SaneBox Blog

Oct 16

SaneBox + Boxer = Better than Ever

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We’re big fans of Boxer at SaneBox. Its features allow you to create to-do lists, send likes (email acknowledgements without the fuss) and customizable swipes for iPhone, iPads and Android - not to mention it works with every email service we do - Gmail, Outlook, etc.

What does that mean for SaneBox users?

By using the two together, you still have access to your favorite SaneBox features. Now, moving an email from your Inbox to SaneLater is just a click away. Because Boxer also integrates with Dropbox and Box, you won’t miss any SaneAttachments either. 

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You can check out or quick guide to SaneLater on Boxer by clicking on the “How It Works” photo below:

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Or, check out our video on all the SaneBox features on Boxer by clicking on the photo below:

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Oct 15

The #1 Email Rule

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At SaneBox we’ve thought long and hard about optimal email workflow, and have come up with a long list of rules and tips.

One of these rules is so important, it should be both rule #1 and #2, just like in Fight Club.  It will require a substantial shift in your thinking about email, but this rule will change your life: don’t make clearing your Inbox your top priority.  

There’s an inherent gamification in clearing your inbox. It feels productive and provides a brief feeling of accomplishment. But as we all know, this feeling is not only fleeting, but has a dangerous flipside - processing email is a reactive activity. When you let other people set your priorities, you’re not in control of your time, and this should be a deal breaker for entrepreneurs. 

What can you do to apply this rule to your life?  
First of all, become comfortable with the idea that some of the emails in your inbox will never get responded to. And that’s ok. Imagine a world where you don’t have to respond to an email just because it’s there. It’s ok if you choose to, but not because someone else decided for you. Feels good, doesn’t it? 

Second, have a clear set of priorities. Whenever you sit down to check email, ask yourself “Is clearing the inbox the best use of my time? Is there really nothing more valuable I can do?” If you can’t find any higher priority things that will actually grow the business – by all means spend time on your email. And if there’s an email that directly aligns with your top priorities, then it’s a win-win for you and your inbox. It’s completely ok if on some days “Clearing the Inbox” is in your top 5 to-do’s.  In fact, eventually it needs to be. The problem is that email has become THE default top priority without us even realizing it. We spend 28% of our time on email but when we think about our priorities, email isn’t even on there. 

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Oct 13

How 3 Real Estate Experts Combat Email Overload

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Email overload is particularly painful in real estate. Being able to filter out hundreds of newsletters while not missing a new client’s email is always an issue. We interviewed some of the industry’s top leaders to find out how their solutions.

Jonathan Miller, Miller Samuel – Focus

Filter out all the non-essentials.  

Well the number one email I hate receiving is anything from a mailing list I guess it’s called ‘bacon’ where I have to do more than click on the unsubscribe button.  Email that is somewhat related to what you’re doing, for example, someone that I might have worked with before, or sort of a company that we may have done business with. You don’t want to spam them right of the top, sometimes you want to see what you can do with it. Clearing the clutter so you can focus on the important tasks first is the most important thing you can do each day.

Chris Smith, Dot Loop – Timeliness

Respond to email when it’s relevant.

I think one of the things that is common in our industry is the auto responder that says something like, “Thanks for your information. I have checked and will reply to your email today between two and five.” This type of disconnectedness in a digital first world is not a good thing from the consumer’s perspective; they want a call back the same day, they want an email back the same day.

I think what happens is if you don’t have some kind of system, you either have to put it on your calendar every time or you have to just lie to yourself and say that you will find it later. The most valuable resource in business is time and how you appropriately use that time or not is up to you.

Matt Beall, Hawai’I Life – Simplicity

Be diligent and embrace technology.

Everyone has their own system. Stick to one that lets you be the most productive. Less essential tasks can’t be distracting you. Use technology to help you along the way. Many companies refused to recognize the amount of exposure the internet can give you, and it hurt them. Use technology to streamline your work so your process is not only simple to you, but to your customers.

SaneBox is a California-based company dedicated to giving back the time a cluttered inbox takes away. To learn more about how to improve productivity and save time everyday, visit www.sanebox.com.

Take Control of Your Inbox - 10 Quick Tips in Real Estate

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It’s no secret that many real estate professionals struggle with email. Here are 10 incredibly simple tips to help manage your inbox.

