There are some people whose emails I always want to read - parents, partners, daughter, close friends. There are some people whose emails it is important for me to read - my PPCs, my treasurer, my council group leader, stuff from work, or from region. Maybe 1% of the email I get falls into both of those categories; 95% of the email I get does not fall into either one.
I use gmail labels extensively, and this has worked very well for me. So, while I was in Devon, I put the vacation responder on. I'd seen other people do it. How hard could it be?
The reaction of most people not covered by the two categories above (hereinafter referred to as "those on the list") was astounding to me. Huge numbers of them seemed to take the vacation responder as a reason to send me MORE email. Whereas the people on the list, they generally sent me less email. So the overall effect of vacation responder was to increase the amount of crap and decrease the amount of nice and/or useful email.
Now perhaps I shouldn't have said "Don't worry, I'll be checking my email when I get back" but "if you email me during this time it will be automatically deleted and you'll have to send it again when I come back so don't bother". Perhaps I should have used the vacation responder in conjunction with actually turning email notifications off - but then I would have missed the ones I actually wanted, or were important for me to get.
Or perhaps I should just delete my entire email address and start again from scratch...
The thing is, I now have an inbox full of shite I don't want, have undoubtedly missed some stuff I *did* want, and am intensely annoyed, and thus I want to do something about it. I'll certainly not be using the vacation responder in the way it's currently set up again, but in general, there are decisions to be made. And this is where you come in:
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What Should I do About Email?
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