If you often find yourself sifting through an overstuffed inbox of work memos, sale offers from J. Crew, messages from mom, and spam mail, you have felt the creeping existential despair that email has brought to all of us.
But it is possible to reduce the number of emails in your inbox—and, along with it, increase your time to pick up a hobby or devote to charity—to make your work day more productive. Here are five ways to use your email more efficiently and effectively.
Opt to archive
It is indeed possible to reach the epitome of email zen—the ever-elusive inbox zero—without deleting every email from your boss or boyfriend.
The first thing you have to do to control your inbox is think differently about what your inbox is supposed to do.
Most of us use the inbox to hold every email we receive so that we can find it later. But that storage comes at a mental cost: every time we look at our inboxes, we feel overwhelmed by all of those demands for action.
Since every email is a request to do something — to reply, to schedule a meeting, to get started on a project — use it as it was meant to be used: as a “to-do” list. That means your inbox should only hold emails that are currently, that day, “live.”
The rest of the emails? Send them to the archive.
All email providers have an “archive” option. It is the secret to professional inner piece, because an archive does what you’re currently using your inbox to do: hoard all of your emails so that they are searchable. Archived emails are sent to a folder called “All Mail”—which gets old messages out of your main inbox, but still easily retrievable.
That leaves your actual inbox free and clear and ready to hold only messages that are currently active.
Use fewer filters
Filters are supposed to de-clutter your inbox. They seem like a good idea at first: a folder for research reports, another for friends, another for that Game of Thrones discussion group. But filters can create more work. How often do you actually check them? If you have more than two or three filters, you could spend all day clicking around — and wasting valuable time — to see new emails as they come through.
When you overuse filters—as many of us tend to do—they lose their value. Try limiting yourself to just three or fewers filters, which should gather only emails that will never be urgent — urgent is for your inbox — and that you can look at later: “newsletters,” for instance, or “sale offers” or “industry statistics.” When creating a filter, be specific: “miscellaneous” means nothing and you’ll never look at it again. Don’t create email graveyards.
If you don’t even want to police your inbox that much, apps can help. SaneBox is so much more effective than those super-stuffed “junk” and “miscellaneous” filters you’re probably using. The app will instantly filter out unimportant emails and promotions, and will allow you to hit snooze on an email so you don’t have to think about the message until later.
Turn your email into a to-do list
Sometimes even archiving everything leaves a few emails that aren’t urgent now — it could be a project due in two days — but you don’t want to forget. For that, Gmail has a great feature: it can make the email into an item for your Gmail’s to-do list, Gmail Tasks.
Gmail allows you to add any email to tasks simply by clicking “add to tasks.” So, you won’t forget to respond to your co-worker’s question or answer your friend about tomorrow’s dinner plans.
If you click on “tasks,” in the “Mail Drop Down” menu, your to-do list—which also syncs to your gCal—will sit on the bottom right hand corner of your inbox.
When it’s done, you can cross it off. (Google Tasks also has an app so you can check your tasks while mobile). Here’s what it all looks like:
Email has a way of screwing up our sense of timing. Because it is instant, each message seems to require an immediate response —which is neither possible nor desirable, unless you can convince your boss that your entire job is answering email for 8 hours a day.
The popular Boomerang app lets you set an email to bounce back into your inbox when you have the time to respond — say, at 5 pm or in your midafternoon break. The app also allows you to schedule emails—so you can send all your memos about morning meetings at the end of the day and have them show up in your colleagues’ inboxes the next day.
Step away from the computer
It might be hard to detach yourself from your computer—especially as the emails pile up—but take a break from your Gmail account every once in a while. Try AwayFind to help keep you in the loop while you’re away from your laptop, without bothering you with spam emails and messages about 40% off sales. The app will only send you push notifications on emails from important people or with important topics. The app will also give you insight into how quickly you respond to certain people to help you determine which emails are more important.
Now you have all the tools you need to make your email a less harrowing part of your existence. Do you have your own clever email tips? We’ll read them in the comments below.
Hands down, AirDrop is the easiest way to send files like photos, documents, and even web pages from an iPhone to a Mac (or to another Apple device).
