How to avoid email bankruptcy 5 rules that work

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If you owe past due federal taxes that you cannot pay, bankruptcy may be an option. Other options include an IRS payment plan or an offer in compromise.

If you are a person that has filed bankruptcy, a debtor’s attorney or a U.S. Trustee with questions about an open bankruptcy you may contact the IRS’ Centralized Insolvency Operations Unit, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., EST, at 1-800-973-0424.

For individuals, the most common type of bankruptcy is a Chapter 13. Before you consider filing a Chapter 13 here are some things you should know:

  • You must file all required tax returns for tax periods ending within four years of your bankruptcy filing.
  • During your bankruptcy you must continue to file, or get an extension of time to file, all required returns.
  • During your bankruptcy case you should pay all current taxes as they come due.
  • Failure to file returns and/or pay current taxes during your bankruptcy may result in your case being dismissed.

Partnerships and corporations file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. Individuals may also file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11. For additional tax information on bankruptcy, refer to Publication 908, Bankruptcy Tax Guide and Publication 5082, What You Should Know about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Delinquent Returns PDF (PDF).

Other types of bankruptcy include Chapters 9, 12 and 15. Cases under these chapters of the bankruptcy code involve municipalities, family farmers and fisherman, and international cases. For information see Other Types of Bankruptcy – Chapters 9, 12 & 15.

Email bankruptcy seems an odd name to call this topic – it’s more like email overload or overwhelm.

This is the first of two blog posts I’m dedicating to Email Bankruptcy. This post defines it – the other post called Email Bankruptcy: Solutions gives options to avoid it or how you can recover from a very large… inbox.How to avoid email bankruptcy 5 rules that work

Do you have unanswered email from last month? How about a few months ago? Last year? I’ve talked with people who have over 1,500 unopened, unsorted email in their inbox.

Definition:

Email bankruptcy is a decision to delete all or a majority of your email messages. By declaring email bankruptcy you have to decide if you will:

  • Delete only some messages (from everyone who is not a client for example)
  • Delete all messages (junk or legitimate)
  • In the worst case situations to close your email account

It’s the equivalent of raising a white flag and surrendering to an unmanageable volume of email.

During an email bankruptcy you should also send a message to everyone explaining you have deleted their message. This unfortunately flips the problem around – now, if the person who has been waiting still needs a response they have to send yet another email. Exhausting!

Impact On Your Brand / Your Reputation:

Email bankruptcy should not be taken lightly – its impact on your reputation can be severe. Consider – you are suggesting you can’t manage your time or responsibilities well, or that the people who’ve emailed you aren’t important enough for you to read their email message.

Is this the reputation you want to reinforce for you and your business? Are you destined to do the same thing Stanford University technology professor Lawrence Lessig did in one of the first and most publicly identified examples of email bankruptcy?

Is Email Bankruptcy A Helpful Solution?

I don’t think so.

It’s really not a volume problem – it’s a work flow problem… volume only makes the problem more obvious. Weather you send and receive 50 or 500 email, you need to find a process to manage your volume.

Instead of email bankruptcy, put a plan in place that focuses on best practices and solutions that will work for you. And, it’s likely the plan that works for me will not be perfect for you – we are all individuals.

Your solution will contain elements from two or more of the following:

  • Good email etiquette and writing structure
  • Efficiently using your email management system (like Outlook)
  • Reducing how many newsletters, alerts and blogs you receive
  • Use Folders, Alerts and Rules… three of my favourites

Whatever you solution, email etiquette is a good place to start.

Email Etiquette Example:

If you are a manager who chronically Cc…’s more people than need to, don’t be surprised if the people who work with you do the same – and therefore fill up your inbox with irrelevant messages. Consider that 10 unnecessary email each day from 5 staff is an extra 50 useless email you have to sort through each day.

Declaring email bankruptcy is likely only going to provide a temporary solution unless you can identify the root of the problem.

