All posts tagged “Increase”

How To Increase Your Productivity With Mailbox App

Mailbox was in beta in early 2013 and rose to huge success almost overnight. It’s waiting list had hundreds-of-thousands of people, watching the countdown timer reach you was fun! It’s marketing and product strategy was so successful that Dropbox acquired them just a month and a half after the initial beta release.

The premise of Mailbox is to “put email in its place”. While this is very subjective – everyone has different ways of dealing with email – it’s hard to ignore the overwhelmingly positive reviews of the product.

I’ve been an avid user of it since I first laid eyes on the invite-only page. I finally got my invite on April 6 2013 and I haven’t looked back since. In this article, I’ll share some of the useful features of Mailbox, as well as some of the drawbacks I’ve found.

Interacting With Emails

Mailbox stands head and shoulders above the rest in the way it allows you to interact with your emails. Only simple swipes are needed to archive, delete, defer or add an email to a list. No need to confirm the deletion, if you make a mistake, just shake your device (unless you’re using it on an iMac) to undo.

Mailbox even supports multi-touch. You can swipe three emails at once to the right to archive all three of them. It’s simple, and works remarkably well. Initially I had some doubts about the long and short swipes.

To archive, you need to swipe right. To delete, you need to do a longer swipe to the right. Seems like it would cause issues, but in my 20 months using it I’ve never mis-swiped. The long swipe kicks in about three-quarters of the way in and visual queues make everything pretty clear.

As I mentioned, deferring (swipe right) is one of the best features of Mailbox. When you defer an email, you can choose some preset times (later today, this evening, tomorrow, next week, etc.) or you can choose your own date.

Once chosen, the email disappears from your inbox on Mailbox on all your devices and also from your Gmail inbox. It is placed in a special IMAP folder and will be sent back to your inbox when the time comes.

A third option is to add an email to a list. Adding emails to lists work a lot like deferring, but the emails do not get put back in your inbox automatically. You can create any number of lists and add emails to them easily by swiping fully to the left.

Navigating The Views

At the top of your email list, Mailbox provides icons to navigate between your inbox, your deferred items and your archives. Switching back and forth is super-fast which is great if you want to take a quick peek at your upcoming deferred emails.

Swiping works in all of the views, not just the inbox. When you’re looking at your deferred emails you can swipe left to re-defer (I think I just made that up), or further left to add to a list. You can also swipe right to put it back in your inbox manually. Archived emails can be swiped right to delete or left to put them back in the inbox or defer them.

By tapping the hamburger icon, you can see a list of places to go. Spam, sent and drafts are available here as well as the lists section. While lists is a great feature, I don’t really use it to be honest. My goal with Mailbox is to minimize clutter not create it and if I start creating lists I will over-complicate things.

I usually use them to create an “Information” list. I usually only have 3-4 emails in there like upcoming flight details, hotel reservations and so on. This gives me easy access to essential information wherever I am, no searching necessary.

That brings me to another well-oiled feature: searching. I was never happy with the search in the default mail application, it never seemed to find what I was looking for. The Mailbox search works beautifully. To access the search, pull down your inbox below the top.

It seems like it searches within the cached emails first which means it brings up some results instantly. After a second or two, you see search results coming in from the server itself.

Advanced Features

Swipes can be customized to your liking. For example, if you’d rather archive by swiping to the left, no problem. Never add emails to a list? Set the long-left swipe to star/unstar messages.

One great feature is that you can set what the snooze or defer swipe does by default. You can choose to show the picker, or you can choose a preset by default. Workday start/end can also be set up which will control when you get emails deferred until tomorrow and the time until you get “later today” emails.

There are quite a few more options, I suggest cruising through the settings section of the application to get a better picture of what it can do.

The Badge Count

The app icon – on all devices – shows a count of conversations that you have in your inbox. This can be changed to show ‘1′ for new messages, but this sort of defeats the purpose. It took some getting used to since the standard behavior in other apps is to show unread messages.

However, this was exactly what I needed at least. I may well have 100 emails I’ve read, the question is, do I need to act upon them? By deferring everything I do not need to act on and keeping everything I need to act on in my inbox, I can use Mailbox as a task manager pretty effectively.

I assume that this would be an issue for some people. Unfortunately the only way around this is to either switch of the badge count or show ‘1’ for unread messages.

Mailbox On Different Devices

My biggest gripe with Mailbox was that there was no desktop version until recently. A while ago, the Android app came out which allowed our Android friends to use Mailbox, the iPad version came along as well, but the desktop version took its sweet time.

A few months ago, I received the desktop beta invite. To tell you the truth, it was a completely underwhelming experience – in a good way. Apart from interface differences due to a big difference in devices, the app is exactly the same. It looks great, it is great to use and I now have full cross-device Mailbox goodness.

