Musings of a twenty-something entrepreneur.

This is not a blog about productivity or technology tips, but sometimes those worlds intersect with the entrepreneur’s. This is one of those cases.

I’m currently writing the series on How to Come Up With Business Ideas, and a big part of coming up with new ideas is being knowledgeable and current in different domains. If you don’t know anything about personal finance, how are you going to come up with innovative ideas in that space? You probably won’t, because some knowledge is a prerequisite for coming up with new ideas.

The best way to do become knowledgeable and current within a given domain is to subscribe to blogs and commentary on that subject. If you read the WSJ every day, you’ll have a good foundation for thinking about the current economic environment. Similarly, if you read blogs on renewable energy or the toy market or manufacturing trends, over time you’ll become knowledgeable in those domains too.

Okay, so I’ve convinced you and now you’ve gone and subscribed to 23 different blogs on potato chips. Fantastic. But soon you’ll be getting 10+ emails per day on potato chips. This emails need to be read, but not necessarily right now or even today or tomorrow. And if you skip reading them for a day or two, soon your inbox will be clogged, obscuring more important emails that actually require your attention.

There’s an easy solution to this. It takes five minutes to setup, and will save you hours. The gist of it is that these emails are basically put in a separate folder and skip your inbox completely. When you want to go through them, you can open up that folder and browse through them.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Create a new label in Gmail called “Feeds”, or whatever you want. To create a new label, just click on “Labels” and “Add New”.
  2. Each time you receive an email from one of the blogs, click “Filter messages like these…”
  3. On the next screen, make sure the email address in the “From” field is the one you want to filter.
  4. After clicking “Next Step”, then simply chick “Skip the Inbox” and apply the label that you created earlier.

That’s all there is to it. This simple little trick helps me stay focused on what’s important while not being distracted by interesting emails that I get throughout the day from blogs I follow. You can see that right now I have over 340 unread emails in feeds (actually its at 380 now), all of which have come in the last 12 days. Assuming 1 minute per email, thats over 6 hours of distraction-time prevented so far.

This won’t make your startup successful, but its on of the incremental improvements that help you focus on what’s important so I thought it worth including.

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About jesse:

"I move Onward, the only direction. Can't be scared to fail- searching perfection... Loiterers should be arrested!" -Jay Z Find out more about me at

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One Response to “Be Informed AND Organized (Gmail Tip)”

  1. 039;t open file: 'users.MYI'. (errno: 145) says:

    What’s up, every time i used to check blog posts here early in the break of day, for the reason that i love to find out more and more.


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