Timing is everything. Getting a new message every couple of minutes doesn’t mean you have to answer it immediately. Being immediate is not always be the best thing for your productivity. In fact, scheduling a due date for an email can help you prioritize your inbox and become more effective in your responses. Scheduling reminders for email due dates can be a great way to ensure you return to important but non-urgent communication that has entered your email process, or workflow.
In fact, the Urgent/Important Principle, coined by President Eisenhower and one of our favorites when it comes to prioritizing the things we do, can help you determine the situations in which to use email due dates and reminders.
He suggests doing important & urgent things first because the stakes are highest. If you can foresee Important/Urgent things in advance, by all means schedule them.
Next, focus on what is important, but not necessarily urgent. These are strategic tasks in sync with goals keeping you on track.
Not important but urgent tasks might prevent you from achieving your goals. These types of activities often from from other people and, if you want to stay on track, might be appropriate tasks to delegate so you can focus on the previous two categories.
Not important and not urgent activities are a distraction – avoid them whenever you can. Delete these emails or unsubscribe.
When is it a good idea to use email due dates and reminders?
- Give yourself more time to put together a longform response
- You have to reply by a specific date and don’t want to miss the deadline
- The email response is pending on another event taking place on a specific date
- You want to follow up with someone who has not replied by a specific date
- You want to return to important, non-urgent messages later
Desktop notifications for reminders in FLOW-e
In FLOW-e, email due dates set manually on a per thread basis will be visualized as desktop notifications the next time you get on your computer. If you are not on your desktop when a reminder goes off, they stack up on the top right of your screen to be reviewed the next time you log in.
Set the Due Date of an email through the clock icon in the menu. The chosen due date and time appear in the bottom left of the email.
Choose the due date. A desktop reminder will go off 1 DAY before the due date and 15 MINUTES before the due time.
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