A morning without an email

email address

The first thing i do every morning is roll over to my left hand side, switch off the alarm on my iPhone with the top button (without opening my eyes) and then go back to sleep. I do this about 10 times within 20 minutes until it gets to the stage where i’m awake and waiting for the next alarm to go off. At that stage i know i’m 100% alert and ready to go. Up until that point, i live in hope that i’ve accidentally set my alarm to go off early. That could happen once, unlikely to happen 10 times…

However, once i’m fully awake i disconnect my iPhone from charging and see if i’ve any notifcations or emails. Usually there’s a dozen or more. It was getting to the stage before Christmas where i’d wake up to 20 emails alone. Most of them newsletters or stuff i didn’t want to see.

Unsubscribe from all the things

Over the past several weeks, i’ve literally unsubscribed from all newsletters i’ve ever signed up to. Yesterday (about 3 weeks after i first started mass unsubscribing) i woke up to no new emails. That meant that for the first time in what was probably years, i hadn’t received an email in about an 8 hour period. FINALLY.

I’m still getting newsletters and still unsubscribing but my inbox looks a whole lot more useful these days. I’d absolutely recommend everyone does the same. Unsubscribe from everything. Set up a new address if you can (but you probably can’t because it’s too much hassle). The idea of a ‘priority’ inbox is a nice one but i don’t like the thought that some algorithm decides what’s important and what’s not. Smart asses will say that that’s how spam is taken care of but spam can be spotted a mile off… bad IPs, known spammy domains, keyword searches for ‘prize’ + ‘winner’ etc…

Letting an algorithm decide whether a boarding pass is more important than a newsletter is something i don’t want to surrender control of. Sometimes the obvious answer may not be the correct one. If i’m booking a flights for someone and cc myself in on the email it’s not all that important to me, i just do it to have as a backup. If it’s my own boarding pass then it’s more important… all this stuff is hugely complex and to a computer, there’s no reason or logic to it. That’s why i don’t use gmail’s priority inbox even though i applaud the concept.

Rather than find ways of getting through my email faster, i want to reduce the amount of email i get and go through it all one at a time without having to filter it. Facebook & Twitter will go the same way… too much crap linking to and from my accounts which leads to ‘notifications’ which aren’t important. I don’t want to be alerted if somebody invites me to spamville or whatever game is leeching it’s way to success through Facebook notifications… but in order to stop that stuff happening, i have to cut contact with the friend who sent it, or most likely didn’t realise they sent it because they just wanted to start using the damn game and just kept clicking ‘next’.

Time saving algorithm

It’s a never ending problem… trying to keep all channels of communication open whilst ensuring you only receive ‘quality’ information. That said, it would appear i’ve managed to improve my email situation. Less email & fewer notifications = more time saved.

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