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Comment for Greg

Back on 2006 Aug 15, Greg made this post on his blog:

Don't think he won't reply

Where "he" is Sam.

Back in April (I guess) I posted a blog entry suggesting that either I didn't know anyone who works at Google or if I did, I didn't know that I knew anyone who works at Google. Sam dropped me an email (and commented on the post) to confirm that I do, in fact, know someone who works at Google.

Today, Sam responded to my reply:

(Greg then quotes an email I sent to him)
At the time I tried to respond to Greg to explain my current email system, but his comment system was not working that well, so I ended up emailing myself the comment I wanted to post on his site at 2006 Aug 17 19:16:44 UTC. I now post it here:
I have been known to answer emails over a year after they were sent to me. My email backlog a few months ago was such that the oldest unanswered email was indeed over a year old. As of now, the oldest unanswered email I have is one my mom sent me on March 27th (of this year). I will answer that message in a couple weeks probably.

My current system has three tiers.

Each day I try to answer all the emails from the previous day (UTC) that can be answered quickly and do not require me to take any actions, or think overly hard. Any email that does not get answered the day after it was sent goes into the second bucket.

That is my main email inbox. If I finish answering the previous day's email, I start at the top of the inbox (sorted from oldest to newest). Anything over one month old does not get looked at, but rather gets moved to an "OldMail" folder. But once I am in emails that are less than a month old, I start answering them. Now, these are all emails that for whichever of the reasons outlined above did not get answered the day after I got them, so they often require me to do things or think a bit, so they take longer to deal with.

I have one message in my inbox from myself that tells me it is time to look at "OldMail". When I get to this message I switch over to the OldMail folder and start answering my old mail from there. These are once again usually messages that take longer to answer, although some are still left over from before I started this current system, so are shorter ones. In general my target will be to empty the OldMail folder every time I get to this task, but since I had a huge backlog earlier this year (several thousand messages) I have just been getting it to 100 less than the last time I did the task. So for instance the last time I did "OldMail" (a few days ago) I got the OldMail folder down to 500 messages. Next time I have that task, I'll pull it down to 400. When I have gotten to my target level, I reply to the message to put the task back down in my inbox for a later date. Also, an important note, if the OldMail task gets to be over a month old it does NOT itself move to OldMail, because otherwise I would never look at OldMail again.

And that is the system.

Note: This does not account for Spam, I deal with Spam with an entirely different, yet similar, system. I currently have over 50,000 messages in my spam folder that have yet to be reviewed to confirm they are really spam and pull out the ones that were mis-identified as spam by my filters. I get about 1 in 500 false spam identifications, so there should be about 100 real messages stuck in that 50,000. When I find them, I place them in the appropriate one of the categories listed above for real mail.
Of course, I am now posting this because I have just now reached that message I sent myself as I continue to follow the method I described.


Abulsme - Wed, 14 Mar 2007, 19:31:40 PDT

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