E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Giving up on Work e-mail – Status Report on Week 44 to 45 (The Yo-Yo Effect Continues)

Gran Canaria - Presa de AyagauresAs we are about to wrap up another interesting and exciting year, and while we await for 2009 (Just around the corner!), here I go back again into creating another blog post over here trying to catch up with the weekly progress reports on how I have been doing lately giving up e-mail at work. I am sure that a few of you folks would be interested in finding out some more on how things are going or whether there may have been some drastic changes. Thus here I am again at it, sharing with you a few thoughts on what has happened for weeks 44 and 45. At the same time I will be sharing with you another interesting link I have bumped into a little while ago and which is very much related to "Thinking Outside the Inbox" theme. But one thing at a time …

In one of my recent blog posts on the subject, I mentioned how over the last few weeks I seem to be have been going through what I have been calling the yo-yo effect (i.e. an up and down incoming number of e-mails per week) and it looks like these two weeks are a continuation of that effect, because, once again, the numbers have been going up and down. Here are the progress weekly reports, so that you folks can have a look:

Fighting e-mail - Progress Report - Week 44

Fighting e-mail - Progress Report - Week 45

As you would be able to see, during week 44 I eventually got 23 e-mails, whereas for week 45 I ended up with 35. Rather intriguing to see how the numbers fluctuate, but equally interesting to see how all of that yo-yo effect changed dramatically for week 46. But that would be the subject for another upcoming blog post. For now, just to reflect how the numbers keep going up and down, but steady under the 35 e-mails range per week, which, I guess, it is not too bad! But till you get to read through the progress report from week 46 and you will see what I mean…

Finally, like I have mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, I would also like to take a couple of minutes to point you to a very relevant article, even though it was published a couple of months back!, to what I have been doing all along in this space. It was published by Amit Agarwal under the title "How to Manage Email Overload with some help of your RSS Reader" and in it it comes to mention how one of the most compelling methods for taming your e-mail inbox is to eventually move out information flows into RSS / Atom feed readers.

If you have been listening to a couple of videos I have shared on this subject of giving up on e-mail at work, you would know how, to me, an RSS / Atom feed reader has become an essential tool in helping me digest the information / knowledge I get exposed to from my various different social networks. Without my feed readers (Yes, I use a couple of them!) I am 100% sure I would not have been able to successfully move away from corporate e-mail, to the extent that without them I doubt I would be getting much work done!

Thus to such extent Amit has put together a worth while reading article where you would be able to get exposed to four different tips on how RSS feeds would be able to help you manage e-mail overload much better, to the point where you can eventually reduce a substantial amount of the messages you get exposed to on a daily basis. I am not going to expand much further on the subject, but, instead, I would like to quote over here those four tips and would then encourage you all to have a look into Amit’s entry for the rest:

Idea 1: "Ask people to only send tips via delicious for: tag" (Or any other social bookmarking site for that matter!)
Idea 2: "Only use contact forms that provide RSS feeds
Idea 3: Master Dapper and Yahoo! Pipes
Idea 4: Read all e-mail newsletters and mailing lists as RSS feeds" (This is perhaps my favourite one! You can’t imagine the huge amount of e-mail traffic I have been able to divert ever since I started with this experiment!)

See? It is not that difficult to take control over and tame the e-mail beast, right? Well, stay tuned, because very soon I will be putting together a new blog post where I will share some of the changes of what you will be seeing over here for the year we are about to begin within the next few hours… For the time being, get ready for the upcoming blog post, because it surely is going to shake the ground a bit! 😉

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