AirDrop is automatically available on your iPhone ‘s sharing option whenever there’s another AirDrop-compatible device in range.
You may need to set up AirDrop on your Mac before being able to AirDrop a file from an iPhone to that computer.
Compared to the ancient days of floppy disks, it’s like we’re living in a science fiction future today. After all, it’s easy to share large files via email or on cloud services like Dropbox.
But Apple offers an even easier option: AirDrop. Armed with AirDrop, you can send files even ones too big for email from your iPhone to a Mac with just a tap, as long as the Mac is in range to receive them.
What’s “in range”? AirDrop uses a combination of both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to transmit files, so your Mac or other Apple device has to be within about 30 feet of the phone, according to Apple .
To successfully AirDrop, you’ll need to configure AirDrop on a Mac you only need to do that once and then you can send files from your iPhone quickly and easily.
Activate AirDrop on your Mac or another Apple device
1. Click “Go” in the Finder menu and then click “AirDrop.”
2. If your Mac’s Bluetooth or Wi-fi is turned off, you will be asked to turn them on.
3. In the AirDrop window, choose who can AirDrop you. Click “Allow me to be discovered by” and choose either “Contacts Only” or “Everyone.”
For Apple devices other than a Mac, including an iPhone, you can access the same permissions by going into your Settings, clicking General, and then selecting AirDrop to choose whether you can receive an AirDrop from “contacts only” or “everyone.”
Limiting AirDrop only to your contacts is more secure, but choosing “everyone” is more convenient if you frequently have to receive files from a lot of different people.
It’s generally easier to choose “Everyone.” But be aware that if you are working in a public place (like a coffee shop), anyone in your vicinity will be able to try to send you files, so be careful whom you accept AirDrop files from.
Send a file from your iPhone
1. On your iPhone, open the app that you want to AirDrop from. To send a photo, for example, open Photos.
2. Select the file or photo you want to send (you can select more than one at a time).
3. Click the Share button.
4. In the AirDrop section of the Share screen, you should see icons for all of the AirDrop-compatible devices in range (it might take a moment for them to appear). Tap the icon for the Mac you want to send the file to.
If you’re in range, you should see a button for your Mac (and other AirDrop-compatible devices).
That’s all you need to do on the iPhone; now the Mac or other device needs to accept the file.
Receive a file on your Mac or another Apple device
1. You should see a notification appear on your desktop or device’s screen. Choose “Accept.”
2. On a Mac, choose whether to open the file or save it to the Downloads folder.
3. Open Downloads in Finder on your Mac. The file should be the most recent.
If you run into trouble
Like any technology, sometimes it doesn’t work the way you expect. If you’re having trouble with AirDrop, there are a few common things to check:
Is your Mac AirDrop-compatible? It needs to be running Mac OS X Yosemite or later.
Make sure that Bluetooth and Wi-fi are enabled on both your Mac and your iPhone.
It’s possible the devices are too far apart, especially if you can’t see the Mac on the iPhone’s AirDrop list. Bring the two devices closer together.
Make sure that the iPhone isn’t connecting to the Internet via a personal hotspot. Open Settings and make sure Personal Hotspot is “Off.”
Samsung has revealed its latest S10 smartphone in San Francisco
Here is a hands-on first look at the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus and S10E
The Korean giant has unveiled a folding phone, the Samsung Galaxy Fold
Samsung has launched a new 5G smartphone
Why Samsung’s folding phone could be a blueprint of the future
Samsung has unveiled a folding phone that doubles as a tablet, which the Korean company hailed as the biggest development in smartphones in a decade.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold, which was launched alongside four other smartphones on Wednesday evening, functions as a typical smartphone but can be unfolded to a second 7.3-inch touchscreen.
The device, which will be released in April, will cost at least $1,980 (£1,516), making it by far the most expensive smartphone on the market.
It is the first of its kind from a major smartphone company, with Samsung claiming the device “answers sceptics” who claim that innovation has dried up in the industry
Samsung also unveiled the latest version of its flagship smartphone line, the Galaxy S10, releasing three models that cost between £669 and £1,099.
