I've been at my company for six years now, and I lead a team of five who are constantly battling conflicting priorities. There's just never enough time in the day to get everything done. So, I'm always on the lookout for how my team and I can be more efficient with our time.
Every morning I set aside two hours to tackle an unending cascade of emails. But inevitably something crops up and keeps me from getting to the bottom of the unopened pile. Confession: I often reply to pressing emails during meetings. It's not only distracting, it breaks my flow and sends the wrong message to my team about how important their time is.
After a recent meeting where I was caught multi-tasking, my co-worker Russ Slacked me. "Superhuman." Russ being Russ, I assumed he was about to share a funny YouTube clip... but then he explained that Superhuman is an email management tool that helped him cut his email time in half.
Hearing my colleague brag about blowing through his inbox in no time piqued my interest — so I decided to check out Superhuman's website.
Superhuman's site is sleek, intelligent, and full of stunning images. Although I was intrigued by their claim that they can help you focus better and quickly zip through your emails, I was still skeptical. I get more than 300+ emails every day, how could they help me make a dent? But just the thought of being able to get back any time in my day was enough to make me sign up.
First, I provided my email address and completed a brief questionnaire that helps the Superhuman team personalize my experience. I was surprised that my next step was a one-on-one onboarding session with a Superhuman email expert.
Adding yet another meeting to my packed calendar felt counter-productive. I Slacked Russ: "30 minutes learning how to email, seriously?" But Russ said his onboarding session transformed how he does email. Based on the sheer amount of time he was saving, he can justify the monthly $30 cost.
Although I wasn't fully convinced, I grabbed half an hour late Friday for an onboarding session with Amanda. If I could save even a fraction of the time Superhuman claims, it would be totally worth it.
I can't believe the time and care Amanda took to analyze my workflow and organizational needs! Before I had even left the call, I'd made a huge dent in my inbox — thanks to the keyboard shortcuts Amanda taught me.
The weekend went in the blink of an eye, and then — Monday again. Once again, I was inundated with emails. But using the keyboard shortcuts I learned with Amanda, 15 minutes went by in a flash. I'd never been able to get into a flow like this. As soon as I completed an email, I was taken directly into the next email without delay — rather than back to my cluttered inbox.
I couldn't remember every shortcut just yet, but I remembered from my onboarding that I could find any shortcut by hitting Command+K and typing in what I wanted. I cleared 30 emails like it was nothing.
I even set reminders on a few important emails where I needed a response quickly, just in case I didn't hear back. No more forgetting to follow-up.
A cluttered inbox drives my crazy up and my productivity down. I used to respond immediately to client messages, then leave them in my inbox. But Amanda suggested I mark them as completed — this clears them out of my inbox, though they're always quick and easy to find again through search.
Tuesday, I had an 8am meeting, so I jumped online at 6. There are client deals in the works and I'm working with a few C-Suite Execs on an internal matter. While company business is essential to my role, client communication comes first. Superhuman's automatic triage detects and highlights my most important messages. It allows me to group my emails by type, like "internal" and "client communication". By automatically categorizing and labeling my emails, I can skip doing it manually. No more filing!
By Wednesday, my priority list had reshuffled yet again. The mid-year mark is approaching, and following up with clients to extend our contracts and grow our business with them is critical. That's a lot of emails. I used Superhuman's Snippets feature, which lets me create full or partial email templates. With one shortcut, I can bring these up and personalize them for each client.
Thursday started with a bang — we're in talks with a client in Singapore. Generally, I'm okay navigating time zones, but Superhuman has an awesome feature that calculates the time zone difference for me. I simply draft the email, add the recipient, and the desired send time in the time zone of my choice. Then I let Superhuman take care of the rest, so my email arrives at the perfect time.
Friday was a piece of cake. I cleared my inbox, and finally felt like I'd accomplished what I wanted. Superhuman saved me at least 4 hours this week but what was more surprising was how much this affected my mood. I was generally happier, and more focused. I'm excited to roll this out with my entire team.