One of my worries with cross-device support was that the syncing would be sluggish. Almost all apps I’ve used have had issues with good cross-device support. My favorite bad example is ‘Reminders’ which is possibly the worst application from a syncing point of view (and from a number of other views).

Thankfully, Mailbox seemed to have thought things through as syncing is perfect. It is either done behind the scenes or when you open the app. In the latter case, it takes about 3-4 seconds and you see it happening, so you know what’s going on.

The Downsides Of Mailbox

I think it’s obvious that I am a fan of Mailbox, but it does have some flaws. The biggest concern many people have is privacy and it has to be acknowledged that this is a biggie. Mailbox provides these features by standing between you and your email provider. This means that they have access to all of your email.

I think it is important to see both sides of the coin here. The reason that they can offer this service is because they do this. Sure, this does present a privacy concern but you always have the option of not using the service. I think it is important to know about this issue and make an informed decision about whether or not you want to share your emails with this company.

To many people, this is an instant red flag and they will not use the service and this is perfectly ok. Take a look at the Mailbox privacy policy (which is now the Dropbox privacy policy) and decide whether the app is for you.

The other objective issue with Mailbox is the badge count. If you want your badge count to reflect the unread message count and this is a dealbreaker, then the app is not for you.

If you’re into hardcore email organization and you have a bunch of tags and folders set up in Gmail with multiple custom rules, Mailbox is probably not for you. You could convert your work to Mailbox lists but if you rely on your rules heavily, it may wreak havoc on your workflow.


There is no doubt that mailbox is a highly focused, well written application which – if it suits your workflow – you will love.

On the other hand, it does force a specific email workflow on you which you may not like. I consider this a pro, but others may well consider this a downside. This, coupled with a privacy policy which some might consider a nightmare will put a lot of people off.

I suggest at least giving the application a try. Above all, for me, it has taken away the sense of urgency created by lots of emails in my inbox – it has given me peace of mind.

Psychology-Based Web Design: Proven Way to Increase Brand Awareness

Psychology affects the way we interact with websites. Web designers can make use of this to their advantage. Learn how to increase brand awareness with the help of psychology-based web design.

Crack the code for user engagement to increase your success online

Read more about Crack the code for user engagement to increase your success online at

You can use analytics to let you know how people get to your apps or websites, but figuring out how to keep them engaged and coming back requires more than just numbers. You need to understand the psychology of a user. The Ultimate Design Course to Increase User Engagement is your way into the head of your audience, and you can get it for just $ 19.

Creative Bloq

100 Ways to Increase Blog Traffic – Do You Know Them All?

The blog post contains nearly 100 tips and tricks that will help you increase your blog traffic.

Designers: How Being Opinionated Can Increase Your Visibility

As a designer, I have a lot of opinions on design, both as a user and as a creator of design content. And if you’re a designer, I’m sure you do as well. It’s part of our profession. What we think about design and the world around us greatly influences the choices we make and the ways in which we go about solving our clients’ problems.

via Mario Calvo

Designers who have strong, interesting opinions about design not only have more prominence in the design community; they have more opportunities for truly inspiring and valuable work. Let’s explore some reason why your opinions about design should be shared far and wide with designers the world over.

Use Social Media To Crowdsource

When most designers hear the word “crowdsourcing,” they think of sleazy, backdoor sites that try to con inexperienced designers into doing free or vastly underpriced work. But I’m not talking about that kind of crowdsourcing.

I mean that designers can use social media platforms for a different kind of crowdsourcing, one that doesn’t ask for free work and that only adds to their career. The kind of crowdsourcing that gets you opinions, conversation, communication, and industry connections.

Your social media followers can often hook you up with the information you need to advance your career, market yourself properly, or meet that awesome client you’ve been dying to work for. The only thing they ask in return is an interesting stream of opinions and ideas from you which add value to their own lives and careers.

Blogging Gives Your Design More Credibility, And Vice Versa

If you have something to say about the industry, you will generate interest in your work. Many people got to know designer Jessica Hische through her famous infographic “Should I Work For Free?” which went viral several years ago. I know I did.

The content was relevant and useful to me as a freelance designer (not to mention hilarious). This got me interested in her design work, and that’s when I discovered her talent for lettering.

The other side of the equation is actually being good at what you do. If you have great work to show off, people will take your opinions more seriously. If you say nice things, but don’t have the design chops to back it up, designers are going to dismiss you very quickly.

The Industry Needs Controversy

Controversial ideas get people talking, which in turn sparks creativity and helps us all grow as designers. Don’t be afraid to get vocal about things that are bothering you about the industry. Do you think designers are going about something all wrong? Tell them so, and then tell them what they can do differently.

