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A short rant about email

It's a mistake to filter a diverse range of important communications through email. Currently, I use email to:

1) manage bills and accounts registered online
2) maintain contacts for professional activities and networking
3) receive newsletters, product information, and updates for various hobbies and interests
4) communicate with family members and friends, and other contacts
5) transfer files between devices

Every time I go into my inbox to manage communications, I'm assaulted by competing priorities. I'll have a specific purpose for accessing my email, and then lose focus when I see all the emails for various other demands. Even if I do maintain focus, they're still visible, prying, draining mental and emotional resources in the moment.

The promise of email was that having communications all in one place digitally is supposed to be easier and more convenient (as well as more "eco-friendly"). In practice, I don't see these benefits. I see overwhelm, and then I end up avoiding my email clutter as much as possible and not being able to articulate why it is such a burden (well, until I suddenly had this thought).

The interfaces available for email don't make it any easier. Yes, there are tags and sorting tools available, but then I have the added requirement of sorting and maintaining a cumbersome organization system that I didn't design but was designed for a brain that doesn't work like mine. The other potential solution is to have multiple emails for different uses. I tried this once, and it was even more of a pain to maintain.

I'm going into my email inbox like:

In short, I hate it. It makes me want to design a better email interface, but that is a bit too far out of my wheelhouse of skills, so maybe design an easier way to handle all these multiple threads of communication demands. When I focus on something, I am a salmon going to spawn, and I don't want any boulders or bears or currents to impede my efforts if I can help it.


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