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How to avoid email bankruptcy 5 rules that work

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How to avoid email bankruptcy 5 rules that work

Written by Jesse Mecham | on August 22, 2005

I recognize that this can be a very, very emotionally-charged issue at times. My writing style is direct (read: blunt). I will be blunt here. But I want all readers to know this:

If you are having financial difficulty, and are possibly contemplating personal bankruptcy, that does not mean in any way you are a bad person. It happens to the very finest of people. It is not a reflection of your character. You are still of immeasurable worth.

I’ve outlined below 7 ways to avoid personal bankruptcy. These are most likely the same suggestions I would give anyone having financial difficulties. If you are considering filing for personal bankruptcy then you certainly should read on. It just may be that you can avoid filing bankruptcy all together.

Get on a Written Budget
One way to avoid personal bankruptcy is to immediately get on a written budget. You will need to get absolutely intense about your money. Money that is told what to do prior to it landing in your wallet will work harder, last longer, and keep your finances stronger than any other financial move you can make.

The simplest budget may work best for you: pencil & paper. Others enjoy the use of excel spreadsheets or fancy software packages. The key is not in what you use, but that you use it. You can take a look at this article on setting up a personal budget. We won’t go into the details here.

Just know that the #1 way you can avoid personal bankruptcy is to get on a written budget.

Sell, Sell, Sell Your Ball and Chain
What is causing this extreme financial pressure? Have you purchased too much home? Is your house payment representing 40% of your take-home pay (that’s too much)? Do you owe money on any vehicles? Many times personal bankruptcy can be avoided by people just taking a good, hard look at what they owe and why they owe it. While it’s true that most bankruptcies have been caused by health-related costs, we still need to analyze why a medical bill caused the ultimate pressure that led someone to want or need to file personal bankruptcy.

Not only do you need to assess what types of ball-and-chains you have lying around, you also need to see what type of junk you can sell quickly to cover any month-to-month cash shortages you may be experiencing. Do you have a ton of books or CDs that you could sell? Any hobby items you no longer use or need? Freeing up this cash can go a long way in giving you a clear head about your finances. It will give you breathing room – which will allow you to think clearer about other ways to avoid personal bankruptcy.

Cut Up Your Credit Cards
In no way – under any circumstances – should you be using a credit card. Destroy them. Cut them up. Even the one for “emergencies”. We’re talking about ways to avoid personal bankruptcy, not walk right into it.

But Jesse, I don’t have the cash right now to be able to handle any emergencies. And life is surely going to happen! I’ll just use it for emergencies.

That may be true. You might just use it for emergencies. But I guarantee that your definition of an emergency will become much stricter if you don’t have the ability to charge anything in the first place. All of a sudden having the air conditioner going out in the car isn’t an emergency. Why? Because you can’t afford (right now) to repair it.

Negotiate or Surf to Lower Interest Rates
That’s right. After telling you to cut up your credit cards, I’m now telling you to surf high-interest-rate balances to new cards. But that doesn’t mean you actually keep the card – it’s cut up. You do want to take advantage of any low-interest offers you receive (take a look at the 50 you get each week for starters).

Your object in doing this is to create some short-term positive cash flow. Getting down to a lower interest-rate will bring you that much closer to avoiding personal bankruptcy. True, you won’t be getting out of debt any faster, but you will be freeing up some cash you might need to get by month to month. Not only will the extra cash help out there, but you’ll feel better, a little calmer, knowing you’ve got a bit of wriggle room.

Increase Your Income
While this might seem a bit obvious, it’s overlooked very often. You shouldn’t just look at cutting expenses. What can you do to increase the other end of the equation? The income side? Can you work overtime, get a second job delivering pizzas? Work for UPS? Can you mow lawns, trim hedges, paint houses, wash windows, flip burgers, etc.? A part-time job that brings in just $500 extra per month will do wonders for your monthly budget.

This is not a time to be prideful. You need money. You’ll need to work for it. You might even need to do less-than-glamorous things (I listed some above), but you’re doing this for a short amount of time so you can avoid a long-lasting curse: personal bankruptcy. Avoiding this financial pitfall by gutting it out for the short-term will bring you long-term benefit.

