Many people hate email. I love it. Especially when on a plane without Wifi oder somewhere else without a reliable Internet connection. In these situations, email saves me during work hours from a total loss of productivity. Here is how:
1. I take care of all the emails in my “email todo” folder. This is non-urgent stuff that still requires action. I draft my replies and press “send”. Next time my iPad gets connected to Wifi, all mails are being delivered.
2. During travel I read a lot, mostly RSS feeds and articles that I have sent for later reading to Instapaper. But while reading offline on my tablet or smartphone, adding content from links in articles to Instapaper does not work through third-party-apps (such as my RSS reader). Email saves me: I simply send the link to the post I want to read (but cannot due to lack of Internet connection) to a specific Instapaper email address. The text will show up in Instapaper as soon as I have a connection again. Instapaper competitor Pocket offers the same feature. These apps are essentials by the way if you read a lot online content on mobile devices.
3. When reading something good, I often want to share it on Facebook or tweet it. And I do not want to have to remember hours later which articles (or thoughts) I intended to share. So I use IFTTT to post tweets or Facebook posts by email. Again, they are being published as soon as I get back online. Another option is to use the social media scheduling tool Buffer. Even this can be “fed” with tweets or Facebook posts by email.
4. I use Wunderlist as my task manager of choice. The app obviously works offline, but if I want to make sure that a task I add offline is immediately synced with the Wunderlist server, I can actually email it there.
Thanks to all this, I have stopped feeling unproductive when travelling during work hours, and it saves me from the temptation to purchase weak airplane Wifi access.
It’s remarkable how much one can do with email. And probably there is much more that I haven’t even considered. Feel free to share your ideas.