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Wondering what to buy that productivity-obsessed person in your life? Ready to arm yourself with something you love to help establish good habits at the office? Now through Sunday get up to 25% off most everything in the Evernote Market.

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Next week is one of the most popular vacation weeks for Americans. Do you have one planned? No matter, you’re sure to see vacationing friends and family on Facebook and Instagram and to hear tales of upcoming and recently taken journeys in your workplace.

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As we tiptoe our way into the Spring tulips in Chicago, we have three suggestions for getting motivated to work.

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Catalyst Ranch Hosts Creative Meeting Carnival and Open House

Our favorite space to deliver Chicago corporate training programs is hosting an open house, and you’re invited. If you’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing Catalyst Ranch’s wildly creative meeting (and event!) space, this is a super time to go. Bundle up with hat, scarf, and mittens. Stomp the snow off your boots. And enjoy the carnival of the north.

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We are excited to recommend three upcoming time management trainings you can attend from your office for a small time investment and for little to no money. The time management courses/seminars on how to improve your time management are detailed below.

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I am excited to be part of the Chicago professional organizing community donating time so Chicagoland residents can help two children while also helping themselves to get organized. It is super easy–pay to receive organization services from two premier Chicago professional organizers, and 100% of your payment will be donated to help two local siblings challenged with a congenital disorder causing blindness at birth.

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If you’re living in or near Chicago and you haven’t already experienced the Picasso exhibit, why not identify a day and time to visit the Chicago Art Institute’s before the exhibit closes Sunday, May 12, 2013.

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Last week we suggested habits to START to reduce email processing time. This week we have listed 10 habits to STOP to reduce the amount of time email sneaks away from your workday.  


  1. Subscribing to newsletters and blog posts you don’t value. (Including ours!)

  2. Sending so many emails. Perhaps focus first on reducing CCs/BCs, then on replacing some emails with phone calls.

  3. Constantly awaiting new messages. If you’ve ever heard a phantom new message ding, then you know this tip is for you.  

  4. Checking/fussing with emails without adding value. There’s no need to scan emails when you don’t have time to follow through on anything.    

  5. Living in your inbox. Responding to everyone within nanoseconds of receiving their message is not as rewarding as you might think.

  6. Trying to be so darned organized that filing your reference emails equates to a strand of folders and subfolders so elaborate & long that you have to scroll and scroll and scroll to put things away…so you often don’t put anything away.

  7. Doing the same work twice. Automate repeat commands and recurring messages.

  8. Letting problems continue. Wishing your repeat offenders would send you fewer messages without adressing this concern is not going to change things. Say something!

  9. Allowing urgent and less so messages to drop into the same inbox. Why not use rules to treat them differently from the moment they reach you?

  10. Making your recipients work hard. Writing careless subject lines or leaving them blank is not going to score you points…or attract well written emails in response.

Which of these habits dropped will have the greatest impact for you?

If you like thes suggestions, please also check out out blog on 10 Good Habits to Adopt to Reduce Email Processing Time.

If you’d like to dig deeper on the topic, consider joining us at our Chicago workshop: Email Exhale Tuesday, July 17 6:30-8pm at Catalyst Ranch. Please register online through Dabble.

We would love to see you there!

Email Class Chicago

Email can steal a lot of time out of our day. To decrease the amount of emails you are sifting through, storing, as well as sending, we suggest implementing the following actions:


  1. Sending fewer emails.Think before you send. Consider alternate communication channels. Pretend you have to stamp every email you send.

  2. Unsubscribing, either electronically or through conversation, to emails you no longer value. 

  3. Combining short messages. Suggest folks on your team combine thanks with another email. 

  4. Using “NRN (No Reply Needed)” at the bottom of appropriate emails. 

  5. Being specific with every subject line. Use subject line codes (REQUEST/ALERT/CONFIRMED) to build context. Write requests at the beginning of emails so less follow up is required.

  6. Making a suggestion of when/where to meet to diminish back & forth. Use when identifying date for 2+ people. 

  7. Setting limits on your email time. The less time in email, the less you send, and the fewer you receive. Hip hip!

  8. Making decisions every time you touch an email: delete, delegate, do ?:02, file, defer ?:02.

  9. Transferring your deferred action to a system where you track actions: be it paper, electronic, or a mixture.

  10. Using X1 to remove emails quickly. Delete reference emails and then search via X1 if needed in future. 

Which of these tips are you most excited about? We’d love to hear which action has the greatest impact for you. And stay tuned for a future blog on 10 Bad Habits to Drop to Reduce Email Processing Time.

Learn more about these and other email tips at our upcoming class. Email Exhale will meet on Tuesday, July 17 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm in Chicago at Catalyst Ranch. Please register online through Dabble. We would love to see you there!

Part of being organized is having the right supplies on hand. If you are ready to refresh office supplies and/or add items to organize your office space, we recommend taking advantage of this fantastic opportunity. 
officemax ad

OfficeMax is offering special savings at their Friends & Family Event in stores starting Thursday, May 17 through Saturday, May 19. The sale includes 20% off of supplies and organizers you may need such as: ink, binders, case paper and reams, writing, filing and more. We would like you and your friends to share in this savings! Click on the sale flyer image above to view the full ad and print this deal.

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Regain Inbox Control

Our advice on how to organize email. We sincerely hope it delivers the results you're seeking and that you regain inbox control.

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Manage Time With a Budget

Our advice on how to organize time with a budget. We trust it will help you to be more realistic about scheduling so you accomplish the important stuff.