Friday, April 4, 2008
Thing 7 Email
Here are a few ramblings as I work through this particular Thing as it relates to e-mail. I have, at the moment, four different e-mail accounts, but use mainly two of them. One is a work account that I use most of the time (Eudora) , two are personal accounts (Gmail and Yahoo), and one is an account related to my adjunct faculty status (Outlook). I'm not really happy with the last one, but part of that is probably from my lack of familiarity and use. The first one, Eudora, is going to go away at work because the company who sells it, Qualcomm, is no longer selling or providing technical support for Eudora. I forget, at the moment, what system is coming at work (some folks already have it installed), but it will mean learning another system. I think that's what we do a fair amount of our professional life--we learn new systems, always trying to keep up (or be ahead of) the curve.
I have found myself unsubscribing to a number of lists lately, focusing on what needs to be read and done. I also use filters to block spam and certain addresses. But some stuff still sneaks through. On an average day I'll trash over a hundred messages. When I'm away for a few days to a conference or vacation, my staff will create a pool to guess how many messages I have waiting for me when I get back. In the early days of e-mail that pool size could be quite large. Now, even when I'm gone a week, its not so large.
Part of the temptation to be avoided, for me, is to look at e-mail as a way to bring work home. Sure, I can do that. But its about what almost killed me in my last job, where I lived two blocks from work. It was so easy to go back to the office after dinner and before I knew it, it was closing in on midnight. Not a good way to live, especially with a family. So, generally speaking, when I'm home I don't do office e-mail. I have a life, and not all of it revolves around work.