• Amit Sarda

A productivity hack to curate information from Email Newsletters

Introduction


Productivity hacks are a rage these days, and many of us spend a lot of time in our email inbox. If you haven't been careful about organizing your email accounts since the beginning, chances are that your most used email account is flooded with emails that are not related to your work. It is only fair that we try to make the time spent in an email inbox as efficient as possible.


Situation


Now, most of the emails are a result of you signing up for a service or a platform. These emails turn out to be simply promotional emails or sometimes, transactional emails from the service or the platform.


There is another segment of emails - newsletters - that come from publications that you have signed up for, for the quality of the content that they curate. These publishers are in the business of newsletters, some examples of which are Morning Brew, TheBrowser, and the thousands of newsletters that are coming up on newsletter platforms like Substack.


These newsletters contain nuggets of information that you want to consume at some point in time. But email being email, you will find it really hard to consume this information on the go.


Problem


When you're browsing your email inbox, you're rarely in the mood to consume content while you're in the moment. Even when you are, at a later point, chances are that these newsletters contain multiple links and you're tempted to click them, thus breaking the flow.


For instance, the following screenshot of a section from a Morning Brew daily newsletter contains a link (underlined in blue) for every bullet point in the section.


While the newsletter does an amazing job of giving a brief snippet of what the news is, it is cumbersome to click the link to read more when in the moment, and then return to this newsletter later, without losing the context. Chances are that our monkey mind will jump to a completely different thing and we will never finish reading the newsletter.



Solution


All said and done, if we want to make the most of these newsletters that we have subscribed to, for whatever reasons, we could be a little smarter about how we consume the information and curate them for ourselves for further examination.


If you're a productivity geek, you may be using an app like Pocket to save your links in one place to read them sometime later. Many of us bookmark these links when we are in our browser on our computer, and read them at a later point on our phones or tablets. However, not many are aware that links can be saved to Pocket from your phone too.


So, regardless of where you're reading one such newsletter, a computer or a phone, you can save the links in the newsletter to your Pocket account.


Using Pocket from a computer


If you're on a computer, if the link from the newsletter is already open in your browser, right-click anywhere on your browser window and click the Save to Pocket option.





Alternatively, you can install the Chrome extension for Pocket in your Chrome browser and simply click the Save to Pocket extension.


If you're in your inbox, reading a newsletter, simply right-click a link and click on Save to Pocket to save the link to your Pocket account.


Using Pocket from a smartphone


If you're on your smartphone, if the link from the newsletter is already open in your phone browser, use the Share button from your phone browser options and select the Pocket option.


If you're in your mail application, simply long-press the link you're interested in, and select the Pocket option.


Result


Once all the content is available in your Pocket account, you can access it either on your phone or your computer to find all the curated links in one place. You can then consume these articles, one at a time, at your leisure.


Conclusion


Email is here to stay, and it doesn't have to be messy. In a chaotic and fast world, we can all strive to be a little efficient with our time by employing productivity hacks like this. And while we are at that, please unsubscribe from any email that is not adding value to your life. The Unsubscribe link is usually at the end of these email newsletters.

 
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©2020 by Amit Sarda