I can assure him that I do indeed write to-do lists and prioritise items. I live my life by writing lists – there is one next to me right now. Without to-do lists, I would use my time far less effectively, and have a lot less fun. People wonder how I fit in kitesurfing and tennis every day alongside business meetings – the answer is good planning and to-do lists. My habit has also rubbed off on many of our team, who are also avid note-takers and to-do list makers.

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I hate email again

Dropbox announced earlier this month that it will shutter Mailbox early next year. The company’s goals were unclear to the public when it first announced plans to acquire Mailbox, and apparently they were ultimately unattainable. It’s a sad time for users like me, but it happened and now we need to move on and find a new email solution that’s just as good.

The problem is, however, that there isn’t one.

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An Industrial-Age Solution To Email Overload

I’d wager, for instance, that if Runnells were running a software company in 2016, he’d deactivate his programmers’ email accounts and hire more mangers to serve as buffers between the developer teams and everybody else. Instead of checking emails all the time, developers might have a single daily status meeting with their team manager, then spend the rest of their time actually writing good code.

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Email Isn’t The Thing You’re Bad At

So here’s the thing that you’re bad at, which is why none of the fifty different email apps you’ve bought for your phone have fixed the problem: when you get these messages, you aren’t making a conscious decision about:
– how important the message is to you
– whether you want to act on them at all
– when you want to act on them
– what exact action you want to take
– what the consequences of taking or not taking that action will be

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How to deal with email overload

Hsieh hasn’t “solved email” – spoiler alert: nobody ever will – but after testing his system, I can report that it makes things much saner. He calls it“Yesterbox”, because the premise is that you should stop focusing on email received today, except when urgent, and instead try to deal with everything that came in yesterday.

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