My iPhone Has Hindered My Email

What!? What is this that I speak of? My very favorite feature of the iPhone has actually hindered it?! How can this be? Its really straight forward actually. Before my iPhone, when I checked my email I was at a computer and typically would respond to emails immediately. Now, however, I read most of my emails first on my phone. The problem is that sometimes I would forget about an email when I finally arrived at a computer, and some things have fallen in the cracks. Nothing catastrophic, but I feel bad when I get a second email asking “Hey, um, did you get my first email?” The iPhone has been pretty disruptive in my typical email habits, and so I’ve been trying to figure out how to manage it. I actually love it because it keeps me more aware throughout the day. I just can’t forget to respond to certain emails.

So what I am going to do? I’m going to try to implement the concept of “Inbox Zero.” Before my Inbox was just a huge log of my email. Now, however, I use Google Apps to host my email. Its awesome, because the worry of hosting my own email service is now gone! At first I thought I would “star” emails that require attention. However, since I read 99% of my emails on either my phone or desktop client, “starring” an email isn’t that easy. I then decided “hey, deleting is easy!” So now, instead of deleting totally removing the email message, it just removes it from my Inbox, but there is still a copy in the “All Mail” folder. So deleting is now really archiving.

Since I couldn’t sleep, I just spent an hour cleaning out my inboxes, so now each has about 8 emails that require attention. I’ll let you know how my progress goes on trying this new method of managing my email. I know my father, Kevin Carmony, has been doing something very similar for a long while now. I just don’t have the stomach for the hundreds of folders he organizes his emails into (Maybe not hundreds, but there are a LOT! :P).

4 thoughts on “My iPhone Has Hindered My Email

  1. I’ve been using the web UI for Gmail more on the iPhone because it’s easier to mark an email as unread (if I want to notice it at my desk later) and star ones I want to track easily later.

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  2. Hey this is a pretty good idea. Awhile back, before I had Internet at home, I was using the iPhone to check my email before I came into the office and after I’d left. I had the same thing happen, where some stuff would fall through the cracks. My solution was to stop checking email on my phone… but your solution is better.

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  3. @Joseph

    Its pretty funny, my work being big into “web 2.0 techniques”, dynamic websites, etc. that I am such a “junkie” for rich applications instead of web apps. I really like Gmail’s iPhone and Web interface for when I occasionally need them while on the run. Its using them every time every day to check my email that I get frustrated with them. Its not their interface’s fault, but rather that they get mixed in with all my other browser windows. Having an app that runs on the native OS typically is easier to separate.

    @Eric

    So far these last two days it has been hard from keeping my inbox from growing. Its been good for me because I now can’t procrastinate (and eventually forget) responding to certain emails. Hopefully I can keep this up for 30 days and make a habit out of it! 🙂

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  4. Good idea. I use folders to organize stuff, but that does not always work and I hardly ever look in the folders. So my inboxes are like your, an email log with hundreds of old messages. Scary.

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