Friday, November 13, 2009

That Blinkin E-Mail

Most people find e-mail management frustrating, at least some of the time and in many cases virtually all of the time. It just keeps flooding in, and much of it is stuff you don't really want to read, at least right now, but have subscribed to because it comes form an area of interest and might be useful in the future. So we sort through it and file it appropriately.

What if this process were automated. Just think how much time it would save.

The first reaction to this idea is that - is there any system out there we could trust to sort it accurately? The fact is, some of those messages are important, indeed crucial to our jobs. So we need to find out quickly which are important and which aren't.

One idea being floated is that we can learn from some of the techniques used in social networks. They often enable messages to be built into searchable databases. They have approval systems (thumbs up/thumbs down) that help to shape the messages received.

Google Mail does some of this, but sorts the messages by conversation. Google Wave has some promise, primarily for collaborative situations, but is untried. There are other possible tools, though. Check out the suggestions in this article.

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