a scary day for us: half of our beta users left. Since then, most of them came back, and today 60% of our customers are on Gmail, and prefer to pay us money for something Gmail offers for free.
So we have been keeping a close watch on Gmail Tabs. Thankfully this elicited even less reaction from our user base than Priority Inbox. Why you ask? We’re told it’s because our algorithms are more personalized to each person’s behavior, which requires processing a lot of data in real time (not something you can do on the cheap).
One of the reasons to charge for your products is it allows you to build better products (Death to Freemium!). Google doesn’t have that luxury. Use it to your advantage and compete with Google on value, not price.
2. Let the best man win – in your segment
Can Google offer a better email filtering product for free? Maybe. However, our business is evidence that it is possible for David to build a better product than Goliath – at least for a particular segment.
In every large market there are lots of segments. Ours is professionals who value their time and are happy to pay for better products. If someone is happy with a free version (or can only afford the free version), they are not our target customer. If they’re unhappy with the free version - they will look for us. If they are ok with the free version, but want something better – it’s our job to get in front of them. This brings me to the last point.
3. Let the 10K lb gorilla educate your customers
For many startups the greatest challenge is not competition – it’s lack of awareness. People simply don’t know there’s a solution to their problem, as is the case with email overload. Everyone suffers from it, but nobody searches for the solution (the search volume for related keywords is ~0). So when Google educates the market on the value of email filtering, it’s a good thing. Gmail’s Priority Inbox made our positioning easy: “We are Priority Inbox that actually works”. Not a bad pitch to have.
If Gmail was the only email provider out there, we would be more worried. Luckily there’s Yahoo Mail, Exchange, Office 365, Lotus Notes (yes, there are 100 million people using Notes), etc. These folks aren’t as spoiled with helpful add-ons in their Inboxes as Gmail users are. When they hear about cool stuff Gmail is doing, they want it too. We’ve capitalized on that by making our service provider-agnostic. It’s exceptionally difficult technically, but very powerful: ““We are Priority Inbox that not only actually works, but works on any email provider, client and device.” Should we ever lose the Gmail market we still have the other 80% of the email market to capture.
There are lots of things that can kill a startup. Google entering your space shouldn’t be one of them - it can actually help. We’re living proof that it’s possible for a small startup to compete with a giant, in the giant’s backyard.
There’s a better way to manage your inbox—let SaneBox do most of the work for you.
Email is a pain. There are simply too many messages to handle—and I’m not even talking about spam from marketers (I use a separate address to collect those emails). The headache is the increasing number of legitimate business messages—it’s a humongous time-suck that only seems to be getting worse.
Two years ago I answered nearly every message. A year ago I downgraded to at least trying to read them all. Last winter I started scanning the sender subject fields concentrating on the ones coming from people I knew or looked like they might contain information I needed. And lately, I’ve been considering closing my account and starting over with a private address reserved for only work colleagues and select sources.
It’s like Gmail’s Priority Inbox feature in that it looks at your messages and prior history engaging with those senders and decides which emails you’re likely to deem most important.
When you turn on the Priority Inbox feature in Gmail, Google separates your email into three categories: Important and unread, Starred, and Everything Else; all the mail is still in your inbox, but the important messages are up top.
SaneBox is a bit different in that it removes less important messages from your inbox completely, moving them to an @SaneLater folder that you can peruse whenever you want. If SaneBox puts an important message into that folder you can move it to your inbox and it remembers the action so the next time you receive a message from that person, it will go to your inbox.
Priority Inbox is trainable in this way, as well; the more you move stuff around, the better it gets at categorization. But I prefer SaneBox.
SaneBox vs. Gmail’s Priority Inbox
SaneBox gives you a custom dashboard including a timeline that graphs how many important and less important emails you get every day. My current average, according to SaneBox, is 81 a day. If I took a minute to read, digest, and respond to each one of them, that’s nearly an hour and a half a day going through email. If you figure there’s at least 250 work days in a year, I’m spending 375 hours annually on email. That’s not acceptable.
In addition to the @SaneLater folder that stores non-essential messages, you can also enable folders such as @SaneNews for newsletters and @SaneBlackHole for those messages you want to send straight to your Trash. (Ha! Finally I’m getting revenge on a certain five-letter-titled fitness magazine that has not let me unsubscribe to its newsletters for two full years!)
And it also has a nifty feature that lets you CC or BCC a message to @SaneBox.com to remind you if someone doesn’t respond.
