According to a report from the McKinsey Global Institute, workers spend approximately 28% of their workweeks (13 hours a week) managing e-mails. This is why the institute has deemed e-mail as the second most time consuming work-related activity. As an honest, productive employee, this number of hours can be shocking to you, especially since it reduces your overall efficiency. Luckily for you, you don’t have to feel guilty for long because technology is on your side.

There are numerous apps available to help you increase your e-mail efficiency and decrease the time you spend skimming through spam, phishing e-mails, and the actual mail you should read. To give you a nudge in the right direction, consider one of the following services.

Unroll.me

Unroll.me is a service that creates a daily summary of every subscription e-mail you signed up for. As a result, you end up with fewer social notifications, updates and other unimportant e-mails which take up a chunk of your time. Other features which make Unroll.me a service worth considering are:

  • Preview Feature – You can preview your subscriptions before opening them, which further helps you save time.

  • Categories – Unroll.me is a smart service that groups subscriptions into categories which you can easily browse through. It will also create a social category for all notifications from Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms.

  • Folder Feature – If you’re a person who enjoys order and clarity, you can easily have your subscriptions delivered to your own Unroll.me folder.

  • Unsubscribe Option – By clicking Unsubscribe, you can easily stop getting e-mail digests of your subscriptions.

Unroll.me is available for Yahoo Mail and Gmail only, but it is definitely worth subscribing to.

FanMix

FanMix is a free app that boosts your e-mail productivity by collecting all your social network notifications from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Disqus in one place. Through this service, you will be able to carry out the following:

 

    • Keep Tabs on Mentions and Replies – You will easily be able to view your mentions or your friends’ replies to your conversations.

    • Track Conversations – FanMix will have records of each conversation you have with your social contacts. So, you won’t have to spend much time skimming through your whole mail.

    • Discover More About Your Contacts – The app can help you find out who you connect to the most and who has a large following, group of friends, or audience.

  • Prioritize Your Social E-mails – If you receive too much mail from your social networking profiles, FanMix will help you view the conversations you deem important once you flag them.

With FanMix, you will be able to separate your social networking e-mails from your work-related messages. Therefore, you can always check the former whenever you’re free and off-duty.

SaneBox

SaneBox is a more professional service that filters out unimportant messages rather than spam. Basically, the app analyzes which contacts are most important to you through checking your e-mail history; therefore, you’ll view their e-mail first while non-urgent e-mails will go to the bottom of the list. Aside from its innovative algorithm, SaneBox is definitely worth a try because:

  • It can run on multiple platforms, including AOL, Apple mail, Android, and Microsoft Exchange, without being downloaded or installed.

  • You can easily unsubscribe from mailing lists with the SaneBlackHole feature.

  • You will receive notifications of sent e-mails which haven’t been replied to. This way you can follow up on their recipients and finish your work on time.

  • You can delay checking certain e-mails by placing them in SaneTomorrow, SaneNextWeek or Custom Defer folder to view them later.

SaneBox comes highly recommended by big names in the IT world, such as Robert Scoble and Brian Norgard. So, give in to the free trial, and if you like it, you can use it for as low as $2.04 a month.

The Email Game

Whereas the rest of the apps on this list are more professional in their approach, the Email Game makes going through e-mail effectively a fun process. The game is divided into two procedures:

  1. Deciding What to Do with Each E-mail – The Email Game features a timer which you shouldn’t allow to get to zero or else you will lose points. With the time you have, you should decide whether to Reply, Reply All, Forward or Label for important messages or Boomerang (archive for this session and show in inbox later), Skip, Archive or Delete for non-urgent e-mails. Once you decide the fate of the e-mails you have, you can carry out the actions you planned.

  2. Respond to E-mails – When you choose to respond to an e-mail, the timer will give you three minutes to respond. This will help you save time and cut down any slack.

The Email Game is compatible with Gmail and Google Apps, but fingers are crossed for it to work with other platforms as well.

These were just some of the e-mail productivity-boosting apps out there. You can check the web or keep posted for more similar services in the future. However, give these a whirl right away to stop wasting your time unnecessarily.

Author bio: Dmitri Blackthorn is a part-time technology blogger trying to inform her readers about online security threats and how to avoid online scams. Dmitri is a part of DDoS protection service Stop-DDoS.net.