Tuesday Tip: Automate Your Email-Checking

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Have you ever been in a situation where you’re waiting for an important email, need to act on it quickly, but can’t afford to sit around and refresh your inbox all day?

I’ve been there numerous times, whether it’s waiting for a contract to come through, waiting for an answer to a time-sensitive question, or waiting for the approval email to come through for the latest manuscript version of my book.

In all cases, I expected these to emails to come through during the workday. I work a 9–5, though, and didn’t feel good about constantly checking my personal email during that time. I also don’t like having push notifications for email, as they make it *impossible* to focus.

If only there were a way to do your thing, focusing 100% on the tasks at hand, and only get notified when that one specific email comes through.

Oh wait, there is.

There are actually several ways, but the one I use most is a simple IFTTT applet:

This works with any email account that has an IFTTT trigger—you simply set up an “applet” to notify you via SMS whenever you receive an email with a specific “from” address, label, or keyword (in the case above, the word “Ashland” is the name of a real-estate company I’m expecting mail from), then sit back and relax. You’ll get notified the moment that email comes through, and will have saved a significant amount of time and productivity in the meantime.

If the email is *really* important, you can even use this applet to get an SMS *and* a phone call, just to make 100% certain you don’t miss it. Setting something like this up only takes a minute, but adds significantly more focus (and less stress) to your day.

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