The Email Game Gamifies Correspondence to Boost Productivity

A few days ago your author had over 1,000 emails sitting unread in his inbox, in amongst 30,000 or so that he had read but not processed… now he has less than 20. It was a bloated stress-inducing mess and that was with an elaborate system of filters and forwarding protocols designed to make sure that important mail gets noticed. Then I heard an interview in which author, technology aficionado and serial investor Tim Ferriss mentioned I was intrigued and decided to take the web app and Google Chrome extension for a spin.

The service plugs into your Gmail account – you need to grant it permission – and forces you to confront the reality of your overstuffed inbox – one email at a time, with a time limit for that is determined by the length of the message. To progress to the next email you need to perform one of the following actions: Reply, Reply All, Forward, Label, Boomerang, Skip, Archive and Delete.

Note that simply reading or skipping an email does not remove it from your queue. To do that, the mail needs to be properly processed. That means that you need to Boomerang, Archive or Delete it. It forces you to be efficient and to get through all of the garbage that you would probably just pass over and leave sitting in your inbox.

The Boomerang function is an absolute game changer. It temporarily archives a mail and sets it to return to your inbox after a preconfigured length of time or if a reply that you send gets no response. It has a variety of uses, but for me I found it particularly useful in scheduling the tedious work-related mails that I have to send on a daily basis. Basically, I would apply Boomerang to mails to which I need to respond and set the timing so that I will see it in times that I have set aside to deal with correspondence. Let’s say a manufacturer offers to send me a product sample at the end of the month, I would set the Boomerang so that it returns to my inbox after a month – reminding me that I need to send a reminder notice. With an empty inbox, it doesn’t get lost in the crowd.

I do not really know if I am spending less time dealing with mail as a result, because I was not really dealing with my mail before – but I am getting a lot more done in the time that I spend. Eventually I just selected and archived all of the mail, something that I probably never would have done had I not tried out The Email Game.


What The Email Game lacks in a slick interface it makes up for in brutal efficiency. If you find yourself struggling to cope with piles and piles of mail then this is a great way to keep yourself on top of your inbox. The Boomerang function rocks and you can’t beat free – five out of five stars.

Price: Free


About the author: C. S. Magor


C.S. Magor is the editor-in-chief and reporter at large for Uberreview and We Interrupt. He currently resides in a sleepy basin town in the Japanese countryside - where both his bank balance and the lack of space in his home are testament to his addiction to all things shiny.

Follow @csmagor on Twitter



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