At work, I subscribe to a few email lists (thelist
at evolt.org) and some internal company ones. I use some rules within Outlook to move the incoming messages into their own folders, nice and tidy like so they don’t flood my inbox, and I purge anything over a week old to keep the emails from piling up.
This all works just fine, except that because my coworkers and I do a lot of emailing back and forth, I keep Outlook open all day, minimized in the background. Everytime I get an email, a little email icon shows up in my system tray, and I have to go check to see if my boss is emailing me something.
Most of the time, in fact I’d say 90% of the time, the new email is one of the email list messages, which I only read when I’m not swamped (which I am). So checking my email every two seconds is a serious pain, and I set out to fix it.
I found a tool called AutoRead that you can download for Outlook that lets you control when the email icon shows up, and since I’ve been using it I’ve noticed a serious productivity gain.