The phones – the cheaper S10E, the S10 and the S10+, feature a fingerprint scanner embedded within the touchscreen and three rear cameras that allow for wider-angle photos.
The smartphone-maker also teased its largest phone yet, the S10 5G, which offers 6.7 inch display and promises to be the future of smartphone connectivity. The phone will be available later this year, when 5G networks, that offer faster mobile data connections, come online.
The company is hoping 5G support will give it a leg up over Apple, which is not expected to unveil a 5G phone until next year. All these devices are capable of wirelessly charging other Samsung phones and accessories.
Phone makers have spent years attempting to develop flexible touchscreens that allow devices to fold in two, answering consumers’ demands for ever-bigger phone screens, without sacrificing portability. Several manufacturers are now working on their own foldable phones, hoping the technology will breathe life into a saturated smartphone market.
“The Galaxy Fold breaks new ground not just because it defines categories. It breaks new ground because it answers sceptics, who say that everything has been done, that the smartphone is a mature category in a saturated market,” Samsung’s mobile chief DJ Koh said. “We are here to prove them wrong.”
Samsung said folding the phone out into a bigger-screened version will allow multi-tasking features such as split-screen apps and better video watching.
However, the high price of the device means it is likely to sell in small numbers. Some versions are likely to sell for more than $2,000, just 18 months after Apple introduced the first $1,000 17 months ago.
The presentations are winding down, and Samsung has left us with their vision of the future in their latest commercial featuring the classic song made famous by Doris Day.
But there’s more to come, keep up to date with the latest Samsung news here and follow @JamesTitcomb on the ground as he elbows everyone out of the way for a first look at the folding phone.
Samsung’s 5G phone
The Galaxy S10 5G is being introduced with a fanfare – a 6.7 inch display that promises to be the future of smartphone connectivity.
This is the biggest screen on a Galaxy device. It comes with a 25-watt charger, so it will charge a lot faster. It has a 3D depth-sensing camera.
Verizon customers will be the first to receive the handsets.
New smartwatch with a full week’s charge
Samsung’s new Galaxy watch features a battery that lasts up to a week and can continually analyse your stages of sleep – this is a huge part of the company’s push into healthcare.
They include heart monitors and “continuous stress tracking when life gets overwhelming”.
Galaxy Buds with Bixby
Samsung has just launched wireless, Apple-style earbuds. Hot take from the Samsung stage: “They are so cool”.
They feature a high efficiency chip set for which allows for 5 hours of calls on a single charge. They are also Bixby-enabled, so you can interact with them remotely and give them instructions (and why wouldn’t you?). They will be available from March.
Incidentally, Bixby can now apparently tell the difference between the Queen’s English and English from Queens (cue laughter from stage). Samsung’s AI assistant also understand three different languages.
S10 price starts at £799 and will be available from March 8
The Samsung Galaxy S10 will start at £799, up to £999. The S10 Plus will start at £899 with a £1,099 version. The S10E will begin at £669.
You can find pre-order details on the Samsung Galaxy S10 here.
Samsung bets on Instagram feature with the S10
The S10 presentation featured Instagram chief executive Adam Mosseri, who presented an “Instagram mode” that will allow users to quickly post any photo onto the social media site.
Of course, there was a rather awkward selfie on stage with DJ Koh….
Here is everything you need to know about the new S10
Matt Field has gone through all of the bells and whistles of the new phones here – here are the highlights and how they differ from the S9.
First photos of the Samsung S10
Here’s the S10
The S10 introduction has come hot on the heels of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. But what does it bring to the table? Read Matthew Field’s guide to the new devices to find out more.
Forget the £1,000 smartphone.
“Samsung just announced the price of the fold – $1,980 and up – and the crowd here literally went ‘ooooooooh'” like a pantomime,” says James Titcomb.
The era for smartphone innovation is not over
Samsung chief executive DJ Koh said that the company will prove critics wrong with the lineup of products and services launched this evening. He said:
“The Galaxy Fold breaks new ground not just because it defines categories. It breaks new ground because it answers sceptics, who say that everything has been done, that the Smartphone is a mature category in a saturated market, we are here to prove them wrong”
“Today marks a new beginning, a shift.
