Productivity Hack: The Email Game

UPDATE 1/10/2019:  The Email Game is no longer supported – see teh following blog for details: 

The (email) struggle is real.  At this point, I get between 20-50 emails a day. Which ones are meaningful?  Which ones need to be dealt with today, tomorrow, right now, not at all?!  These are the questions that lead to slowness in my replying to email, or often missed messages altogether. Plus, I spend about 1 hour a day just going through and checking which is necessary, marking them as unread, flagging, or trying other ways to “set it to be dealt with later” and the reality is that later often doesn’t ever arrive.

One of the more powerful life/productivity hacks that I’ve been introduced to is the Email Game from Boomerang (Formerly Baydin) which turned me from an email backlog owner to a clear inbox in all of the best ways.  I

Inbox Zero is not the goal here.  The goal is actually moving the needle on productively and efficiently managing email.

It’s pretty simple:

  1. Go to
  2. Put in your GMail address (works with Google Apps mail too)
  3. Process in the time limits and let the productivity goodness become a part of your daily regimen

The tool will present you with a countdown timer for each email.  You get points for archiving/deleting or processing emails as quickly as you can.  The bonus comes in the reply countdown timer which gives a much needed nudge to just get to the reply and get it done.  You see the emoji giving you some guidance and it even frowns when you skip a message,  which you should see as a key indicator that just saving it for later is a bad way to handle it.

You can also use Boomerang to mark the message to be dealt with later or watch for no reply and other rules.  Another post to come on how Boomerang has helped me as well.

Full credit to Tim Ferris for introducing me to this one.  Here’s the fast GIF version of what the process looks like:

Make Productivity Fun, and Habitual

The key to using this is to first have fun with it.  Seriously, this is a very fun way to get email processed and teach yourself to just get down to it without wasting time on stuff that normally injects productivity-killing slowdowns in your day to day.

Set up a daily reminder to go to the email game and rock your inbox.  I even force myself to a specific regimen at this point to ONLY use email game unless I’m specifically searching for email.  This gets me into the habit of not spending hours of my day constantly checking for new emails.

Hope that you enjoy this handy productivity tool and find the benefit like I have from it.

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