#email

Alex Wilhelm:

Yet a startup called Rebump has found a way to make email even worse. How is that possible, you ask.? Well, Rebump is a service that automatically re-pings people — via email, of course — that haven’t answered your original message. It will keep doing so until you get a response.

Note that this implies that your initial email was both worth reading, and worth replying to. In reality most email fails both tests. So, Rebump is essentially a brilliantly passive aggressive way to force people into responding to you, or the flood of notes will not fucking stop.

Finally, someone has created my worst nightmare in startup form.

Yes, Another Email Rant

I bitch about email. A lot. Very loudly. And very publicly. As a result, I get a lot of people who reach out 1 with some tips on how they best contain the beast. 2

One of the tips that seems to come up most often is managing it as you go, on your mobile device. I of course already do this with Mailbox, but that’s really more about triage and less about taking care of business in real time. What these people usually mean is actually responding to emails as they come in, rather than organizing them to respond to later.

Admittedly, I’m awful at this. But that’s sort of by design.

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shortformblog
shortformblog:

Before email existed in your inbox, an Australian manufacturing giant better known for making refrigerators and other household appliances had a monopoly on the name. It was a simpler time, when checking your email meant leftovers were always within reach, rather than merely spam. Obviously, that now-defunct company’s name ranks high in the SEO ranks these days. (via the Voices of East Anglia Facebook page)

My parallel universe nightmare lives!

shortformblog:

Before email existed in your inbox, an Australian manufacturing giant better known for making refrigerators and other household appliances had a monopoly on the name. It was a simpler time, when checking your email meant leftovers were always within reach, rather than merely spam. Obviously, that now-defunct company’s name ranks high in the SEO ranks these days. (via the Voices of East Anglia Facebook page)

My parallel universe nightmare lives!

Merlin Mann:

For me, the real ‘zero’ in Inbox Zero is more about consciously managing the amount of our attention that we commit (or, far more often, cede) to thinking and worrying about what may or may not be piling up while we’re away doing the real work of our lives. Which is to say: the Real Work that’s not, in this instance, about fiddling with email or drearily suffering the daily fusillade of random requests and information bombs that get lobbed our way.

Put to best use, Inbox Zero is merely a philosophical practice of learning to be parsimonious about which and how many inputs we allow into into our lives—and, then, to responsibly but mindfully tend to those inputs in a way that is never allowed to hinder our personal commitment to doing the work that really matters to us.

Yes. A million times yes.

Unfortunately, it has taken me far longer than I care to admit to realize this as well. “Inbox Zero” isn’t about chasing down that mythical void of a number — it’s about realizing that you’ll never be able to, being okay with that, and adjusting your life accordingly so as to put yourself in the best possible position to actually get shit done. 

Simon Kuper for FT Magazine:

Email kicked off an unprecedented expansion in writing. We’re now in the most literate age in history. I remember in 2003 asking someone, “What’s a blog?” By 2006, the analysis firm NM Incite had identified 36 million blogs worldwide; five years later, there were 173 million. Use of online social media rises every month. In fact, writing is overtaking speech as the most common form of interaction.

So there is something good that has come out of email?

[via Felix Salmon]

bryan
bryan:


UPDATE: Cool, Mailbox’s CEO agrees.
My biggest gripe with Mailbox thus far is that the default snooze options, which I generally love, do not change based on the time or day of the week, which can lead to some ambiguous situations. Around 9PM last night I wanted to merely delay an email by a couple of hours. “Later today” actually deferred the email to a little after midnight but “This Evening” deferred until 6PM the next day. Similarly, “This Weekend” and “Next Week” also seem a bit too ambiguous when it’s currently Sunday night. I really think that contextually tweaking the available options as well as some of the language could go a long way towards improving this already great feature.
I’ve been using Mailbox for a few weeks now and very much enjoy it. When I first installed it I started a list all of the things I didn’t like, but almost all of my complaints went away the more I bought into the way that Mailbox is intended to be used. The only ones that really remain (aside from the snoozing behavior described above) are the lack of an iPad or desktop equivalent, and the lack of cloud search (which is coming). I also wish that their push notifications included the first line of the message body but I know this is an iOS limitation and not their fault.


Also agree with all of this. I often go to hit one of those snoozes and have to think about it for a second. I shouldn’t have to think at all.

bryan:

UPDATE: Cool, Mailbox’s CEO agrees.

My biggest gripe with Mailbox thus far is that the default snooze options, which I generally love, do not change based on the time or day of the week, which can lead to some ambiguous situations. Around 9PM last night I wanted to merely delay an email by a couple of hours. “Later today” actually deferred the email to a little after midnight but “This Evening” deferred until 6PM the next day. Similarly, “This Weekend” and “Next Week” also seem a bit too ambiguous when it’s currently Sunday night. I really think that contextually tweaking the available options as well as some of the language could go a long way towards improving this already great feature.

I’ve been using Mailbox for a few weeks now and very much enjoy it. When I first installed it I started a list all of the things I didn’t like, but almost all of my complaints went away the more I bought into the way that Mailbox is intended to be used. The only ones that really remain (aside from the snoozing behavior described above) are the lack of an iPad or desktop equivalent, and the lack of cloud search (which is coming). I also wish that their push notifications included the first line of the message body but I know this is an iOS limitation and not their fault.

Also agree with all of this. I often go to hit one of those snoozes and have to think about it for a second. I shouldn’t have to think at all.

Over the past several months, by far the number one question I’ve gotten asked is if I can get people access to Mailbox and/or when is it coming out…

Well, the answer is really soon now. Today, the team rolled out a smart reservation system to make sure they can gracefully launch the service to the hundreds of thousands — perhaps millions — who are undoubtedly going to want it ASAP.

Unfortunately, this system means that some will have to wait longer than others. But at least there will be some transparency in the process: with Mailbox’s reservation system, you’ll be able to see exactly where you are in line to get the app — both the number of people in front of you and behind you.

Once again, trust me, it will be worth the wait. And yes, the app will be free.