“The next decade of progress and innovation. I am excited by what we have achieved, but I am even more excited by what we have enabled.”
Samsung Galaxy Fold: Price and availability
The new device will cost $1,980 (£1,516) and will be available from April 26.
Six cameras, but kind of clunky
Galaxy Fold: the specs
The new Galaxy Fold has a 9nm processor and 12GB of RAM, making it one of the most powerful smartphones on the market (and ever). It has 512GB of on board memory. Because the phone folds up like a tablet from essentially two “smartphone” bodies, it has a dual battery, one in each side of the device that link together.
Samsung has claimed that the Galaxy Fold will fit in the palm of the hand when it’s folded.
Galaxy Fold, revealed
It’s here – within a couple of minutes of the launch, we’ve seen the first official photo of the foldable phone. The first official description is “It’s gorgeous”.
Samsung has called the new device part of a “whole new category” and confirmed the name: Samsung Galaxy Fold – with a 7.3-inch folding infinity display that folds the phone out into a tablet.
Samsung says it has invented a whole new hinge system with “multiple interlocking gears” that are hidden away.
And… here we go
It’s kicked off in San Francisco, with some distinctly creepy music. It looks like they are starting with the folding phone…
We’ve been stuck in a camera race, Peter Jarich of analyst firm GSMA Intelligence argues, as smartphone makers have struggled to stand out with a “series of black rectangles”.
“If you’re trying to convince people to buy, then foldable is the way to go, ” he says. “This is all taking place at the same time as 5G. Will this have 5G? Doubtful.”
Could Samsung launch the iPhone killer?
Samsung’s launch today could provide the smartphone market with a much-needed jolt this year. In January, Samsung was forced to issue a profit warning as sales fell 11pc and profits dropped dropped 29pc on the back of slowing phone and chip sales; just days after Apple chopped its sales forecast due to an economic slowdown.
So can the S10, a foldable phone or a 5G device turn the tide? One market analyst told us this evening that the smartphone market is so competitive that Samsung can’t afford not to try. “What if this were the next big thing and they missed out on it?”
Live from San Francisco
James Ticomb (@jamestitcomb) is up and running from the launch in San Francisco. First thoughts?
“Samsung has to pull off the trick of convincing us that the S10 matters and is worth buying, and that phones these days are so boring that you need one that folds in half.”
A folding phone is on the cards
Rumours ahead of the launch included a foldable phone, nicknamed Samsung Galaxy X or Galaxy F (for fold), which was teased back in November. It would be a first for the technology company and could be a game-changer in the smartphone market.
Why foldable phones are the next big thing
But that’s not all. Several rivals are rumoured to be launching 5G smartphones at Mobile World Congress next month, which could prompt Samsung to release a rival product today.
Here’s what we know so far
Samsung’s main new phone tonight is expected to be the Samsung Galaxy S10. It is due to feature some “very significant” design changes, according to Samsung’s mobile chief executive DJ Koh. You can read all the rumours here – but we’re expecting more cameras, more memory and a larger display.
Mercedes-Benz delivered 180,539 vehicles to its customers worldwide in January (-6.7%).
The second-best start to a year for sales was influenced by important model changes in the high-volume SUV and compact-car segments.
In particular, the model change of the B-Class, CLA and GLE, each with a double-digit sales decrease, had a negative impact on total unit sales worldwide despite the ongoing high demand for the cars with the star insignia.
From today’s perspective, the company expects the model changes to affect deliveries in the first quarter.
With a high degree of probability, the full year will be affected also by exogenous challenges and geopolitical risks, the company announces in its global sale report for January.
A member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz cars marketing and sales, Britta Seeger, said “With more than 180,000 vehicles delivered, Mercedes-Benz has started the year 2019 with the second-best January ever”.
“With the B-Class, the CLA and the GLE, we look forward in the coming months to the new generations of models very popular with our customers and expect the model offensive in our high-volume segments to provide significant sales impetus”.