I’ve come to the realization that email is destroying my productivity. It’s not a distraction; it’s destruction. There are days that I find I’ve gotten nothing done but handling emails. It’s a completely victim-oriented approach to time management, having your day driven by what drops into your inbox.
So I began the process of separating all the chaff from the few grains of wheat. I’ve created a dozen or so filters (they’re really all the same filter, but Gmail limits how long a filter can be) that move all the chaff out of my Inbox and assign a label named Subscription. These are all the occasional reads, such as InfoWorld, NetworkComputing, etc., etc., etc. My goal has been to have an empty Inbox, other than real emails sent to me by a person.
I’ve been at this for a week or so, and just when I’ve pretty much reached my goal, I see a little red link at the top of Gmail that says “Priority Inbox.”
Google is basically using their spam filter now to decide which emails are important to you. The introductory video says that it’s based on things like what you open and what you reply to. And you can train it by giving emails an “important” attribute.
A lot more elegant than my brute force filters. But a week too late! It will be interesting to see how my filters and Gmail’s Priority Inbox co-exist.
Which reminds me…
It sure would be nice if Gmail allowed you to deactivate a filter without having to delete it. Of course, I can always mail myself a copy. And mark it important. 😉
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