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).