I receive between 100 and 1,000 business-related e-mails per day. Out of necessity, over the last few years I've developed a numbers of systems that help me manage my inbox effectively. This is the third in a series of posts describing the systems I utilize to stay on top of my inbox.
Most months I spend at least a few days the air, traveling from Vancouver to one of the many destinations Clio's business brings me. Surprisingly, I find the time on the plane to be some of my most productive, as I'm without the myriad distractions of the office (and the Internet!).
The key to staying productive on the plane (or any scenario where you might be offline for hours at a time) is an e-mail program capable of working offline. An offline-capable e-mail program will allow you download all of the messages from your Inbox to your laptop before you go offline, and will send any messages you've written while offline as soon as you reconnect to the Internet.
The best offline-capable e-mail program I've found thus far is Postbox. Postbox works with any POP- or IMAP-compliant e-mail server, which includes virtually every Exchange Server as well as Gmail- or Google Apps-based e-mail accounts. Postbox makes it simple to select which e-mail folders you'd like to download for offline use. I've tried other e-mail programs which, despite billing themselves as being offline-capable, seem inconsistent at downloading the messages for offline use properly.
Give Postbox a spin the next time you go offline, and let me know what you think!