Avoid CONsolidation
Nine times out of ten this leads you to personal bankprutcy – it doesn’t help you avoid it. Do not fall prey to predatory companies that hunt the weak, desperate, and vulnerable for customers. CONsolidation will free up your monthly cash flow (which is a good thing) but it does this by extending the length of time you will be in debt (this is not a good thing) and hurts your credit badly (this is also not a good thing). Please, avoid the illusion of debt consolidation. Focus on increasing your income, cutting your expenses, lowering your rates, selling your junk, getting rid of any ball-and-chains (new car?) and getting on a written budget.

Maintain Your Perspecive
Times are most likely very emotional for you right now. Your marriage is probably stressed to the max, and you think about your money problems constantly. This is not a time to jump into any crazy ideas. You need to gain the advantage of many minds and consult with trusted friends and family. Consult before you decide to make any financial moves. Above all, remember that your worth is not tied to your net worth. You are not a bad person for being in this situation. While I do not completely write-off your contribution to this predicament (we’d have to talk one-on-one for that) I do recognize that life happens – sometimes in a very harsh way.

I admire your desire to look for ways to avoid personal bankpruptcy, instead of just filing and not taking responsibilty for your financial life. If you need free personal counseling or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

How to avoid email bankruptcy 5 rules that work

Email bankruptcy is an acknowledgement that your email has become unmanageable and the decision to either purge your inbox and start afresh or, more radically, to renounce email altogether.

The origins of email bankruptcy as a term are not clear. One of the earliest examples of the practice, whether identified as such or not, was by Stanford computer science professor Donald E. Knuth. Knuth was an early adopter of email, in 1975. However, he gave it up 15 years later. Quoted in an article in The Washington Post, Knuth explained “I’d get to work and start answering e-mail — three hours later, I’d say, ‘Oh, what was I supposed to do today?'” He took the extreme route and simply stopped using email and has never regretted his decision, proclaiming that “I have been a happy man since Jan. 1 , 1990.”

Creative Commons founder, law professor and Wired columnist Larry Lessig popularized the term and concept when he officially declared email bankruptcy in a mass email. In 2004, after spending 80 hours trying to take control of his inbox (which contained unanswered messages dating back two years), Lessig gave up and notified his correspondents that he was abnegating responsibility for all messages currently in his inbox.

Here are the steps Lessig took to declare email bankruptcy:

  1. He collected email addresses of people who had sent messages that he hadn’t responded to.
  2. He copied all the email addresses into the Bcc field of a self-addressed email message.
  3. He wrote a polite note explaining that he was not going to respond to messages currently in his inbox (and, presumably, deleted them).
  4. He asked people to resend messages that really needed his attention.

According to Lessig, his declaration was well-received: A few of the recipients simply resent their messages but the vast majority were “kind enough to simply remain silent.”

Declaring email bankruptcy absolves you of email indebtedness and allows you to start over with, one hopes, more efficient email management practices. However, as with its financial counterpart, there may be repercussions. Important messages may be lost, for one thing. Furthermore, you may be seen as less responsible. On the whole, email bankruptcy should not be undertaken unless email management is deemed impossible.

How to avoid email bankruptcy 5 rules that work

Do you look at your inbox and want to cry? If so, you’re not alone. According to widely cited Radicati Group research, the average person gets 120 business emails every day. If you don’t manage your emails, you could end up in another statistical majority. People spend at least 14 percent of their workday on email alone. Is it any wonder that a recent Harris Poll found that only 45 percent of our workdays are spent on actual work? If you’re looking for the solution to your email woes, start with some of Silicon Valley greats.

BEZOS DELEGATES

If you want to watch a corporate team start to sweat, see what happens when they get a “?” email from Jeff Bezos. Business Insider reports that the notoriously easy-to-contact Amazon CEO will forward customer complaints to his people and add only a question mark to the original query. Getting that dreaded mark is a little like getting the black spot from Blind Pew the pirate. You know that a day of reckoning is at hand. Follow Bezos’ lead. Instead of answering all emails yourself, ask, “Can this be better handled by someone else?” Forward it to your team and save yourself the time.

