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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Friday's Unscientific Poll: Inspired by Whack-A-Mole Inbox, at which the moles are totally winning [20160205|15:00]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Poll #2035874 E-mail management

E-mail management

I strive to attain Inbox Zero and regularly succeed.
I strive to attain Inbox Zero and occasionally succeed.
I use a system of filters for my incoming mail. It works pretty well and I rarely miss stuff.
What's Inbox Zero?
I miss stuff all the time. Allll the time.

(This post triggered by the knowledge that I am rarely, if ever, fully caught up on e-mail communication. It is perpetually frustrating, and I never feel like I can take a break from it.)

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2016-02-05 15:54 (UTC)
I wish I could advocate for more phone calls, but a large proportion of important messages to me have document attachments that I need at least to skim-read.
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[User Picture]From: pax_athena
2016-02-05 15:40 (UTC)
It's not quite "zero" and more like "max 10 e-mails in each of the two working e-mail mailboxes", but I was surprised how well it ended up working for me once I forced myself into it.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2016-02-05 15:52 (UTC)
I am impressed! Any tips or tricks that helped you particularly?
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[User Picture]From: pax_athena
2016-02-05 21:10 (UTC)
I don't think I have any - I also suppose that it helps that I am not that involved in tasks that involve any kind of documentation and/or reading so my inbox rarely contains 20 things I need to have read yesterday.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2016-02-08 11:15 (UTC)
Heh. May I recommend not taking up instrument operations? ;)
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[User Picture]From: melissa_maples
2016-02-05 19:15 (UTC)
Inbox Zero every morning before breakfast, without fail.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2016-02-08 11:19 (UTC)
I would love to do that, but I don't think it's actually possible for me. I try to keep both (main) personal and work inboxes under 50 messages, but with incoming volumes it's quite difficult.

I unsubscribe from everything (attentiveness to marketing/mailing lists is definitely not a problem).

I estimate I receive an average of 200 messages per day in my work inbox (more if it's during term time). The breakdown is approximately:

60% can be skim-read and discarded
30% can be read, replied to and filed that day
10% must be carefully read and trigger a non-trivial amount of work that can take anywhere from two days to a couple of weeks

It's that 10% that end up being flagged and sitting in my inbox because I really can't afford to stick them in a lower level of the folder tree where I might forget about them.
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[User Picture]From: daphnep
2016-02-05 23:58 (UTC)
I've heard of inbox zero. Right now my work inbox is over 900. I just looked at that today. It climbs steadily through the years--most of it is vendor solicitations and newsletters. But...900, so I can't really say.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2016-02-08 11:20 (UTC)
Sympathies. My aim is to keep the work & personal inboxes at under 50 messages. I do all right at this, but inbox zero is not achievable at the volume of incoming messages - and the level of attention they require.
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