Tag Archives: Productivity

Manage Your Inbox with Boomerang

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Ariel Kostrna

I absolutely love helping people grow! One of the best ways I can do that is by sharing things that I've found helpful, in any area of life.
Ariel Kostrna
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For most of us, our inboxes are one of the first things we let fall by the wayside when we’re too busy. Then before we know it we can’t even find what we need in the chaos, we’re falling behind in responding, and we’re stressing ourselves out!

There are many useful tools and tips for managing your inbox, but I’d like to focus on one today that I’ve found extremely helpful: Boomerang for Gmail. What I love about Boomerang is that it’s completely free, simple, and helps keep my inbox a help to me, instead of a hindrance.

Boomerang has 3 ways that it makes emailing easier:

  1. Send later

This feature is as simple and wonderful as it sounds. You compose an email, then choose the date and time at which you want it sent.

  1. Boomerang if no response

This is great for when you need to hear back from someone. You can tell Boomerang to return the message to the top of your inbox on a certain date if the person hasn’t responded. I love the time-saving factor of this – no more manually trying to remember if you haven’t heard back!

  1. Boomerang for follow-up later

This is my personal favorite. If I get an email that’s important and I want to respond to it but can’t at that moment, I can Boomerang it for, say, 3 days away when I know I’ll be less busier. Then 3 days later the email pops up into the top of my inbox and I can take care of it. This is like a healthy form of procrastination (did I actually say that?) because we shouldn’t let our inbox rule us. If the email can wait until tomorrow, let it wait. And you won’t have to remember because Boomerang will remind you.


Like I said before, Boomerang is completely free, though it does limit the amount of times you can Boomerang messages. If you find yourself using your limit, they offer unlimited uses for $4.99/mo. Either way, we hope this tool saves you time and helps you manage your inbox like a champ!

Hotkeys: the Best-Kept Secret for Saving Time

Hotkeys can be incredibly useful – but only if you know how to use them! A lot of people don’t, and are missing out on a great time-saver. And as you know, here at AVA we just love saving time! Here’s a quick rundown on hotkeys so you can start using them in a jiffy.hotkeys

First of all, what is a hotkey? Hotkeys are any key or combination of keys on your keyboard that you assign to do a specific task. For example, if you are on a Windows computer, press and hold the Alt key and the Tab key at the same time. If you hold it down, you will see a list of all the windows you have running. While still holding down Alt, press tab again to switch to a different window. This is a great way to quickly switch from (for example) a browser to a word document without your fingers leaving the keyboard. Have fun with it!

Hotkeys can do many more things though. Some open a program (WindowsKey+E opens windows explorer), one can print (Ctrl+P). Some of the most common and helpful are the cut, copy and paste hotkeys – invaluable for writing and editing because, again, you don’t even have to touch the mouse. (They’re listed below for your reference.)

If you’re really into time-saving, you can even create your own hotkeys. Using a program called “WinHotKey,” you can choose a combination of keys to do a specific task, like pasting a signature, opening a specific folder, or opening a program. Try it out!

Back to the basics. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common pre-set hotkeys on Windows. In the list “Win” means the Windows key. Get into the habit of using them and pretty soon your fingers will memorize them.

Ctrl + Escape or Win: Display start menu.

Win + E: Open Windows Explorer.

Win + M: Minimize all windows.

Win + Shift + M: Undo minimize all windows.

Win + L (XP Only): Locks keyboard.

Win + Control + F: Open Find dialog.

Win + F1: Open Windows help..

Alt + Tab: Display opened windows.

Ctrl + Alt + Delete: Gives you options to open the task manager, log off, lock, etc.

Printscreen: Copy screenshot of current screen to clipboard.

Alt + Printscreen: Copy screenshot of current active window to clipboard.

Ctrl + C: Copy.

Ctrl + X: Cut.

Ctrl + N: New… File, Tab, Entry, etc.

Ctrl + S: Save.

Ctrl + O: Open…

Ctrl + P: Print.

Ctrl + Z: Undo.

Ctrl + A: Select all.

Ctrl + F: Find…

Ctrl + Tab: Cycle through tabs/child windows. (great for web browsers!)

Ctrl + Shift + Tab: Cycle backwards through tabs/child windows.


Find an even more comprehensive list (includes hotkeys for Gmail and Firefox!) at http://www.autohotkey.com/board/topic/1738-comprehensive-list-of-windows-hotkeys/ For our Mac users, check out https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201236 for a great list. Now stop wasting time and start hotkeying!