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Inbox Freedom: The Zen Master's Guide to Tackling Your Email and Work

Inbox Freedom: The Zen Master's Guide to Tackling Your Email and Work [Kindle Edition]

Mike Ghaffary , Charles Hudson

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Product Description

Product Description

Inbox Freedom is the first productivity and efficiency system designed from the ground up to deal with the demands of the modern workplace. The authors of this book are two Silicon Valley technology executives who have spent countless hours refining their own productivity systems to deal with the ever-increasing demands on their time. Both felt that the most popular books on organization and time management had some good principles but didn’t reflect the modern world of work.

In the past decade, the pace of change has accelerated. The emergence of powerful smartphones, tablet computers, and cloud computing services has led to a tremendous increase in connectivity and communication at work. As a consequence, many of us feel overwhelmed by the demands on our time. The volume of emails, text messages, documents, and other work-related communication continues to grow but our notions of productivity and efficiency are still rooted in a world that was dominated by the phone, fax machine, and printed paper.

Most of the seminal works in organization, time management, and productivity where written before the rise of mobile computing, smartphones, and cloud computing. While many of those works had strong tips for coping with a world dominated by paper and printed work, the world of work has changed substantially. All of us are expected to produce and share more written work in digital form than ever. The modern professional faces an almost unsurmountable number of challenges, including the following:

-The “always on” culture enabled by smartphones, tablets and ubiquitous access to data on the go creates the expectation of 24x7 availability and productivity.

-People are expected to stay on top of an ever-increasing volume of email with limited tools for prioritizing and filtering incoming messages.

-As the number of important tasks competing for your attention continues to grow, the pressure to make sure you’re working on the right task at the right time continues to increase.

Inbox Freedom will give you a framework for thinking about how to approach your work so that you can be more focused at work and less anxious about the things that aren’t getting done. Inbox Freedom will give you the tools to think about how you deal with the four core aspects of most people’s work - email, tasks, documents, and notes - and to build a system that will help you become much more effective at work and in life.

For many, managing email is the biggest challenge at work. That is not surprising to us. While many of us learned to read in elementary school and were taught to write effectively in high school and college, the modern workplace does little to help people become more effective or be thoughtful on how to structure their work. We devote a significant portion of the book to helping your benchmark your current mastery of email management and providing specific tactics and tips you can use to improve.

The other key theme in the book is the importance of maximizing what you can do with the combination of your smartphone and cloud computing. We believe that the emergence of the smartphone connected to cloud computing resources is one of the most important developments in the world of work and most people are not taking advantage of what that combination allows.

Inbox Freedom is designed to be a fast read with lots of specific tips and tactics you can use to become more effective and productive immediately. Highlights of the book include:

Specific tips and tricks for increasing your ability to manage email in less time
A comprehensive list of cloud-based tools and apps you can use to double your productivity
Two productivity audits that will benchmark your current mastery of email and your smartphone, with specific tips and advice for how to improve

Inbox Freedom is approximately 100 pages in length and is available exclusively on the Kindle.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2032 KB
  • Print Length: 73 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HOLI87U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #567,836 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars chris 24 Jan 2014
By chris - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book provides Minimal insight. Only the Basic groundwork for addressing emails and tasks. Spend your money elsewhere if you are looking for value.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read Productivity & Time Management Book Written Specifically To Address Today's High-Tech Email-Driven World 20 Jan 2014
By Ponn M. Sabra - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Most people start their days by checking their emails. Depending what's inside, determines the mood and/or the productivity level (both personally and professionally) for the rest of the day. No wonder people get Inbox-anxiety, as they approach it with fear or dreaded anticipation.

What if you can approach your Inbox with excitement, joy and freedom to use it to our advantage rather then seeing it as "just more work"? Take control of your Inbox and you can take control of your day...and life. At least this is the opinion of the authors--and, I wholeheartedly agree!

Everything in this book is spot-on: from explaining how outdated productivity and time management books don't address our high-tech email-driven lives, to how it can affects our work and social lives. The self-assessment is given at the beginning and end of the book, which is brilliant--having you actively participate in the "activity" of this book, rather than just reading it.

I was actually in a blackout without electricity and Internet as I read this on my Kindle, so I couldn't apply everything I was learning at the same time (which I recommend doing). However, I took notes and once I got Internet in 30-minutes I accomplished the recommended tasks and proud to share that on Day 1-Week 1, I am Inbox Free!

I've been cleaning, reorganizing, declutting my Gmail account for the past 2-weeks to start my year off right--my 3 daughters are helping in getting rid of unused apps as well. So, this book came at a perfect time.

I scored 7/10 of my self-assessment, so I knew there was much room to improve; particularly in cleaning out unread emails (and keeping it cleaned week after week), using archives more efficiently, and syncing as much of my google-products with my laptop and Android. They offer practical system of daily and weekly steps that I can follow to maintain this Inbox freedom. I typically just clean house wonder I was frustrated!

