One unanticipated benefit of leaving Linden has been the elimination of nearly all of my email load. As the primary connector at Linden -- plus the most broadly aware of where the various technical pieces were at any given moment -- I tended to have around 200 emails a day that got past my various filters, of which 50 to 100 required at least some kind of answer. So, how to manage that kind of flow without spending all my time reading email?
Through lots of experiments and conversations with Ian Wilkes, Mark Ferlatte, Mark Lentczner, and others, I came to a solution that worked for me. It might not work for you. However, many people I've told about it ended up copying it, so I thought I'd share.
- All mailing lists and generated email filtered into folders
- All mail that escapes these filters copied into an archive folder, but original left unread in Inbox
- Ensure default client display shows sender and full subject line
- Block select all new mail
- De-select email where subject line/sender are insufficient to know that email need not be read
- Delete all email still selected, noting that it is still in the archive folder and can be read or searched later
- Read remaining new mail, responding to any emails that are either routing requests ("Who is the best dev to ask about bug foo?") or quick responses ("Can we meet to talk about how manage person bar?"), deleting email after response, again noting it is still in the archive
- Leave email that requires more time unread, respond when possible