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  • Doug Belshaw 9:32 pm on February 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: email, Indexed, Jesscia Hagy   

    Per my last message… 

    I love the title of this Jessica Hagy cartoon: “With a bcc, if you’re nasty.”

  • Doug Belshaw 6:50 am on January 27, 2020 Permalink
    Tags: Don Knuth, email, , Umberto Eco   

    The joys of email 

    In Tim Ferriss‘ most recent post he quotes Don Knuth who, in 1990, stated:

    “Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. I try to learn certain areas of computer science exhaustively; then I try to digest that knowledge into a form that is accessible to people who don’t have time for such study.”

    Don Knuth

    Knuth quotes Umberto Eco, who told the New Yorker (presumably before 1990):

    “I don’t even have an e-mail address. I have reached an age where my main purpose is not to receive messages.”

    Umberto Eco

    There are many reasons you wouldn’t be able to get away without an email address in this day and age. But what’s the equivalent of something that it’s current possible to opt-out of, that is a time-suck? Social media? Instant messaging apps?

  • Doug Belshaw 9:57 pm on July 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: email, kanban,   


    I use Inbox by Gmail on both my consultancy and Moodle email accounts. It’s revolutionised my email habits, because:

    • I’m prompted to follow-up on emails that haven’t had a response after three days
    • I can pin emails with an action to perform
    • The ‘snooze’ functionality takes emails out of my inbox and brings them back to my attention at a time I specify

    That’s great for emails that I just need to reply to. But when there’s an action attached, I often have to then add that to Trello or another productivity tool.

    So KanbanMail looks useful:


    It does exactly what you think it would do:

    How KanbanMail works

    • Emails start in the Uncategorized column
    • Drag an email to To-Do, Do Today or In Progress
    • Drag it to Done and feel great about yourself!

    $12/month sounds a bit steep, but I might give it a try.

  • Doug Belshaw 2:49 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: email, , , meetings,   

    In a physical meeting, there are always more or less the wrong people present and the transaction costs are very high. Unlike email, which pushes copies of the same information to people to work on, or edit separately, a wiki pulls people together to work cooperatively, and with very low transaction costs. The aim is a common movement of thought. Email and physical meetings are methods which always exclude. They necessarily always leave people out. A wiki, depending on the topic, the context, and the people taking part, can be inviting and including. The goal is to enable groups to form around shared purposes without preset organizational walls, or rules of engagement.

    Esko Kilpi
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