USE AUTO REPLIES

You can also use auto-reply tools to manage the flood. Tommy John CEO Tom Patterson did just that after his emails skyrocketed from 150 to 400 a day. He tells Inc.com that “there weren’t enough minutes in a day to answer all of them.” So he didn’t; he set up an auto-reply to tell people that he only checked email before 9 and after 5 — and to please call or text if it was urgent. The result? “It forced me to delegate and empower others to respond,” he says. Suddenly the flow slowed to a trickle.

DO YOU GET MORE EMAILS THAN BILL GATES

And it really should only be a trickle; Bill Gates reports that he only gets 40–50 emails a day. Ask yourself, “Should I really be getting more emails than Bill Gates?” One possible cause for email inundation, according to LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, is other employees sending too much email of their own. He writes, “Two of the people I worked most closely with ended up leaving the organization within the span of several weeks after they left I realized my inbox traffic had been reduced by roughly 20–30 percent.” If you have over-communicators in your ranks, ask them to tone back the digital flood.

SET BOUNDARIES

Creating a hard buffer between your email and your life is another CEO tactic. Arianna Huffington doesn’t check her email for a half hour after waking or before going to bed, and she never touches it around her kids. That space to breathe is essential to maintaining a work-life balance. And if it gets bad enough? Etsy’s Chad Dickerson has a solution: email bankruptcy! He tells Fast Company that every few years, he just deletes everything and starts fresh!

Not all Silicon Valley gurus have it figured out, however. Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t get 120 business emails a day. No, according to an ABC interview, he gets closer to 700. He just gets up at the crack of dawn every morning and starts reading. Hint Water CEO, Kara Goldin does the same thing, preparing for a 12-hour workday with a marathon email session. But as you can tell from the other people we’ve discussed, this is an exception, not the rule. Emulate Jeff Bezos or Arianna Huffington instead and watch your email stress melt away.

How to avoid email bankruptcy 5 rules that work

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How to avoid email bankruptcy 5 rules that work

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Starting your own business is one of the most exciting decisions you can take. But it is imperative to follow fundamental rules and keep certain key considerations in mind to avoid facing financial issues that may lead to bankruptcy. Here are five factors to keep in mind when managing your finances as a startup:

1. Set a clear plan of action

To succeed, your project must set out a plan of action explaining all details, including clear rules and regulations, governing the workflow and explaining the work method. Based on a good comprehensive business plan, a company will be able to make smart decisions related to location, pricing, and investment. Without a good business plan, there will be no bank loans, and no one will invest their money in the intended project.

Furthermore, do not hesitate to spend a little extra money to make sure that the basics are legally covered. If you do not know all the legal and financial duties for your project, you will end up in trouble, and it is usually less expensive to seek legal and accounting advice prior to the occurrence of any difficulty.

2. Focus on the quality of products/ services (and market interest as well)

A product or service is the basis of any business. However, if the quality of the product or service provided is less than the expectations of the customers, or if there is another product in the market that is better and more cost-effective, it will not be purchased by many. Develop a strong and authentic product or service, maintain your existing customers, and focus on targeting more.

3. Do not borrow too much

Ideally, you may have a nice pile of savings hidden away that will help you build your project, but it is more likely that you will have to borrow some money. Banks and financial institutions try to sell more debt, and as attractive as it may sound filling cashflow gaps with debts, when there is a shrinking market in certain economies, along with liquidity problems, this is absolutely risky and dangerous– more so in countries where certain criminal penalties may be imposed if the company’s directors or shareholders are unable to pay off those debts.

At the same time, although the right amount of loan for your small business depends on the type of business, it is important to ensure you will be able to get the best return on your investment as well. You should know the value of monthly interest, the installments you will pay, as well as the term of the loan beforehand. Try to deduct loan payments from any expected profits to understand what the loan can cost you to ensure you repay it on time. At the end of the day, getting more money is not the solution for a business to grow. Instead, a company has to hack its way by finding more effective ways to actually use its existing cashflows, assets, and resources.

