Remember I said I was going to be working on my productivity and time management? Well here goes…

In this tip I am going to show you how to automate your Mac Mail inbox in order to support a more productive work day.

Now although I am certain you can find similar techniques for Winblows machines, in this tutorial I will only be covering the uses on a Mac using Mail.

So you are like me…too many things to do and so little time to do it all in. Well, here is a solution that will free-up a tremendous amount of wasted time. That’s right. Perpetually checking your inbox throughout the day is the #1 culprit of wasted time.

Now I get it that your boss or superiors may not like this idea yet I propose you convince them of a trial for a couple days just to see how well it works for you. I promise that you will become far more productive and in the meantime…set a great example for the rest of them to consider.

Now, on with the show.

Although I am well aware of the fact that you can setup auto-responders within Mac Mail, I am suggesting you ignore that. I will tell you in a minute why.

Wherever your email is provided, whether Gmail, Hotmail or on your own domain, you will have access via the Web. So login to your email account and look for “auto reply” or “auto responder”. Possibly it will be named something different but you get the point. Likely you will find it in “Settings” or “Options”.

AutomatorOnce you have located this, I’d like you to set up a message in the provided box, notifying people that due to heavy work flow, you will be checking and responding to emails twice daily at the hours of X and X. Now I DO NOT SUGGEST checking your emails first thing in the morning. This is time reserved for far more pressing issues. Try 12pm and near the end of your day like 4pm.

Then the tricky part…

Open up Automator in your Applications on your Mac.

When it opens select “iCal Alarm” in the drop down box. Then under “Actions” select the Mail option. To the right there is another column now and I’d like you to double-click on “Get New Mail”. Make sure to select which account, or all of them like I prefer, and then go up to the top menu and Save As.

iCalNow in iCal you will have an event from Automator. It is here that you will want to make this event repeat daily at 12pm and then again at 4pm. You will have to create two events to do this. You can always duplicate the first one upon setting it up. Now your Mac Mail will only check emails at 12pm and 4pm. Oh…one more thing….

Go back in to Mail and in to your account settings under General and make sure the you have the Check for new messages option set for “manual”. This way your emails wont still flood in to your inbox and disturb you.



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