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Showing posts from July, 2007

More on email inbox bliss

So far my attempt to maintain an empty inbox is working out pretty well. One of the most effective things that worked was to get rid of folders. Previously, I was a folder freak: my email was "organized" into a bewildering, ever changing, hierarchy of folders. Rather than making it easier to find stuff, it was actually much harder. Before I could find something quickly, I had to try to figure out which folder I had decided to put it into. I draw a comparison between this and usage of, say, Google Search vs. a directory service like dmoz. Directory services categorize the web into a wonderful hierarchy. But in practice, it's almost always more effective to just search the conceptual single folder containing the whole web via google search. I now have a small number of folders. Apart from the inbox, trash, and sent folder, the remaining folders can be categorized as: A single @Respond folder. Messages that I need to respond to, but can't do so immediately because…

Google Code Project Hosting Gets Upgrades

The folks over at Google Code have been doing some sterling work in the last few weeks fixing various issues with its project hosting support. Here are some of my favorite fixes:Issue 250: Issue summaries are unnecessary abbreviated. In the issue list, the summaries would be truncated arbitrarily. This was pesky on a large display, since there was plenty of space to see the whole summary. Issue 138: projectname.googlecode.com should redirect to project page. So now you can go to jd-ant.googlecode.com as well as code.google.com/p/jd-ant. Issue 306: IssueTracker: Provide a means of displaying more than 25 issues at a time. Now you see 100 issues at a time, which makes for less paging about in large issue lists. Glad to see these improvements. Google's project hosting is straightforward, fast, and very useful.

Asserting Control over the INBOX

Sometimes I'm a bit disorganized. Last week, after purging my INBOX of some 15,000 messages (discovering quite a few that I had read but not replied to in the process), I decided that it's finally time to assert control over my INBOX. It's not the first time I've tried this. The lofty goal of maintaining an empty INBOX is very appealing in theory, but it's easy to get lazy. Before you know it, you end up with thousands of disorganized messages again. The first step in this was turning down my "autocheck" frequency. I think a big part of the reason that I'm a bit disorganized is that email messages arrive in a constant stream throughout my day, and so I'm always processing them while doing other tasks. My approach now is to set aside 5-10 minute periods every hour or so specifically for triaging email. Any email I can respond to, or action, within that period, I do so immediately. Anything else, I add to my TODO list on the excellent Remember t…