How To Control Your Email Inbox With The Time Management Ninja

by Hank Coleman

Take Back Control Over Your Email InboxHas your email inbox taken over control over your life? How many emails are sitting unanswered in your inbox? How many newsletters do you subscribe to? Do you check your email constantly throughout the day? You’re not alone. In fact, 79% of Americans check their email before they even get out of bed in the morning according to an IDC Research report.

The Huffington Post calls email a gigantic game of Tetris that we can’t possibly win. The McKinsey Global Institute found that over 25% of your work day is wasted by simply checking and sending emails. But, what if you could conquer your email and control your email inbox? This week’s podcast has a some great tips and tricks on how to increase your productivity at work and home with your email. Are you using your Gmail account to its full potential? You can take it back and control your email inbox.

Control Your Email Inbox with the Time Management Ninja

Crush Your Procrastination by Craig JarrowIn this episode of the Money Q&A podcast, “Your Money: Your Choices”, I interview Craig Jarrow who is the publisher of the incredible productivity blog, the Time Management Ninja. He is also the author of several books “Crush Your Procrastination” and “You Are Stronger Than You Think – The Best of Motivation from Time Management Ninja“.

I’m a huge fan of the Time Management Ninja and Craig’s writing. And, Craig didn’t disappoint in my interview with him for the podcast. There were quite a few great ideas from him on how to control your email inbox instead of letting it control you.

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Looking for some great quick tips to take back and control your email inbox? Here are a few quick tips that the Time Management Ninja recommends and that we talk about in the podcast.

  • Use Sanebox, Folders, Filters, & VIP inbox
  • Use the archive feature
  • Check email only twice a day
  • Turn off your email alerts
  • Unplug and turn off your emails on your smartphone
  • Start small by limiting your email usage
  • Don’t check your email before bed

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Check out these great tips how to take back control of your email inbox with @TMNinja and @MoneyQandA (Click to Tweet!)

On the podcast we talk about specific tips and tricks that you can use to take back control over your email. We discuss using applications built into Gmail that can taking your emailing to the next level and free up huge chunks of your time. Craig and I also talk about what it takes to only check your email twice a day at work and how you must change the way that you interact with your email and your coworkers to do it. You won’t want to miss this great conversation all about reclaiming your email inbox.

Craig Jarrow’s #1 Email Productivity Tip

Turn the account off form the settings.“You have to unplug a little bit. Unplug your email when you can and when it’s appropriate. Again, [there are] different circumstances for different people, but you know, whether it’s on vacation, which again we’ll see people still check email, whether it’s on the weekend, or whether it’s in the evening. You know, whatever boundaries you can set for yourself, and you set those boundaries and unplug for your email.”

“Start small, which is don’t check email before you go to bed. But, then, on the weekend, if you’re not on duty, then unplug from your email. Set expectations on how to reach you, and then definitely when you’re on vacation or something like that, you got to unplug from your email. You got to let it go, and a lot of people go through withdrawal. But, it’s one button on most phones that turn an account on and off. I can go into my mail settings and, without deleting the account, turn the account off.”

Map Your Week With A Personal Dashboard

My Personal DashboardLike I mentioned on the podcast, there was an article on the Time Management Ninja that I’ve been using for months now. A personal dashboard like the one to the right and an example of my own Personal Dashboard that you can download here lays out your week ahead.

I update my Personal Dashboard and review it every Sunday before the start of the new week. It’s a great one page snapshot of the week to come. It shows all my appointments and important meetings, my to do list, long and short term goals, and more all in one spot. I keep it right on my desk to refer to throughout the week. It is  great reminder.


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Download This Week’s Podcast Transcript

Download The Episode Transcript HERE!! (Right Click Here To Download!)

Or, You can click the “Show” button below to read the podcast’s transcript.



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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]

Hank Coleman has written 581 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Grayson @ Debt Roundup

I am trying to break my habit of checking my email too often. I got into my habit with my e-commerce business and needed to be connected at all times. It is a little harder than I thought.


Hank Coleman

That’s a little understandable like Craig mentions in the podcast interview when you have a business or job that requires it. But, there are definitely some times that we can try harder to unplug when we are “off the clock”.


Levi @ Wealthnote

I’m an email addict. It works out when I’m at work because people know that I am always reachable, but puts a hamper on my productivity when I am working on my side projects because I check my email at least once an hour.

Sometimes I just close my email and try not to open it again until I have accomplished what I have on my todo list.


Hank Coleman


I think closing your email is a great way to stay on track and productive. But, I always have my smartphone close by too. So, I have to close both programs (on the desktop and on the cell phone) to really stay on track. I’m going to start turning off email updates on my cell phone like Craig recommended in the interview.


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