4. And do not borrow too little

Getting started without adequate capital is just as risky as over borrowing. If you assume that profits will cover operating costs, without ensuring adequate capital to keep your project functioning, you may not have the opportunity to bring in customers who will help move the business to make profits in the first place. It is beneficial to carefully research the cost of doing a particular business in your areasetting a company budget, and sticking to it, can give you an idea of how much you need to have as a minimum capital.

5. Give due consideration to money collection and cashflows

Cash flow is the engine fuel for the business to push it forward. At the beginning of your company’s project, some customers may offer to buy your product, whether by debt, or forward sale, or installments, and you may probably give in in order to retain them. However, if you are not able to collect it in the future for any reason, this debt may be the reason for the failure of your project. For this reason, make sure to rely on cash sales, especially during the first few months of the project. Once successful, you can allow for more flexible and lenient sale terms to some of your good and trusted customers.

Whilst the reasons behind the failure of many companies are varied, ranging from lack of market interest to internal conflicts over strategy or execution, the most common reasons are financial struggles and bankruptcies. Thus, it is important not to neglect any of the aforesaid essential principles.

What to Do About Unpaid Medical Bills

How to avoid email bankruptcy 5 rules that work

nortonrsx / Getty Images

If you’re plagued with medical debt, you’re not alone. A 2019 study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that around 137.1 million adults had experienced medical financial hardship in the past year. Medical bills can strain your finances whether you have health insurance or not, too.  

Fortunately, there are several options for dealing with your medical debt, including requesting a discount or working out a repayment plan. Exploring these options early can protect your credit and keep you from filing bankruptcy.

Negotiate Your Medical Bills

You may be surprised to learn that medical service providers have varying pricing structures for services. This gives you some ability to negotiate your medical bill by reducing the amount you owe or working out a repayment plan.

If you aren’t healthy enough or feel uncomfortable negotiating, consider working with a debt relief company that can negotiate for you. Beware of debt settlement companies who may encourage you to default on payments so you can negotiate a settlement. A credit counseling agency, on the other hand, can work with you to review your finances, figure out how much you can afford to pay towards your medical bills, and work out a repayment plan with your biller. Credit counselors are usually non-profit organizations but charge a small fee for their services.

Make Payment Arrangements

Contact the number listed on your billing statement if you don’t plan to pay your bill in full upfront. This is important even if you plan to follow up with the insurance company; the billing department needs to be aware that you aren’t ignoring the bill.

The credit bureaus will remove a medical collection paid by your insurance company if they receive verification from the collection agency.

Working with your insurance provider to ensure they’ve paid their share is important, too. If you’re ultimately responsible for the balance, ask for a payment plan that gives you more flexibility to pay your balance over time. Review your budget to figure out what you can afford so you’re prepared to negotiate an arrangement that suits your finances.

As with any other bill, make your payments on time each month or contact the billing department with payment concerns. Otherwise, your account may be sent to a collection agency despite your previous payments.

Apply for Medicaid

Medicaid is health insurance for low-income residents who can’t afford their medical care expenses. Qualification criteria vary by state, so you must contact your state Medicaid office to find out if you qualify.

Your child may be eligible for Medicaid even if you are not. Medicaid can be used to pay for medical expenses you’ve already incurred up to three months before you applied. It’s important to apply as soon as possible after receiving a medical bill to receive retroactive coverage.  

Consider a Low-Interest or Medical Credit Card

A credit card with a low or zero-interest credit card could be a good option for medical debt because it allows you to pay off your balance over time without incurring a large interest expense. You’ll typically need good to excellent credit to qualify, which is more incentive to handle your medical bills before they hit your credit card.

Credit card approvals can happen immediately after you apply but it can take up to 10 days for your card to arrive.

Your physician’s office may suggest a medical credit card. Before you choose this option, compare to other credit card options available. Medical credit cards may offer no-interest financing for six months or more, but you’ll need to pay your full balance before the promotional period ends or the issuer will retroactively add the full amount of interest to your balance. Be sure you can afford to pay off the balance before interest is added.