We are a huge Google family, so I'm figuring ways to adapt their advice using Google Tasks & Google Notes, rather than their recommendations for Evernote and Remember the Milk. I assume they didn't include them (since they are big Google fans too), simply because they are "newer" products/apps, and they've been using the other apps for years.

I'm also curious how the authors maintain a 'cleaner' Priority, Starred and Draft emails, as well as using Labels/Tags more effectively. I feel this was the only space that they didn't address fully, and would love some tips and advice in these areas. Since, they share that any system is better than none, they openly ask for feedback, case studies and success stories in how the reader applies their advice. By showing their openness to new productivity ideas and methodologies, it's obvious they are true productivity gurus always on the hunt for another hack.

My girls pride themselves of having cleaned Inboxes and using only 2% of their Gmail accounts, as opposed to my 5647 unread (now archived) and 34% usage of 25GB Gmail account. Since they're the ones who help me use my Android productivity apps to their fullest, I know we'll enjoy this journey together. We just installed Pocket (Great recommendation)!

We also look forward to becoming master of Gmail-keyboard-shortcuts very soon. Thanks for an informative, timely and incredibly useful guidebook. I will be recommending this often!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A three hour investment that saves countless hours of inbox frustration 14 Jan 2014
By George Babu - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I get a lot of email. I’m sure you do too. Work emails. Personal emails. Newsletters. “Helpful” notification emails. Even more “helpful” marketing emails for more stuff you don’t want or need.

Like most people, I struggle with the tension between staying on top of the information flow (even those annoying marketing emails) and staying away from email long enough to get real work done or enjoy downtime with friends and family.

When I heard about Inbox Freedom (ironically, I was surfing Twitter while procrastinating from tackling my overflowing inbox), the promise – tackling email like a zen-master, freedom from the tyranny of the inbox – was too alluring to ignore.

I immediately downloaded it and dove right in. A few hours later, the easy part was done (reading the book). The tough part now lies ahead – changing habits and letting go of the addiction of checking for new updates in my inbox.

Mike Ghaffary & Charles Hudson are incredibly accomplished, busy guys. Mike’s currently VP of Biz Dev at Yelp, and Charles is a repeat entrepreneur and venture partner at SoftTech VC. They get a LOT done with their time, even holding down multiple jobs at times. I’m confident that I’m nowhere near as busy as them, so if this system works for them, then it should work for most of us. It’s been field tested.

It’s also inspired by principles behind two classic productivity frameworks: Getting Things Done; and the classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Mike and Charles have adapted those principles for the email-rich, instant-messaging, always-on/always-connected, constant-interrupt professional world we live in today.

Over the years, I’ve seen (and tried) a lot of attempts at taming the inbox. Most of them were variants of the “just don’t open your inbox for the day and it will all go away” strategy. That’s wonderful if you have that luxury. But for those of us who have customer or external facing roles (CEOs, lawyers, accountants, VCs, and others), where responsiveness is critical to your effectiveness & reputation, Mike & Charles demonstrate principles and tactics for thriving in this reality.

I strongly recommend buying this book, implementing their recommendations (and adapting it to your reality), and then making a bucket-list of all the things you’re going to do with your new-found freedom!

Summary of the Steps to Get to Inbox Freedom

1) Do an Inbox Audit: How do you use email? How important is it to your work? How do you email “up” (to your boss or bosses)?

2) Go Mobile: Setup your systems so you can do everything on your smartphone (not tablet) - respond & archive emails, create & edit docs, sign docs, find & send docs, etc.

3) Go Proactive: Separate your inbox from your task lists & wish lists; Write actionable, achievable, unambiguous tasks with honest due dates.

4) Setting you your Calendar for success: Don’t schedule back to back meetings; Use the morning commute or post-wakeup time to quickly clear up emails; use the first minutes of your time in the office to knock off 1-2 priority tasks (not email); use the end of your day to get to Inbox Freedom daily by 6:00pm (or whenever the rush of the day ends); learn to say no to meetings, default to 30 min meetings, schedule time for long tasks.

5) Setting up Notes & Docs: Put your docs in the cloud; take good meeting notes (3-5 points + action items); use lots of different types of wish lists (but keep them separate from your meeting notes).

6) Customize it to fit your life!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of actionable tips 10 Jan 2014
By Greg - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Easy read and highly recommend. Several straightforward tips for managing your email, tasks, calendar, and notes. While I'm already doing many of the things mentioned in the book I did pick up several additional ideas to help me get even more organized.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll be glad you spent 60 minutes on this 8 Jan 2014
By Alexander Cowan - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm glad I spent 60 minutes to read this- I've already validated that 3 specific things that they recommend are saving me time. They do a good job with focus at the beginning by helping you qualify what behaviors and habits you might want to examine, which helps the reader focus their time.
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