30 Days of Email Domination: Back in Two

By Sol in Blog

Another week over 10 minutes. Inbox and bulk message processing continue to come in easily under 5 minutes, but after several weeks of relative brevity, management tasks does an about-face and takes more time today than it has since last October!

As usual, updating filters look the lion’s share of the time required for today’s management tasks. Going into Gmail’s settings, finding the right filter (or creating a new one), setting the filter’s criteria, and testing out the filter– it’s just a slow process all around. In fact, since there were only 3 messages that required filter updates, it would undoubtedly have been faster to manually label and archive these messages individually. I have a very low tolerance for tedium and repetition though, so I will generally opt to spend some extra time to update a filter once rather than manually handling the same kind of message again and again.

There is no question that filters have saved me massive amounts of time in the inbox. That being said, saying “spending extra time updating filters is okay because it will save me time in the long run” is starting to get repetitive. It seems there are always refinements to be made to the filters. This is something I’ll need to keep a closer eye on– if we start to reach a point of diminishing returns on the time spent updating and adding filters, I’ll need to look into other solutions.

My message processing rate continued its decline this week, further confirming my suspicions that certain message processing tasks (e.g. selecting messages) become bottlenecks as message volume decreases. As a result, I am experimenting with processing email every two weeks to allow more messages to accumulate between visits to the inbox. Hopefully processing more messages at once will allow them to be processed faster and will save time overall. I will also be watching to see what sort of issues might arise from not attending to a message for two weeks (instead of just one).

Today’s Stats

  • Checked email: 1 time
  • Time: 10:21
  • Total messages: 78
    • Inbox: 17
    • Bulk: 24
    • Important: 0
    • Action: 8
    • To Read: 23
  • Management: 19
    • Incorrect Smart Label: 4
    • Unsubscribe: 10
    • Update filtering: 3
    • Spam: 2
  • Time per Message
    • Inbox: 01:51 (9.2 messages/minute)
    • Bulk: 24 (8.3 messages/minute)
    • Management (filters, etc.): 12:12
    • Total: 16:57
    • Average: 4.6 messages/minute