Ask for Help

Dealing with medical debt on your own can be a little intimidating. Fortunately, there are organizations that can offer assistance. Credit counselors can help you come up with a plan to pay off the debt and strengthen your credit. Similar to credit counselors, medical billing advocates can help review your bills, look for errors, and appeal high costs on your behalf.

File for Bankruptcy

As a last resort, you may have to get help through bankruptcy court. Medical debt can be completely discharged if you qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy or you can pay it off over three to five years (in most cases) through a Chapter 13 repayment plan.

Be aware that a bankruptcy will be reported to the credit bureaus for up to 10 years, affecting your credit score and ability to qualify for credit cards and loans in the future.  

Don’t Ignore Medical Bills

While you may not want to deal with medical bills, handling them sooner rather than later can lessen their impact on your finances. Your medical bills won’t show up on any of your credit reports until they’re 180 days past due. That gives you six months to work out arrangements for the bills before your credit is impacted, but you must take action.  

Medical service providers may escalate collection efforts if you ignore the bill, even if you’re waiting for your insurance company to pay. After a while, the bill may be sent to a third-party debt collector, an action that can affect your credit score and future chances of borrowing money for a house or car. Once a medical bill has been placed with a collection agency, you face the risk of being sued for the debt, which could result in a judgment, bank levy, or wage garnishment.

How medical bills affect your credit varies depending on the credit scoring model and whether your credit report reflects a paid status for the bill.

By David S. Chang

How to avoid email bankruptcy 5 rules that work I have a confession to make. If I don’t check my email for more than fifteen minutes, I can get nervous and anxious. Did I miss anything important? Is there someone that is awaiting a response from me that is make or break? Not to mention if I don’t check my email within 15 minutes, my inbox is often filled with dozens of unread emails. I have gotten much better over the years, but only after instituting some rules and email organization tips to help me manage and prioritize my email.

Email is a powerful double-edged sword. It has made the world more accessible where communicating for personal or business use is cheap, convenient, instantaneous, and easy to use. On the flip side, multiple studies have shown that email overload is one of the top causes of workplace stress, loss of productivity, a potential target for hackers, and bad email etiquette can cause more harm than good. A recent McKinsey study shows that the average employee spends 13 hours a week (I am at least double that!) reading, sending, and replying to email. That is 650 hours a year and equates to 30% of our work time in reactive mode, checking email constantly.

The average professional currently gets 110 real emails a day (not including spam) and by 2015 it will increase to 125 emails a day! Your email load will increase, but the hours of the day will still be the same. So what can you do about it? Instead of being a slave to email, we need to use email as a tool for our productivity. Here are the top email organization tips and hacks that can help you take back control of your life!

