Patty Goes Geeky

A techno odyssey

Not habit-forming

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It turns out that Remember the Milk does not pass the utility test: The electronic version of a to-do list does not outdo the scrap-paper version in my life. But at least I tried it. Now I can cross that one off my (paper) list.

But I’m continuing to pick-and-choose my way through the 20 tech habits to improve my life, and damned if I didn’t mostly do No. 5, Clear Out Your In-box Every Day. I’m down to 13 e-mails in my G-mail inbox, which would astonish The Times I.T. staff, which back in the day sent near-daily notices telling me that 2,000 or 3,000 e-mails were too many. My in-box stash was my memory in a job that depended on serious multi-tasking, I could always find the background I needed with a quick search and the system, or lack thereof, worked fine for me even if it didn’t work for the I.T. folks charged with keeping the system unclogged. Watching skilled users click their way through folder after folding trying to find an e-mail, I didn’t see any greater efficiency over my non-system.

However, in today’s personal quest to be a better geek, I determined to give No. 5 a Try. Running a search on senders or keywords, I mass-archived or deleted dozens of e-mails at a time, and over the course of a week or so, whacked through the jungle that was my G-mail inbox.

Note the qualifier. G-mail. I also have an Outlook in-box that has — wait a minute, I’ll check for sure — 6,656 e-mails in it. It’s sync’d to my G-mail in box, and it has a bunch of personal and professional-but-not-business e-mails imported from my years at The Times. I do not know if I have the determination to perform similar clean-up on that one.

In the meantime, I found another tech to-do list, “Banish Seven Bad Tech Habits.” I am going to have to start keeping a list of all my lists.


Written by geekypatty

March 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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