Inbox Distraction

Technology, Life by Adam on 2007-08-17 07:08

This happens to me all the time: I’m in the zone, working on some project. Then I find myself needing to shoot out an email about it - asking a question, notifying someone of something I just did, whatever. I load my email client and - boom, my inbox is presented and I’m suddenly awash in messages demanding my attention. Fifteen minutes later I close my email client, having processed a bunch of messages, and then say - wait, what was I doing? And I realize I didn’t even send the message I originally intended.

We need a way to send email without looking at our inboxes. Most email clients make this difficult if not impossible. I’ve hacked around it with my gmail catapult launcher - I type “gmail compose” and it takes me straight to the compose screen, skipping the inbox.

Similarly, when I’m expecting a message but don’t want to be distracted by anything else, I’ll use the search capability of the launcher. Typing “gmail /“, where search terms is usually the name of the person I’m expecting an email from, shows me just what I need to see. (I wish there was a way to filter this to just new messages, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.) If the message I’m looking for isn’t there, I close the window, resisting the temptation to click on the “Inbox” link showing all those new messages.

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