  • Change Your Mindset. It is easy to fall into the trap that email is our #1 priority. If that is the case, then we are being reactive instead of proactive where others dictate our to-do list and what our priorities should be. Don’t let email manage you, you should be managing email. It is a tool. A tool that we should use, not have us be merely a tool!
  • Quickly Scan and Prioritize Your Emails. Since any email (including spam) takes up the same space on the screen, it is tempting to think that all emails are alike. That is not true. Unimportant emails take up 58% of our inbox! There are four different types of emails and they need to be dealt with differently:
    • High Priority and High Urgency: Deal with instantly or delegate to the respective people
    • High Priority and Low Urgency: Move these to a designated folder where you come back to it as soon as you’re ready
    • Low Priority and High Urgency: If it will take less than two minutes to do it, then do it. If it takes longer than two minutes, see if it will really impact your tasks. If not, then come back to it or delegate to people that can do it immediately
    • Low Priority and Low Urgency: Delete!
  • Organize your email. I have setup an email system where I have different folders, labels, tabs, and filters that automatically organize, consolidate, and prioritize my email. Don’t use your primary inbox as an archive. I make it a goal to have no more than 50 to 60 emails in my primary inbox at a time, and those are the ones are high priority. Most email programs allow you to create rules so you can sort them. In addition to my system I use an email management tool called Sanebox that files my emails into different categories based on the priority and urgency. If you use this invitation URL, you will get a free 2 week trial and $5 in SaneBox credit. This program helps me determine what emails I need to respond immediately, which ones I can come back to, and which ones I can ignore until later. Some of the nice benefits of this email management program and why I like it are:
    • SaneBox automatically filters each of the four different types of emails into separate folders so you can answer, archive or delete them all at once when you have time. It memorizes your preferences and which folder you want a sender’s email to go. This way, you can have only the High Priority and High Urgency emails in your primary inbox.
    • You can move the High Priority and Low Urgency emails into a Sanebox Snooze folder and they will reappear in your Inbox when you’re ready.
    • I use google apps for business, so my business emails are on gmail. Since I have a maximum limit I can have on my email server, it can fill up fast with attachments. Sane Attachments scans emails in your Inbox for attachments, puts them on my Dropbox, and replaces them with a link, so I save on space!
    • Sanebox sends a daily summary email which shows the emails you received and which folder it went into, just to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
    • Sometimes good emails go into the SPAM folder, Sanebox scans the SPAM folder and moves good emails out.
    • There is nothing to install, it is secure, connects with your social media is compatible with almost all emails systems, and more importantly saves the average worker 100 hours a year! I am a big fan of Sanebox and tough to imagine life without it! There is a cost, but if you can save lots of time and help you be more productive, lower stress, and prevent email overload or email bankruptcy, it’s worth it! If interested, click this link to get two weeks free and a $5 credit!
  • Send less email. To receive less email, send less email. Email is convenient and is sometimes an easier alternative than just picking up the phone or walking across the hall to our co-worker. But the more you send and reply to, the more you will get, especially with the invention of the “reply all” “forward” and carbon copy “cc.” Unsubscribe to any emails you don’t need.
  • Be concise and precise. Be brief and get to the point in your email. Be clear in the email subject line and who the intended audience is or you may receive more responses than intended. Avoid having too many topics in one email. Also practice good email manners by being polite and courteous. This can help prevent confusion or a negative perception on your tone so you can prevent any inflammatory discussions that can blow-up. If I send an email from my mobile device, I let the recipients know and ask them to “Please excuse brevity or writing errors.”
  • Turn off email notifications and check at scheduled times. Every time I receive an alert I can’t help but check my email. Whether it be on a phone or computer, turn them off during scheduled time blocks to focus on your important tasks. Close your email program so you are not tempted to check periodically and break your concentration and workflow. On average, it takes more than a minute to fully recover from being interrupted by an email. Establish a routine on when you will check, how you will check, and your replies so you don’t spend too much time on “doing email”, or let it get out of hand where you have to declare “email bankruptcy!”

More In File

If you owe past due federal taxes that you cannot pay, bankruptcy may be an option. Other options include an IRS payment plan or an offer in compromise.

If you are a person that has filed bankruptcy, a debtor’s attorney or a U.S. Trustee with questions about an open bankruptcy you may contact the IRS’ Centralized Insolvency Operations Unit, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., EST, at 1-800-973-0424.

For individuals, the most common type of bankruptcy is a Chapter 13. Before you consider filing a Chapter 13 here are some things you should know:

  • You must file all required tax returns for tax periods ending within four years of your bankruptcy filing.
  • During your bankruptcy you must continue to file, or get an extension of time to file, all required returns.
  • During your bankruptcy case you should pay all current taxes as they come due.
  • Failure to file returns and/or pay current taxes during your bankruptcy may result in your case being dismissed.

Partnerships and corporations file bankruptcy under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. Individuals may also file under Chapter 7 or Chapter 11. For additional tax information on bankruptcy, refer to Publication 908, Bankruptcy Tax Guide and Publication 5082, What You Should Know about Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and Delinquent Returns PDF (PDF).

Other types of bankruptcy include Chapters 9, 12 and 15. Cases under these chapters of the bankruptcy code involve municipalities, family farmers and fisherman, and international cases. For information see Other Types of Bankruptcy – Chapters 9, 12 & 15.