So let’s say you need an answer from your boss about a project and you need it no later than two days from now. In the CC field just include the address 2days@SaneBox.com and in two days SaneBox will put the message back in the top of your inbox if she never replied to it. This way you remember to bug her again.
SaneBox also creates an @SaneRemindMe folder that lets you keep track of all the messages to which you still need replies. Use oneweek@SaneBox.com, June5@SaneBox.com or 5minutes@SaneBox.com; it doesn’t matter, SaneBox will figure out the time frame you need.
The service is $5 a month and works with email clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, iPhone, and Android and as well most email services like Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo, AOL, and Gmail. The only service it doesn’t currently support is Hotmail.
Unsubscribing from annoying mailing lists and relentless spammers is a major pain and an enormous waste of time, that’s why I love SaneBlackHole.
My fondness for this feature is unquantifiable, but I’ll regale you with the top 3 reasons why everyone should use SaneBlackHole.
It’s far more efficient to drag and drop an email into SaneBlackHole than to go through the arduous and intentionally difficult unsubscribe process.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is more rewarding than banishing an irritating sender to the BlackHole, never to be heard from or seen again!
Unsubscribing from suspicious emails is dangerous and you can expose yourself to more spammy mailing lists. Your success really depends on the integrity of the sender. There are plenty of examples where unsubscribing from suspicious emails actually results in WAY more junk mail. This is because you’re identifying yourself as a real person (who actually reads emails). SaneBlackHole will simply put all future emails from those senders directly into Trash (so it’s just like unsubscribing but safer).
If you’re not on the SaneBlackHole train yet, I urge you, nay, I implore you to hop on. It will be hard to imagine how you ever kept your inbox under control without it.
Inbox Zero is more than just “having no emails in your Inbox”. The phrase Inbox Zero also represents the method we recommend to help you consistently manage your inbox.
We advise using a five step process in which to evaluate new mail. When a new email arrives in your inbox, take one of the following actions: either delete or archive the email depending on your preference, delegate the work to another contact, defer the response until a later date using SaneBox defer folders, respond if the reply will take less than two minutes, or do the job yourself if you have the time available when you read the message. With this process you will never again have to read an email twice. Let’s take a deeper look at each step of the process.
Delete an email if you know that you will never need to read it again, and Archive any messages that may be useful in the future. To archive an email, simply forward the message to another account. Then, even if you somehow lose your main email (whether your provider goes down, or your account gets compromised), you’ll always have a copy of the message saved in another account.
A key point to consider when evaluating new mail is to remember- if somewhere in the world there’s a poor sucker who can deal with one of your emails, then, by all means save yourself a headache and forward it on. When deferring a message, a key tip is to use either Sanebox’s RemindMe feature or Boomerang; these two applications will remind you if the person you delegated the job to doesn’t respond to your message by a certain time.
Another option is to defer the new message until a later date. If an email is not urgent or not actionable until a later date, most people tend to leave it in their Inbox. The problem with this method is, it causes you to look at the message (i.e. spend time and focus thinking about it) every time you open your Inbox. A much better option is to move the message out of your Inbox. SaneBox offers yet another tool for this - Defer Folders. Move an email into one of them, and the email will pop back in your Inbox tomorrow morning, on Monday, or at any other predetermined time. This way you don’t have to worry about the email until it becomes actionable.
The last two steps of the process are the real money makers. Respond right away to an email if it is really urgent, or if the response will take under 2 minutes. Take action immediately; don’t waste any time adding it to your to-do list. The last step of the process is the toughest, and there are no fancy tricks to save you; DO the work necessary to respond to the email and get it over with before it’s too late!
The Inbox Zero philosophy not only helps you stay on top of your email but it also helps you gain separation from constant email interruptions. We recommend scheduling blocks of time during the day in which to check emails. A Study, by the Danwood Group, found that it takes an average of 1.5 minutes to read and recover from an email. If an employee is alerted every 5 minutes when new mail arrives in their inbox they can expect up to 96 interruptions in a regular 8-hour workday. Scheduling specific times during the day to check email will erase the constant stress of email interruptions, and will improve your overall productivity.
It is important to remember that checking email is not priority number one; instead it should be thought of as one of many tasks that you need to attend to throughout the day. It can be helpful to set a deadline or use a timer to keep you on task and motivated. A study conducted by researchers from U.C. Irvine and the U.S. Army found that when employees are away from their email, stress levels decrease and employee focus increases, so once time’s up, close your email client and refocus on your other priorities.
