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Kanban in Email: The Best way to Organize your Inbox

By January 19th, 2023No Comments
kanban in email

Kanban helps you to visualize emails in a way that works for your brain. But, before I explain, let me provide some context. Setting meetings, checking new promos, receiving reminders, talking business, and amenities… Nowadays we all seem to have tons of responsibilities in our hands. And most of them come as messages straight into our inboxes.

The result? Well, if you’re not organized enough: chaos.

And let’s be honest, it’s not that hard to get messy, just stop organizing for a while and suddenly things are unbearable. If you’re like me, it’s impractical to work with all this clutter around you.

This is why aiming to keep things organized, I always look for new methods, techniques, and apps that help boost productivity while, at the same time, keep my inbox visually appealing.

The most genius one? Kanban.



A great solution is to transform your mailbox from the traditional layout into a Personal Kanban. This method has been widely adopted across different industries and highly recommended by experts around the World. 

Traditional post-it note Kanban board

But wait… What is Kanban?

Kanban is a productivity methodology that consists of cards with tasks written on it. The main goal is to separate your tasks into cards and allocate them into a list. It was developed by Toyota to manage manufacturing processes and has expanded across different industries such as project management (with tools such as Trello), software development (like JIRA), and even CRM (like Pipedrive, for example). Each list is a step of the project. It’s simple and easy because it works in a drag-and-drop flow. Wanna know how can kanban help you to make everything work in a simple, fast, and efficient way? Let’s do this!

Three ways Kanban in Email will save you

It was not any coincidence or “destiny” that made the Kanban methodology expand quickly across several industries and activities from such different natures. There are very clear reasons that are strong enough to qualify Kanban as an excellent productivity hack for any kind of task.

1. You will get more organized

Pretty obvious, but let me explain to you why. It’s very easy to be diverted from your responsibility when you have loads of daily distractions, spread tasks everywhere and randomly distributed, no deadlines, no priority level, nothing. If you live in a workspace like that, you are quite likely to forget some tasks you need to do. Does it sound familiar?With Kanban, it gets quite easier to keep control of your tasks. Why? Well, because you have everything you need to do together, visually distributed, cleared, prioritized, separated by step, and easily manageable ?.

You might want to categorize your tasks as by what are you are currently doing, still what you have to do, what it’s done and just waiting for some third-party approval, etc. Or if you are working on closing deals, you might want to visualize your workspace as prospecting, contacting, qualifying, presenting proposals, negotiating, etc

You can and should adapt columns in your Kanban boards to the way that fits you best.

2. You will truly know your priorities

Knowing what it’s important is also very important. You don’t want everything to become a mess. So you have to prioritize and categorize your tasks.

Getting back to the examples above, you might want to drag the most important or immediate tasks to the top, where it can be more easily spotted. Or why not categorizing your emails by “Very important”, “Important” and “Not Important”? If you are closing deals, you might want to drag the most sizeable deals to the top. It’s really up to you, as long as you do prioritize.

Some Kanban software (like Drag) even allow you to add many different kinds of tools, like due dates, reminders, tags, or even integrations with your calendar, which will make it even simpler to remember all that matters.

3. Your work will get easier to manage

No more pen and paper or post-its. No more folders, tabs, a million software. Just drag-and-drop. Literally.kanban in emailBy using a tool that makes visualization so simple, the time spent to manage work will reduce significantly. You might not see it changing overnight, but slowly everything will start feeling right.And then you will get addicted. Like us. 


Why Kanban in Email is genius?

Well, if you’re like me, most of the emails you receive are things you have to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s at home, at work, or on your projects.

I used to have many different apps to control my to-do’s, such as Todoist and Wunderlist. It felt like I was working twice more. everything I was doing had to be updated in another platform. It didn’t motivate me and, consequently, it was usual for me to lose track of my activities.

At the same time, because traditional email tools aren’t as visual as Kanban, they’re not quite helpful by themselves. Sometimes, some old projects sink so fast in your inbox that often you suddenly panic by thinking of all your work disappearing just like that.

This is not the life I wanted.

When I turned my inbox into a Kanban board for the first time, it looked like magic.

I have never, ever missed an important task or deadline again. My important tasks never got sunk in a pool of non-important stuff again. I stopped needing to open multiple software and tools at the same time to manage my To-Dos. I got addicted to it. Instantly.

And there is more. If you’re in a real mood for organizations and new methods, you can also ally Kanban to other productivity methods in your Inbox, such as Inbox Zero. Together, they will make you unstoppable!

How to use Kanban in Email

Ok, so many advantages, it’s worth trying. What’s next?

Don’t worry, you don’t even have to think. Drag does the whole magic for you in 3 seconds.

Let’s take a look:

kanban in emailDrag seamlessly integrates to Gmail to turn your Inbox into a beautiful Kanban board :) 

No need to open another browser or any other email client. No need to open anything. It’s just there, in your old and good Inbox. 

Both emails and tasks become cards, so you’re in just one place, able to do a lot more to manage emails, manage tasks, manage projects, CRM, Help Desk, or whatever you want.

By centralizing and visualizing everything, Drag reduces the amount of time you spend on managing your emails and on transitioning among different tools. 

The usual problem with adding tools is that you add different places to check daily for your work routine. Is it practical? Well, it’s better than nothing, indeed, but it’s time to take the next step. Inbox your life.

Here are some points Drag solves for you:

1. Emails (or standalone task) become cards;

2. You can add extra information such as notes, checklists, and due dates;

2. Drag and drop your To Dos, so you know in which stage everything is;

3. Add and customize as many columns as you want;

4. Sort & filter your cards, so it’s easy to find what is important;

5. Collaborate with your team. Share, delegate, get things done together.

6. Use multiple boards, so different projects don’t get mixed up together.

So, why use several tools and channels to organize and prioritize your emails and tasks if you can just put it all together in one place? With the kanban system in your mailbox, everything will be clearer and easier.

We believe that by keeping it simple and clean, it’ll allow you to stay away from distractions and do what needs to be done: your work.

What’s the conclusion?

Personalizing your inbox with a Kanban View is very efficient to maintain an organized, visually appealing, and uncomplicated work routine. Cards and lists are just so simple that everything comes naturally when you have your tasks.Although this method hasn’t been widespread inside your inbox yet, trends show that it’ll change (Drag now has 30,000+ daily active users).

Advantages are numerous, and once you go Drag, there’s no turning back. You’ll never see your emails the same way again.

Turn your Gmail in a kanban view.

Drag turns Gmail into your Team’s Workspace – One single place to support customers, manage tasks and close deals, from the place teams love: Gmail. We are a Techstars-backed Company, trusted by 30,000 users around the World.

Try Drag for Free
Samantha Anacleto

Author Samantha Anacleto

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