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.


Announcing: A New Podcast Format

During the month of December I’ll be undertaking a relaunch of the 2Time Labs podcast.

Gone for the most part will be the old format of interviewing an expert who has written a book, or about to publish one. In its place will be at attempt to create a useful product, service of job aid in every episode.

Or, to be more accurate, in each conversation. At the moment each one is spanning several episodes and takes more than a few hours.

Why so long?

In a nutshell, I have given up trying to cram a thought-provoking conversation into a short listening experience which amounts to little more than an infomercial. Instead, I invite an expert onto the show with an explicit goal – to solve a problem by producing an interactive “object” that a real person can use. In other words, it’s a design conversation, just like the ones I used to have as a researcher / consultant at AT&T  Bell Labs.

For those who are a bit younger, in its heyday “The Labs” were the top of the industrial research laboratories, enjoying reputation like Google Labs or similar outfits at Microsoft, Apple or Facebook. Every day, a bunch of bright people had thousands of conversations on all levels – from highly theoretical to abundantly practical. (A few won Nobel Prizes for the former.)

Way over on the latter end of the spectrum, I enjoyed these discussions. IN fact, I plan to replicate them on the podcast with my guest.


These aren’t short salesy chats… but you can find out more here, by listening to my introduction episode intended to describe what will happen in the next few weeks. I have taped four LiveLabs so far ranging over a total of about 10 hours and they are quite different from anything I have ever heard.

If you are a consultant, trainer, professional organizer or coach, this may be a good opportunity to hear us pull together existing ideas into sophisticated end-products. My guests and I are quite aware that each conversation is a risky proposition… our well-meaning deep dive could yield little of real value. Yet, here we are…trying our best.

Listen in here.


What do you tell clients to do with lots of low priority tasks? [Podcast]

A few months ago, I recorded a podcast with Augusto Pinaud on the topic of scheduling low priority tasks.

While that may sound like a trite topic, it’s anything but…these tasks accumulate leading to all worts of unwanted feelings and effects.

Tune into this recording in which Augusto shares his unique approach to dealing with tasks before they become a problem.

[Hint: The answer is NOT to just get rid of them.]

Listen in here!


Podcast on Time Demands

While it’s true that time can’t be managed, those of who call ourselves time advisers know that what we are doing with clients is very real, and the problems that we help them to solve aren’t figments of the imagination.

We actually need some new distinctions to be effective in our profession, and in this podcast I make the point rather forcefully that people manage something I call time demands, and when we help them realize this fact, it opens their minds.

Listen in.

Tony Murphy on Time Intelligence

Tony Murphy is a consultant and researcher who has developed his own suite of diagnostic tools based on academic research. It’s a fascinating take on what any tie adviser can do with enough courage: do the hard work needed to give clients what they need to be their most effective.

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.

Interviewing a Master Organizer – Judith Kolberg

Judith Kolberg is one of the founders of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization and also the author of a recent book – Organizing in the Age of Endless. It’s a book that deals with contemporary challenges in both time and space and she makes some powerful observations about how well we are struggling in a world that allows more of everything to come at us.

Tune in to hear the podcast here.

Podcast on One-Size-Fits-All Solutions

Just in case you haven’t guessed… here at 2Time Labs we tend to go on and on about the need for time advisers to stop force-fitting clients into systems that don’t fit their idiosyncratic ways.

Instead, we need to switch our focus to finding ways to give them what they want – custom-built solutions that don’t fit the concept that a coach, consultant, trainer or professional organizer already has in mind before even meeting them for the first time.

In this podcast with Jayne Jennings and Val McDougall about the need to give our clients what they want, even if it makes our job so much harder as time advisers. As you’ll see, we had such a good time that we talked our way into a followup podcast on putting together powerful diagnostic tools. Phew!