Read our email manifesto 100 Email Hacks eBook, , and keep reading this blog to learn more time saving tips and to discover the latest technological innovations.
When I opened my email this morning, my inbox was littered newsletters and deals. Not Spam, but “Bacn.” At first I was confused why it was such an unusual mess, and then I realized that SaneBox must be down, the tool I use to filter signal from noise in my inbox. I immediately missed SaneBox, but…
This morning, when we had processed only 2,147,483,648 emails, everything was fine.
Then the 2,147,483,649th email came in and there just wasn’t any more room (turns out this is the magic maximum value you can express with an “int”). It was a rough morning for our team. And for those of you that rely on us to bring you email Sane-ity.
However 3 good things happened while we were down:
1) Our design was validated. New emails continued to be delivered to your Inboxes. Your historic email continued to be available on your servers. Instead of missing emails, our customers simply experienced what life used to be like before SaneBox - Inboxes full of unimportant stuff.
2) we got so much love on Twitter that it almost made the pain worth it (someone compared SaneBox to electricity - you only notice it when it’s down).
3) as I’m writing this, our machines are converting to a table which can hold 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 entries (that’s called 18 quintillion and to those geeks in the audience it is also called an “unsigned bigint”) which should suffice for the time being!
Thanks to all of our wonderful customers for your support and patience. We promise to do everything we can for your Inboxes to stay Sane 100% of the time.
Since Mailbox app launched we’ve heard from a lot of folks how well SaneBox works with Mailbox. We also got a few customers who are a bit confused about how to make us work well together.
We hate confusion, so here are the 3 steps to make sure SaneBox works flawlessly with Mailbox.
1. Rename @SaneLater to [Mailbox]/SaneLater. You can do it right in Gmail (click on the label and choose Edit, and choose to “Nest label under [Mailbox]).
2. That’s it.
3. No really, that’s it.
Make sure to remove the @ from the name, because Mailbox sometimes bugs out with non-standard characters. If you’re using other Sanebox folders, you can also add [Mailbox] before the name of the label to make Mailbox pick it up. Now moving emails between your Sane folders and Inbox in Mailbox will have the same effect as moving them in Gmail or any other email client.
As many of you know, our headquarters is located about 2 blocks from the finish line of the Boston Marathon which was the site of two explosions on Monday. These explosions destroyed the lives of its victims and harmed everyone who had come to assume that this peaceful sporting event enjoyed by millions across the world was a symbol of non-violent, non-nationalist global friendship.
I believe that the entire city has already spoken: Boston will not be terrorized. And I think in this, this week, we are all Bostonians. It doesn’t matter what city or country you are from, for at least this week, we are one people, one world, one community. And that community will not be terrorized.
To support the healing of Boston, my home town, SaneBox will donate 10% of our revenues for the entire month of April to One Fund.
Did you know thatSaneBox not only works with every email client, provider and device - it works anywhere in the world. Meaning whatever country you’re in, whatever language you speak, SaneBox is there for you.
We have customers pretty much all over the world: Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Japan, China, Australia, Russia and South Africa, etc etc etc.
You might be wondering how a team of gringos (well not really, we actually speak Russian, French, Hebrew and Spanish) came up with software that works in any language. Simple - our algorithms don’t rely on understanding content. We simply look at the data: the relationship trees in your email. And since data and math are universal languages, SaneBox actually works for Martians too!
Whether you’re a working professional, a student, stay at home parent, a retiree or anyone else with access to the Internet chances are you’re an avid emailer.
Email truly is a beautiful thing. It’s the first, and still the largest social network - it has the ability to connect people around the world. Unfortunately this beauty is tainted by some not-so-beautiful facts. Email has become an enormous productivity killer and time waster, it leads to stress, and for many people it has become a chore. So who’s to blame? It may be hard to swallow, but the culprit is actually you and I. Society’s poor email habits have led to the negative issues surrounding email.
Fear not! We wrote a book to help fix it!
The “100 Email Hacks” eBook was developed to help people get out of their inbox and on with their life. It contains incredible time saving strategies, best practices and awesome tools and apps to make you an email master. The eBook will show you the best ways to protect your privacy and secure your email account, the secrets of Gmail, email etiquette, and power hacks for the power users. Each section, equally as important as the next, will arm you with the tools you need to spend less time in your inbox, creating more time for the things you’d rather be doing.
Click the button below to read the “100 Email Hacks” eBook for FREE and become an Inbox Zero Superhero!