Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Musings on e-mail

Laurie has added an interesting entry on his blog relating to his strategy for dealing with e-mails.

Whilst I have to say that it makes sense, I have to say that I deal with my mail a little differently. For starters I use MS Outlook and Exchange which makes life a little easier. I can use 'Rules' to filter my messages based upon a number of criteria into 7 main folders (some with many sub-folders). This makes it easy to identify what is important and what isn't. However it doesn't deal with the context switching issue, but that is more a discipline thing. I don't necessarily reply to messages as soon as I have read them, or read them as soon as they arrive, so I don't have the same problem Laurie has.

An ever so slight problem or rather inconvenience is that I have a number of e-mail accounts. This does make categorising my mail a little easier but it does mean that keeping track of messages is more difficult. My work mail goes through an MS Exchange server, I have a few POP accounts and then I also have Hotmail, Yahoo! and GMail accounts. Finding a nice way of aggregating the collection or at least viewing of all of these different accounts in one highly functional e-mail client has proved thus far to be impossible. I use Trillian for messaging and this does have to ability to notify me when there is mail in my Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail account which helps. I haven't been able to get the Jabber connection to work however so GMail notification is out of the question.

A problem I do have, or rather used to have is Spam. I get shed loads of the stuff, over 200 messages a day through work and the POP accounts, and about the same on the three web based mail services. The best solution I have found for this so far for mail collected by Outlook is SpamBayes a probability based mail filter which is surprisingly effective. My only issue with it is that I can only run it on the e-mail client which is a pain because I check my mail from a number of clients and occasionally use Outlooks web access facility. The three web based accounts all have their own filtering and are reasonable effective.

I guess in the end everyone finds a solution that works for them, unfortunately for some people this seems to be not using their e-mail.



Blogger Jon said...

Well after being away for a week it has occurred to me that my methodology only works if you keep on top of the messages arriving in your inbox!

I usually scan through my spam in case of a false positive or two, and returning to work to find several thousand messages in the spam folder wasn't fun!

4/8/06 14:11  

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