What do you do with the email once you’ve read and processed it?
(this was asked by a user today and it seemed like a topic screaming out for a blog post)
First, that’s a good question.
I’m a big fan of INBOX zero so I do strongly suggest moving your processed INBOX email out of that folder. See my comment below about were to put it.
Having said that, I don’t think you need to be compelled to clean out your unimportant folders. SaneLater zero just doesn’t have the same zing.
Filing is mostly a waste of energy (unless your email client doesn’t search very well). Filing is the equivalent of Yahoo! directories in 1995. Since key word search didn’t work you had to manually go thru a tree of folders to see where your information might be. (not to self: I should blog about how to effectively key word search in each mail client)
So… file into large bins. Don’t file by any criteria that you can easily search for. So… file into an”Archive” folder or “SalesLeads”, “Receipts” (or something else equally large.) SaneBox archives into a single existing Archive folder or if none exists we create a folder called SaneArchive.
Don’t delete email unless it has a large attachment that you have on disk somewhere else. Or you are in one of those awful threads where people keep emailing you versions of word documents. In that case, the originator of that email is causing a huge configuration management issue by creating a zillion versions of the same document held in a zillion email accounts. So, you are welcome to delete the old ones. Word should already have the edit history in it internally so the latest version is the one to keep. Disk is cheap and memory is fragile so don’t delete your email.
SaneBox will automatically cycle your oldest emails into SaneArchive for you so no need to do that manually. We leave your latest 5000 emails in your Sane folders and move the rest to SaneArchive. Think of that as your attic (but an attic you can search using key words).
And I do find that many users just let the SaneLater stuff build up and get cycled into SaneArchive. That does seem to be the most energy and time efficient mode. When you get the email summary digest each day feel free to click"Archive All" if you want to make that process go faster :-)
Happy Day Light Savings Day to all,
SaneBox face lift continues
To all our beloved SaneBox users, please log in and check out our new settings page
(and for those non-SaneBox lunatics out there… run and sign up for SaneBox right now… jeez)
I thought fielding this new page presented an opportunity to talk about what we hope to accomplish with our new face lift. Probably all of this is common sense to most of you…
But, for me this was a revelation that came about from hiring Dmitri, our new VP of Growth, who has over seen this whole process with Pablo and his band of Argentine geniuses at GotVertigo
We hope to …
1. become more approachable - email filtering is simply not sexy and can sound somewhat daunting so we need to find a way to show the world how fun and easy it can be
2. explain with text and pictures - some people understand from reading and some from looking - we get that and are trying to do a better job of explaining our features and data in a more rounded way.
3. separate advanced features from normal stuff
4. stop burying the lead - more important stuff is now bigger and closer to the top of the page.
5. explain that this is all about saving time. it’s not about filtering or deferring or new tools for your email - it is about saving you time so you can do something else.
Still left to do:
1. movies, movies, movies - yup pictures that move
2. face lift for our emails to you.
3. more work on our help desk.
We love comments and criticism, so if you have a great change you are dying for us to make please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Soon you won’t have to visit your SaneLater folder
We here at SaneBox think you should spend as little time as possible on your email. You have better things to do with your time!
So we take the unimportant stuff out of your INBOX so it won’t distract you.
And we send you an email digest of the unimportant stuff so you can quickly search for nuggets of gold.
Now you can move those nuggets to your INBOX from the digest!!!
If you are like me and you want to stay in your INBOX whenever possible this new feature is a huge boon. With one click in your email digest (Arrow #2 in the picture), you flag and move any unimportant email and our email monkeys will move that email to your INBOX and flag it to make it easy to find.
You can still “train” a particular kind of email (Arrow #1 in the picture) to your INBOX from the digest with a single click. And when you do that **all** emails of that kind will be deemed INBOX-worthy.
Now you have to find something productive to do with all this time we are saving you. Remember your family? your job? an old friend?
What does your SaneBox Ranking mean?
Your weekly activity report now declares your “ranking” amongst the other SaneBox users. What does this number mean?
The idea behind the ranking is to give each SaneBox user points for good email behavior and take away points for bad behavior. Your overall count reflects this algorithm. And your particular ranking is meant to nudge users to develop better email habits.
The ultimate SaneBox user would do the following:
1. Process their email the first time you open it. (deal with it and then file,archive,delete or defer it)
2. do a good job of declaring as much email as possible unimportant.
David Allen in GTD says to focus on the most important thing **now**. And avoid getting distracted by the shiny stuff. You can only do this if you are willing to admit that there are lots of emails that are unimportant. In SaneBox parlance, this means that you get penalized for gratuitously making emails INBOX worthy. Seriously, do you need to know that your new toothbrush shipped in the last 5 minutes.
3. Process more email. Sorry those of you who get less email. We are rewarding the heavy lifting that some of our high bandwidth users are doing. But don’t give up, the other 3 rules can overcome this one.
4. Don’t fidget with your unimportant email. That stuff is unimportant for a reason. We put it in a separate folder so you won’t feel the siren call. If you can’t bear the feeling that you are missing something, have your email digest summary arrive more often.
We will be adding to these rules over time, but this gives you a sense of why you are super star or why you might need to change some of those bad email behaviors.