1. Turn Off Email Notifications

Turn them off on your phone, your tablet and (if you’re actually crazy enough to have them on your computer) then turn them off there too. Allowing every email that arrives in your inbox to interrupt your day destroys your productivity. A case study conducted by the Danwood Group (Here) found it takes 1.5 minutes on average to read and recover from an email. If you get 50 or more emails a day, that’s over and hour of wasted time spent trying to refocus your attention. Worse yet, when your notifications go off during a meeting or a tour, you don’t look productive, you appear distracted.

2. Bulk-process your newsletters

Spam has largely been solved, but the new evil isbacn (pronounced “bacon”). It’s legitimate mail: newsletters, updates from sites, social media alerts, mailing lists etc. But it doesn’t deserve to interrupt your day. Like many professionals, I expect you receive your fair share of bacn. Some prefer to unsubscribe from these emails, but at the very least you need to process them in bulk. SaneBox’s software groups these messages into a separate folder and summarizes them in a digest.

3. Bold key sentences

Your time is precious, you have open houses to attend, clients to meet, contracts to write, sales to make and a plethora of other activities to complete. Write the key element of your emails in bold. This will signal actions you want the reader to make, or information you want them to take away. This strategy significantly cuts down on miscommunication and wasted time with unnecessary back and forth emails with clients.

6. Use the Gmail feature: Undo Send

If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve probably sent an ill advised email you wish you could magically un-send. Turns out you can! If you use Gmail go under Labs and enable “Undo Send”. It will change your life. From now on you can have up to 30 seconds to change your mind about sending an email. Maybe you realized last second it’s going to the wrong client or maybe you simply forgot to update the time of an open house. Who says there are no second chances?

7. Defer

If an email is not urgent or not actionable until later, most people tend to leave it in their Inbox. The problem is this causes you to look at it (i.e. spend time and focus thinking about it) every time you look in your Inbox. A much better way is to move it out of your Inbox. SaneBox has a great tool for this -Defer Folders. Move an email into one of them, and the email will pop back in your Inbox tomorrow morning, next week or any other time you choose. This way you don’t have to worry about it until it becomes actionable. Let’s say you’re looking at a new property next month, you don’t need the email with the property’s address sitting in your inbox, defer the email until the day before you need it, so you’re prepped ahead of time.

8. Set follow-up reminders

Have you ever sent an email to a new client that absolutely needs to be answered in the next few days? Let’s face it, people forget (accidentally or purposefully) and don’t always respond to your emails. If you need to hear back from someone, set up a system to remind yourself. Write it down on a special notepad or in an Excel document… that will of course be saved as something oh so memorable such as, “Monday.Jones.Ocean Drive.Remember Please.doc” Or if you live in the 21st century, just use the SaneReminders feature. When sending an email add a specified time or date followed by @sanebox.com in the Cc or Bcc field. If you haven’t heard from the recipient by the time you specified you’ll receive a reminder.

9. How Long Is Too Long?

Email threads are helpful in organizing communications between two or more people, but it’s important to remember they’re a double-edged sword - organization can quickly turn into complete and utter chaos. To prevent emails from being lost and communication being blurred you can start a new thread simply by changing the subject line.

10. Do a painless back-up

As real estate professionals know, tons of vital information is stored in your inbox. Just forward your email to another account. If you somehow lose your main email (whether your provider goes down, or your account gets compromised), you’ll always have a copy of all your emails in another account. 

SaneBox is a California-based company dedicated to giving back the time a cluttered inbox takes away. To learn more about how to improve productivity and save time everyday, visit www.sanebox.com.

Sep 09

8 Signs You’re an Email Amateur

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Sure, we’ve all been emailing since the Dark Ages (the time before smartphones). That means we must be experts right? Not so fast! With good experience usually comes at least a few bad habits, and here are just a few to start with. Even if you consider yourself an email expert, there’s always room to improve. Check to see how many describe you.

You’re an Email Amateur if…

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Sep 02

3 Steps to a Safer Passsword

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When you’re on a site that requires you to create a password, more likely than not, you’re going to enter the same password you use for every site. Those websites might have the best security available, but if you aren’t diligent about your password, your email and private information is extremely vulnerable to hackers. What can you do about it? Check out these quick tips to a safer password.

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Aug 19

How a Healthy Lifestyle can Save Your Job

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A recent study by Brigham Young University found that employees who had difficulty exercising during the day were 96% more likely to experience a loss in productivity.

Many of us are guilty of developing bad habits while at the office, especially if you’re sitting for 8+ hours per day staring at a computer screen. Habits are hard to unsubscribe from, especially when those around you are doing the same. 

The good news is, there are a number of simple things you can do to improve your lifestyle which will directly affect your productivity at work.

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