Posts Tagged ‘Email’

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this: Empty Gmail

February 27, 2009

Here’s what it looks like after a frenzied 10 minutes of sorting my rapidly expanding inbox (over 1500 messages at the last count):

gmail-empty1

I don’t know what’s better, the feeling of a newly emptied inbox, or the fact that it only took a few minutes to sort and archive all my messages. Truth be told, very little sorting was required: I have a few tags which I use to filter some new mail, but other than that I mainly rely on Gmail’s excellent search facility.

I’m planning on basking in the glow of this minor achievement for at least the next 45 minutes. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re off work!

Audiosurf: Dethron’d

June 29, 2008

No, this isn’t about me stumbling upon an Audiosurf-killer. It’s about the game emailing you whenever someone beats your score! Check this out (via Google Mail):

Dethroned

Now, I don’t know who this Disco8X might be, but he’s going down! No one’s beating my Casual score for “Let Me Drown” by Soundgarden.

*Ten minutes and several attempts later…*

Okay, well it seems Disco8X ain’t no fool. Part of the problem is that it’s going to be difficult – if not impossible – to score any higher than I already have done on my favourite game mode (Mono). Whereas he (or she) has been using the more complicated, but potentially much higher scoring Pointman character.

Denied!

But still, it’s neat that Audiosurf mails you to let you know when you’ve been beaten and humiliated. At least, I think that’s neat…

Amazon Has Dispatched The Queen

February 8, 2008

Here’s an amusing little snippet which I came across while checking my Gmail inbox earlier this week:

Sender: Amazon.co.uk

Subject: The Queen has been dispatched

Yikes! Has all the power finally gone to Jeff Bezos‘ head?

“Dear lostmoya,

We’ve dispatched The Queen. You can expect to receive it in 1-2 business days…”

Oh ho ho, I see what you’ve done there, because this is all about Stephen Frears’ excellent film starring Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen. Disappointingly, what actually dropped on my door mat three days later was the Amazon DVD rental envelope, and not a severed monarch’s head…

At least the film was good.

Clearing Out Your Inbox

July 25, 2007

Monday was my first day back at work after a two week holiday. Of course this means that a mountain of unread emails had piled up in my absence – it’s taken me most of the week to clear them out.

I’m not going to pretend I have some kind of sensational new advice about this: it’s a tedious task that everyone with a desk-based job has to perform every now and again. However, quickly browsing a few simple tips on Lifehacker has made a mind-numbing chore slightly more bearable:

Empty your inbox with the trusted trio

It’s an old article, but still very relevant and it saved me tons of time when clearing out my inbox this week. Instead of setting up a complicated filing structure with myriad sub-folders, and spending ages deciding where to place each individual email, it recommends a svelte three folder flat structure. Archive, Action and Hold are all you need, apparently. This will enable you to quickly decide where to put each email as you come to it based on whether you need to do something imminently (Action), later (Hold), or just store it for information (Archive).

For hoarders like me, it requires a rather strong constitution to dispense with a carefully ordered filing structure, but it really makes sense in the end. Instead of spending 10 minutes wondering whether to store an email under “Recent bids” or “Speculative bids”, I can simply choose one of three folders based on whether I need to respond or not. Search takes care of the rest.

Inbox

To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t quite as radical as the Lifehacker article advises. Instead of three folders, I think I ended up with about five. And rather than having a separate folder for items which need action, I used Outlook’s Follow-Up function, so I can see at-a-glance how many emails need attention. It’s also geekily satisfying to tick off stuff when you’ve dealt with it.

As far as sorting goes, I actually prefer Mozilla Thunderbird‘s dual tag + folder system to provide maximum sorting flexibility. I’m a bit of a tag-o-phile, and I like the fact that I can label a single message with more than one keyword, unlike Outlook’s “folders-only” approach which effectively act as tags, but limits you to one per mail. Unfortunately, since I only use Thunderbird for my home emails, I haven’t had the chance to experiment as much as I’d like.

Finally, if your inbox situation is dire and you have months of read emails that need dealing with, I’d recommend sorting by sender rather than starting at the oldest. Maybe it’s the fact that you’re viewing emails in an order that’s unfamiliar, but it saves time when it comes to deciding what to keep and what to chuck. If you’re running out of space, simply sort by size and get rid of as many large emails as possible.