How to Help Clients Understand Their Inbox Health

Ever wished you had a tool to help clients see the impact of their poor email habits? Here’s some applied research we conducted at 2Time Labs that might help.

Recently, I just concluded LiveLab 02, the second podcast in the new format at 2Time Labs. In this show, we devise an email health index.

In other words, it’s a quick and dirty way for anyone to gauge the health of their inbox using some key metrics. While most people use a single metric – number of unread messages – I think we could agree that this measure is quite crude. In other words, it masks a number of of key factors.

In this series of three episodes, I work with Dr. Michael Einstein to derive a reasonable way to estimate email health. Use it with your client to provide a useful way to check the health of their inbox and give them sound, objective feedback. Or, use the principles we incorporated to become a better coach in this importnat area that few have mastered.

Click here to listen in.


A Powerful Index of All Productivity Techniques

Several years ago, I stumbled across Dr. Melanie Wilson’s blog in which she was in the middle of a one year effort to personally test one new productivity technique per week. It was an impressive feat.

Fortunately. she has documented her findings in a book – A Year of Living Productively.

Her book was released in December and happens to mention the work we have done here at 2Time Labs. More to the point, if you’re a productivity coach, consultant, trainer or professional organizer, this is an indispensable resource.

In each chapter, she outlines her personal experience of each, summarizing the conditions in which the use of the tool in question would be ideal. This should save the time adviser hundreds of hours, plus bring them to a level of expertise that allows them to take care of client questions and concerns about alternate methods.

Don’t miss getting a copy of  this one-of-a-kind  resource for your shelf or reader.

My slides and audio from the ICF conference

Back in June, I was a feature speaker at the International Coach Federation Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.The topic I spoke on was “Expert vs. Novice Time Management Coaching” – I think it’s fair to say that all who attended had a great time, and so did I as you can tell from the recording!

Fortunately the audio I made came out quite well so here’s a link to the slides as well as the sound. I don’t use a lot of words on my slides so it might help to listen to both at the same time. There were lots of exercises so you won’t get to enjoy it on that level, but hey – maybe there will be another opporunity.

If you happen to be in an ICF Chapter please pass the word around – I’d love for ICF coaches to have a peek if they missed the actual conference.

Here are the links to the slides and audio – and

Learning from a Courageous Researcher

As Time Advisers, we can’t know everything about time-based productivity. At the same time, our clients look to us to provide more than trivial tips, tricks and top ten lists of shortcuts they can find for themselves using a Google search.

We need coaching and processes that are so full of “inside” information, our clients thank us. One way to gain that information is through research, and here’s an outstanding example.

In the absence of current, easy-to-find research in time-based productivity, Dr. Melinda Wilson created her own first-hand information by tackling one productivity technique per week for a year, and then writing up her findings in plain English. I interviewed her at the end of her courageous effort. As time advisers, we should all be grateful.

Here’s a Researcher Who Spent a Year Tackling One Productivity Technique Per Week.

Val and Jayne Return – On Diagnostic Tools

In our last podcast together, Val, Jayne and I combined our New Zealander, Australian and Jamaican knowledge to address the need our clients have for custom time management solutions.

As you may know, it’s a tricky position to take because it implies that you not only need a way to deliver those kinds of solutions, but you also need a way to figure out what the client actually needs.

I sometimes think that I took the easy route by deciding to come up with a diagnostic tool that tells a client where they are today. Then, it’s not too hard to see where they should go. Tune in to hear us discuss this topic in a depth that I think is hard to find anywhere else.

Why I Chose to Write a Story

There’s a good reason why I chose to make my first time management book a fable or story, rather than the usual list of stuff you should be doing but aren’t.



This has implications for how you coach or train your clients in time management strategies, given the research that’s been done on the effectiveness of using stories when teaching adults. Of course, you should develop your own stories by using your own first-person examples of what you have done, and are doing, to develop effective time management skills.


An Update on The Bill Book

2What I now call “The Bill Book” is now in its final journey to the copy-editor. Once she fixes the mistakes in grammar, spelling and phrasing, I’ll pop it into the right format and submit it to

It’s been a long journey, from a tentative, sample chapter / blog post I wrote back in March 2009 to the point where it’s on the verge of being released to the public. I have learned so much in this process, on a number of fronts – no single post can cover it all. The learning curve has been steep.

What it has forced me to do is coalesce a disparate amount of content into packages that people can recognize, use and benefit from. It’s been a tremendous force that’s helped me focus time, energy and attention on the places where I think it will make the biggest dent in the universe.

It certainly has helped me deepen my commitment to the certification of Time Management Advisers. There’ll be much more about this in the months to come.

In the meantime, my team of volunteer beta-testing-editors is waiting for the final product to give it one, final read. It will be the very last before it’s born into the world, warts and all.

If you’d like to sign up for immediate notification when the book is released, visit this link. You will also find a short summary of the book, and see why I’m so excited. Scared. Nervous. Happy. Relieved.