When I write these sorts of posts about design, I try to point out a problem that I’ve noticed with a number of designers, as well as some simple fixes that will help them correct course. The feedback I’ve gotten has rarely been negative, even when I’m at my most strident and obnoxious.

Engage and challenge people, and you will be rewarded with notoriety (the good kind, of course).

Clients Are Listening

That’s right. Clients who want to hire you for design work will most certainly be checking out your blog or social media stream to get a feel for how you think and who you are as an individual. Depending on what they find, they’ll decide whether you’ll a good fit for their project and vice versa.

You never know who will stumble across your work or your words, decide that you are the best thing they’ve ever seen, and make you an offer for an insane amount of money for a dream gig with all the creative freedom you’ve ever wanted. Don’t think it can happen? Trust me, it can and does every day.

This is absolutely not a call to censor yourself, by the way. Notice I said that clients will evaluate you based on whether they think you’re a good fit for their project, and also whether their project is a good fit for you as an individual. If you censor what you say because you don’t want to “offend” anyone, you’re only hurting your chances to land that really amazing client you’ve always known you’d be a perfect match for.

Maybe that client was looking for someone with a little more “bite” to their content, and they’ve completely passed you over because they thought you were a little too tame. How sad would that be?

Sharing Is Caring

Don’t forget to share links to other blogs and tell people what you think about them. It’s not just all about you – other designers have things to say as well. There’s a reason the design community is called that: we’re all in this together, and we all need to be helping each other be as successful in our field as possible.

It can only result in a stronger industry for us all, as clients and businesses take note and give us the respect and rates we deserve as professionals.

Crack the code for user engagement to increase your success online

Read more about Crack the code for user engagement to increase your success online at

You can use analytics to let you know how people get to your apps or websites, but figuring out how to keep them engaged and coming back requires more than just numbers. You need to understand the psychology of a user. The Ultimate Design Course to Increase User Engagement is your way into the head of your audience, and you can get it for just $ 19.

Creative Bloq

7 Ways To Greatly Increase Your Productivity

In 1915, Albert Einstein presented his brilliant and revolutionary theory of relativity. In the three years leading up to that, he had completely devoted himself to its creation, without being distracted by anything else. We’re not suggesting that you spend three years working on a particular project (unless you really want to do that) but this approach of focusing completely on one piece of work is a vivid illustration of the new work trend called ‘Doing Less’.

As the name suggests, this popular trend encompasses techniques that can help you achieve great results by doing less than you need to. Today I’d like to share just a few of those techniques. Hopefully, they will help you achieve the best results for the task you’re facing, in the shortest amount of time.

1. 20% Effort Gives 80% Results

The Pareto principle, is also known as the 80/20 rule. It states that: to receive 80% of the results obtained in the work, the average person takes about 20 % of the total time spent. This conditional 80/20 statistic operates in all areas of life. For example, it is said that 20% of criminals commit 80% of crimes, and that 20% of drivers are guilty in 80% of the accidents they’re involved in.

If you know how to use the Pareto principle properly, it can be helpful not only in your professional life, but also in your everyday life. It’s like a little trick which forecasts an expected result. For example, if you are a sociable person then you would probably have a lot of friends. Think of how many of these people really help you in certain situations. In fact, it’s probably just 20% of those people. It is worthwhile to consider this percentage and give the right people the proper attention, instead of focusing on virtual friends.

How To Use This

If one follows the Pareto principle, it’s better to do all the useless things when your productivity is low. For example, some people come to work in the morning and can’t immediately get to work right away. They need some time to prepare for the job, talk to colleagues, drink their coffee, and other things that help them settle in.

Only then can they start working productively. It’s important to be able to prioritize your tasks. You need to determine your most productive time for important cases and decisions.

2. Three Main Tasks

At this day and age, people still rely on to-do lists to keep things organized. Sure, we have evolved from using paper to utilizing computers and smartphones but whatever tools used would be powerless without action. In this case, all you need is one simple rule: every morning take a few minutes to think and write down the three most important tasks for the day.

And then focus your efforts on the implementation of this short list. Who needs these countless endless lists of tasks which you won’t be able finish in a week, let alone in a day? Focus on these three main tasks, and after they’re done, you can go ahead and do something else. This simple but powerful habit can really increase your productivity in a short period of time.

3. The ‘Do Less’ Philosophy

In the world of coaching today, the ‘doing less’ philosophy has become quite popular. Different theorists offer different approaches. One of them is based on the mystical practices of Zen Buddhism, described by Mark Lesser in his book “Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less“.

