Stuart's Blog

Testing a New Email Essentialism Strategy

Although I've already pretty much unsubscribed from everything, and keep the Inbox Zero habit, I still have a distraction in my emails that seems unavoidable...

That is, it seems impossible to open my email client to send an email without seeing the new emails that have come in.

I currently use GMail, though I am slowly moving my life away from Google, and this strategy struck me the other day...

I already have a "Follow Up" label that all unresolved email tasks go into (for example, when waiting for a product to be delivered, the order confirmation will go into Follow Up until it arrives).

So I have created a second folder, labelled "New".

(Actually, they're now labelled 01_New and 02_FollowUp)

And I've set up a filter such that all incoming emails are:

  • Marked as read
  • Added to the 01_New label
  • Archived from the Inbox

This way I never receive notifications, or even an indication of new mail until I'm ready to look under my 01_New label.

But how do I know if an email under 01_New is really new? Because they always are... emails either get actioned and deleted or go into the FollowUp folder if they haven't been completed.

I will only be checking 01_New when I have time to deal with anything that has arrived.

This seems like a solid strategy on the face of it, and we will see if this helps me to send emails without distraction, or if I develop a habit of always clicking on my 'New' label every time I open my emails!

#tech #digital minimalism #essentialism #simple living

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