30 Days of Email Domination: Action Oriented

By Sol in Blog

This week’s focus was on intelligently using automation to speed up message processing.

New Buckets

Two additional message “buckets” are included in the stats starting today– “Action” and “To Read”. Both of these buckets reflect messages automatically sorted via filters, so the objective is to see how effective the filters are at properly segmenting messages and how much time they save. Creating and updating message filters may just be the most time-consuming of all management tasks, so keeping tabs on how effective they are at ultimately saving time is essential.

The “Action” bucket is for messages that I do not necessarily want or need to read but may require some action on my part. This may include forum notifications, user registrations, etc. Many of these messages will be forwarded to my priority account as they arrive and will already have been attended to, so the “Action” bucket allows me to do a quick review of these messages before I delete or archive them.

The “To Read” bucket should be pretty self-explanatory– this is for messages that I would want to read. Most messages from family and friends are automatically placed in this bucket so that I don’t have to manually flag them when processing messages in the inbox. While I don’t yet have any hard numbers, I can say that it is nice to be freed from having to check for these types of messages in the inbox.

Minimizing Bulk

There were a similar number of bulk messages today as there were last week, despite unsubscribing from over 75% of last week’s bulk emails. Granted, the number of emails is way down from just 3 weeks ago (29 vs 107– a 73% reduction), but I can’t help but wonder whether it has reached a point where I’ll be receiving the same amount of bulk emails each week regardless of how many mailing lists I unsubscribe from.

I do subscribe to new mailing lists all the time, so perhaps 20-30 bulk messages per week is the lowest it will be unless I become extremely selective about what mailing lists I subscribe to.

Management Improvements

If it’s any consolation, though I unsubscribed from more messages this week, it actually took less time to process them– 33% less time in fact.

In addition, compared to last week, there was 7% drop in the percentage of bulk messages that were flagged for unsubscription.

Finally, messages flagged for management (filtering, unsubscription, etc.) were processed 35% faster today that last week. So while message management is still taking longer than desired, there are definitely improvements week over week.

Business Filter

I am happy to report that the business filter that I set up earlier this week is working out nicely. I have yet to receive any errant messages and I can rest easier knowing that I will receive messages from clients in a timely manner.

Today’s Stats

  • Checked email: 1 time
  • Time: 13:44
  • Total messages: 92
    • Inbox: 22
    • Bulk: 29
    • Important: 0
    • Action: 21
    • To Read: 20
  • Management: 21
    • Incorrect Smart Label: 1
    • Unsubscribe: 20
    • Update filtering: 0
    • Spam: 0
  • Time per Message
    • Inbox: 03:00 (7.3 messages/minute)
    • Bulk: 02:59 (9.7 messages/minute)
    • Management (filters, etc.): 07:53
    • Total: 13:52
    • Average: 6.6 messages/minute