His manifesto “Less” starts with dispelling the belief that reducing the load makes us lazy and is bad for productivity. By doing less, we actually allow ourselves to fully enjoy our achievements. The author recommends taking some time for meditation and “quieting the mind” in the middle of the working process.

You can perhaps even align your breathing in between reading and sending emails. It would help you to relieve stress and focus on a particular subject leading you to find the perfect balance. All of this can assist you in figuring out which activities are really important, and which are not worth your attention at all.

Therefore, you should prioritize tasks. Start doing the most important ones first, and after they’re done come to the low-priority ones. Just don’t overload yourself with lots of tasks. It’s better to do less and high-quality tasks that you will enjoy rather than doing lots of things half-heartedly.

4. The Pomodoro Technique

The ‘Doing less’ philosophy also includes a lot of interesting techniques, such as the “tomato technique” (you can check out the official website here). This method of time management was developed by Francesco Cirillo. It got its name from the tomato shaped kitchen timer that Cirillo originally used.

The technique is based on the principle of working on a particular task for 25-minutes without a break. After which, you should definitely take a break.

But how does it actually work?

  1. From your task list, focus on the high priority tasks.
  2. Then start the timer for 25 minutes and start working, without anything distracting you, until you hear the signal from the timer. Each 25-minute period of time is called “pomodoro”.
  3. Rest for 5 minutes and start the timer again.
  4. For every four ‘pomodoros’, take longer breaks of 10-15 minutes.
  5. If the task takes more than five ‘pomodoros’, it may be divided into several parts.

This technique allows one to group tasks better, increases attention, and simplifies planning affairs. It would be especially helpful for programmers.

5. The Myth Of Multitasking

Multitasking does not make us more productive, it’s one of the biggest myth these days. In fact, the division of our attention has a negative impact on productivity, concentration and energy.

“For tasks that are at all complicated, no matter how good you have become at multitasking, you’re still going to suffer hits against your performance. You will be worse compared to if you were actually concentrating from start to finish on the task,says David Meyer, a scientist from the University of Michigan.

Multitasking could be possible in just two cases. First is when you’re doing something that is somehow automatic, for instance, walking and talking at the same time. Walking is an automatic activity that doesn’t need you to focus or think whereas talking requires the use of your brain.

The other situation when multitasking is possible is when it involves different kinds of brain proccessing, for example, reading and listening classical music. But if the music contains some lyrics in it, it would be impossible to do these two tasks at once, because both of them activate the language center of the brain.

Thus, if you want to be more productive then learn how to do one thing at a time and stay focused only on that one particular thing.

6. The Information Diet

These days, getting overloaded with information is as easy as getting a heat stroke in the middle of the Sahara. And even the symptoms are similar: sleep disturbance, distracted attention, and deferred reaction. Our brain is overloaded with all the noise that the information brings. In our modern world, people are constantly looking for news, when it truth, it surrounds us.

In this case Timothy Ferriss, the author of the book “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” recommends taking a “low-information diet”. Do you really need to all the emails, blogs, newspapers, and magazines that you read every day? Do you really need to spend so much time looking through your Facebook news feed or watching TV?

Give it a try and cut out as much useless information as you can, for at least a week, and see how it can help your productivity.

7. Living On Schedule

Ask any successful person when he or she wakes up and it’s likely that they are an early riser. It’s quite simple: there aren’t a lot of distractions in the morning, which helps a person focus on the main priorities. Waking up early in the morning is one of the factors of living on schedule.

During the day, there is time to rest and there is time to work. There are strict boundaries present and understanding this helps you to stay productive. Start with trying to leave the computer at the appointed time, as you need to rest to be productive.

It’s better to live on schedule than without it.

Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” which means that if a girl needs to write a letter for a week, it will take a week to write the letter. Especially, if it’s something they don’t like or don’t want to do. People tend to procrastinate and play for as long as they can. But strict deadlines for each task you get will put you on the right track to meeting the deadlines perfectly. Having a deadline that you’re afraid of missing is great motivation.

How to Stop Putting Off That Rate Increase and Double Your Income

You know that popular story? The one about the brilliant creative genius who lives in a run-down one room apartment because he or she can’t afford anything more. That artist is starving, but never…

Click through to read the rest of the story on the Vandelay Design Blog.

Vandelay Design

How to Stop Putting Off That Rate Increase and Double Your Income

You know that popular story? The one about the brilliant creative genius who lives in a run-down one room apartment because he or she can’t afford anything more. That artist is starving, but never…

Click through to read the rest of the story on the Vandelay Design Blog.

Vandelay Design

Social Media and Content Marketing: Buzzwords to Increase App Downloads

If you have already created your first app but have no idea what to do next, we’d like to give you some tips concerning app promotion, as well number of resources involved in this activity.