Tired of spending precious time organizing your email with labels and folders? It's time to break free from the traditional approach and embrace a more efficient way of managing your inbox! In this video, Scott Friesen explores 3 reasons why you should stop using email labels and folders. Uncover alternative strategies that will streamline your email workflow and revolutionize the way you stay organized.
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This video is brought to you by SaneBox, more about them a little later on. Nearly five years ago I released this video, "How to Use Gmail filters and Labels," and it has certainly become one of my most popular pieces of content, receiving more than 1.2 million views. Now, no, this is not about boasting about one of my successful videos, it has to do with the subject matter, specifically, Gmail labels. And here's the truth, I don't use labels, I never have and I don't intend to. And I want you to reconsider your use of labels or folders within your email account. So in this video, I'm going to give you three good reasons why you should forget your labels in order to spend less time within your email. Hello everyone, Scott Friesen here at Simpletivity helping you to get more done and enjoy less stress. And here we are inside of my actual Simpletivity business email account. Now, of course, I've masked my incoming emails to protect any sensitive or personal information, but where I want you to focus your attention is to the left hand side of the screen, here, under labels. You'll see that there is absolutely nothing shown here under my labels heading. Now, there is a more button, and if I select that, you're going to say, "Wait a minute, Scott, you've got labels, I'm looking at three right now." While technically these are labels, I did not create them, nor do I ever click on them or apply them. These are related to a Gmail extension, which I use, so they can manage when an email is returned to my inbox. But you'll notice there is nothing here, no other label that I have created. No colors, no special text, nothing that is being labeled on the front of my emails either. So why do I not use any labels at all? Let me give you three good reasons. Number one, labels can be incredibly time consuming. The amount of effort it takes for us to create, manage review, click, and go into our labels and adjust them or re-edit them, can far outweigh any of the promised benefits of using such labels. Furthermore, there are many of us who get so attached to our labels that we start to drag each and every one of our emails into some type of category. Now, there may be some argument for this three step process of things that are requiring my action, things where I am waiting for someone, and things that I have completed, but even this type of routine can waste an awful lot of my time, and maybe more importantly, an awful lot of my energy. I've worked with people who are taking spam emails or in this case, a daily notification and dragging it and putting it somewhere else. And of course it doesn't really matter where you access those labels, wherever you're going to click or apply those labels, it's requiring an extra step to do so. And the question I want you to ask yourself is, how often do you actually come back here and click and use these labels, or are they simply a repository, a place where they have a specific color or title attached to them but you don't actually make use of them? And that brings us to reason number two why I think you should reconsider using your labels. And the hard truth is this, your labels and the emails that are contained within them are not nearly as accurate as you think they are. Now, it is true, Gmail does give us the ability to attach multiple labels to a single email. This is not always the case with other systems or other email clients because perhaps this email is related to two different areas. So I want them to appear in those areas. But we often put way too much trust on what is being contained within such a label, thinking, that, well, if we've been diligent and we've dragged everything over and if we always put a label on an email, everything related to my manager or everything related to something over here should be contained within that area, and that is simply not true. Labels are only as good as the individuals who set them up or the individuals who apply those specific labels, so don't always trust that your labels are going to be representative of everything that that label is listed as. A really good example of that is those of us who may have a label for a specific customer. So let's say this is going to be a customer name, and this could be a client, it could be some other purpose. And I want to make sure that I can quickly and easily put their information all in one place and then get to it in just a single click. Far too often I've seen people put their faith in that this label is going to contain everything related to this customer, or from a particular individual. But really the only way to trust or make sure that is the case is by entering in the email address itself. And of course, we have much more powerful features here within the search bar if we want to filter it by specific users or by specific timeframes as well. Now, while you might argue that this took me more than one click to get all of this information, here is the overarching benefit. I know for certainty this is all of the email that I have received for this particular individual. I can go back and still continue to sort, or filter or use some of the other options available to me here at the top of the screen. And that brings us to my third reason why I feel that labels are not necessary and often eat up too much of our time. The ability to search for emails within Gmail or other clients, such as Outlook, have become so much more powerful, it is that much easier to get and find what we are looking for. Getting familiar with some of the basic search functions here within Gmail can not only save you time, but can save you the headache of jumping from this label, hmm, it's not in there, jumping to this label, still can't find it, maybe it's in this label, and wasting our effort going through our different categories here on the left hand side. And going back to point number one, sometimes, because we've put in all of the effort and all of the work, we feel that we owe it to ourselves to come here and both manage and search for things within our labels, when it can be so much simpler for me to simply type in a keyword such as request, and I know that it had an attachment, and now I've narrowed it down to these eight emails. Yes, this took me two or three clicks, but only when I wanted that information. Think of all of the other clicks I saved by not having to drag or apply and put labels on the majority of my emails. Now, the one exception to these three reasons would be if you are using a filter within Gmail to automatically apply specific labels. So for example, here, I wanted this particular email course to not block up my inbox. I didn't want any of those emails to appear here and I wanted to quickly be able to review them here on the left hand side. So just to be clear, none of these emails had a label applied by me manually. I applied a Gmail filter, so it was looking for specific information, including the combination of the sender, and what was included in the subject line. This can be a helpful way to keep things out of your inbox. And that is exactly where I spend the majority of my time on this video, showing you how to make use of filters so that you can keep that inbox nice and clean and spend as little time in your email as possible. Now, another great way to leave your labels behind and spend a lot less time with your email is by using SaneBox. SaneBox creates a number of smart labels for you so you don't have to, and you don't have to manage them either as well. Within Gmail, Outlook, or any email account, SaneBox will create a number of smart labels or smart folders such as this SaneLater, where I can go and review certain emails that I don't want to see within my inbox, but best of all, it learns from me so I can keep my attention on what matters most, and SaneBox can hide those other distractions or other emails that I don't want to see on a regular basis. So if you'd like to get rid of inbox clutter and spend a lot less time with an email, try SaneBox. Click the link in the description below to get your 14 day free trial and receive a $25 credit if you want to continue the service. Thank you so much for watching. And remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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