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Productivity Hack: Boomerang for Gmail and Outlook

Posted on April 04 2017 | Author: Kelly Laidlaw

In March, the Bioenterprise team launched our productivity hacks blog series. We are always on the lookout for innovative tips and tricks that we can share with our entrepreneurial network. In my blog, I will share one of my favourite productivity tools called Boomerang. Boomerang is a free email add-on that helps me manage emails and increase productivity. Not only can it assist in replying and following-up on messages, but it also helps to ensure that every email is perfectly crafted. Here are the main reasons why I use Boomerang:

Get reminders to follow up. Boomerang, which works with Gmail and Outlook, will send reminders if you have not received a reply to your email after a certain amount of time. You can then react by sending another email to follow-up. This can help ensure important conversations do not fall off your radar.

Another useful feature of Boomerang is the ability to write and schedule a follow-up email concurrently as you compose the original email. If the recipient does not reply to your email, Boomerang will send the second pre-written email to follow-up for you. If you do receive a response, Boomerang will not send the follow-up email.

Schedule outgoing emails. Boomerang allows you to schedule messages to be sent at any time you choose. This means you are able to send emails when they are most likely to be opened. This is important since a well-timed email is 30% more likely to be read than a poorly timed email. For example, Boomerang generally recommends sending emails on Tuesday mornings since that is when emails tend to have the highest open rate. This feature is also handy for communicating with people in different time zones. Boomerang even understands language that is contained in the text such as “tomorrow morning” to suggest times to send your message, or you can select it yourself.

Pause incoming messages. There are times when we need to focus on the task at hand without being distracted by the constant flow of incoming emails. Boomerang offers a productivity solution that allows you to temporarily pause the flow of emails. You can even schedule emails to be delivered to you at certain times of the day. Attending to emails in blocks of time is more effective than constantly checking your inbox – it takes about 64 seconds to recover from each message that interrupts you and return to productive work.

Craft highly effective emails. Boomerang’s new Respondable feature uses artificial intelligence to help you write more actionable emails. Respondable sits in the lower corner of your browser and rates your message. This feature lets you know how likely you are to receive a response based on factors such as subject length, word count, politeness, and more.

This add-on has made my workday more efficient because I spend less time searching for messages to follow-up on and has significantly decreased the likelihood of important things falling through the cracks. If you are looking for a way to manage your emails more effectively, give Boomerang a try. It simplifies and improves my workday and it may help you, too!

 

 

 

 

 

Click below to download:

Boomerang for Gmail

Boomerang for Outlook

 

Sources:

http://www.boomeranggmail.com/

http://www.boomerangoutlook.com/

https://techcrunch.com/2014/03/06/newly-updated-inbox-pause-utility-lets-you-check-email-on-your-schedule-not-theirs/

http://www.inc.com/janine-popick/3-free-gmail-plug-ins-im-using-right-now.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/502106/inbox-zero-enlightenment/

 

Kelly Laidlaw

Program Manager, Corporate Relations






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Finding the Right App for Your Business

Posted on March 14 2017 | Author: Jessica Taylor

Time is money. Money sustains our businesses. So it is no surprise that, as business leaders, we are constantly trying to fit more into less time. We strive to be as productive as possible in both our personal and professional lives, and as our organizations grow, we quickly realize how important productivity is to team success as well.

Many tech companies, some new like Slack and Trello, and some household names, such as Google and Apple, have capitalized on our desire to be as efficient as possible by creating apps. A quick Google search of “productivity apps” lands you 41,700,000 results in a mere 0.60 seconds. I’m stating the obvious here, but that’s a LOT of options. So where do you start? How to you begin to narrow down your options and determine what is best for your organization’s specific needs? Start with these considerations:

1. Analyze your workflows.

Reflect on your current workflows and processes. Where are bottlenecks occurring? What issues have arisen? Don’t do this alone, talk to your team. Each of your team members has a different role than yours and, in turn, a different perspective.

2. Identify your needs.

Following your analysis create a list of your needs and prioritize them. Have your team do this too. An anonymous survey through a free site like Survey Monkey is a quick and effective way to capture honest feedback.

3. Research

With these prioritized needs front of mind – research! Do simple Google searches to identify apps. Read reviews – good and bad, from multiple sources. Research companies similar to yours and determine what apps (if any) they are using. Do primary research. Call people. Use the power of your network to get candid feedback – seek out differing opinions so that you end up with a well-rounded overview. This is particularly important for apps that you have short-listed.

4. Decide in haste repent at your leisure.

Just because a new app is trendy and “everyone” is using it doesn’t mean it’s right for your organization. Implementing new apps takes time and effort and it is much harder to get the support of your team to support a switch to a new app three months down the road when you realize your first choice wasn’t a good fit. 

5. Do NOT be cheap.

When used properly, many applications can have a significant impact on the productivity and culture of your company. While there are a number of free apps that can be incredibly effective, don’t automatically pass up options that have a price tag. If it is the right option you will make your money back in spades.

6. Ask for help.

You will quickly find that your network is happy to spread the word about their experience with apps they have tried – the good, the bad, the ugly. As well, don’t hesitate to reach out to the creators of the apps you are considering. They are often happy to provide insights including customization options – you don’t have to settle for the default settings!

Choosing what tools to work with on a daily basis is a process. Enjoy it. Work with your team, listen to their opinions – they are working at the front lines and can often identify needs and issues you hadn’t considered yet. While there is an upfront investment to get a new application up and running in your organization you will reap the benefits quickly.

Work smarter, not harder. 

 

Jessica Taylor

Senior Analyst, Bioenterprise BC






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