December, 2014 Archives
by Meri in Lifehacks, Productivity
I’ve written before about dealing with huge volumes of email, and my approach of looking at your email sideways to slice & dice it more appropriately. Since then, the various email clients and services available have improved a fair bit, making some of these things easier.
Mailstrom is great for when you have a bunch of stuff in your inbox and want to process it fast. It extends the sideways approach I talked about previously, also giving you options to unsubscribe from mailing lists (including many companies’ promotional emails), see only emails from people you have emailed, and categories of shopping and social. This in addition to being able to sort by subject, sender, time or size, as one would in a mail client.
Mailstrom also sends you emails giving you some insight into your inbox and how you’re handling it, which can be useful — sometimes an automated analysis actually makes you realise things you otherwise wouldn’t! The profile pages give you a (sometimes scary) look at how your inbox size / rate of email looks compared to others also using the service. I find mine quite worrisome.
It’s a service I happily pay for, and signing up via this Mailstrom link will get you $5 off if you’d like to try it.
Day to day, I use Mailbox on my phone. I like that it has swipe gestures for archiving, deleting, filing (though annoyingly only in folders under Mailbox) and a snooze function. The snooze is the real killer feature IMHO — you can defer an email until tonight, tomorrow, the weekend, next week for for a month. You can also have it come back at a certain date, but I find I don’t use this much; I prefer to add things to calendar that are really for a specific date or time.
I’ve moved my @action, @readlater, @waitingfor, etc GTD folders to being under Mailbox, and swipe stuff into them when processing on my phone in a spare minute here and there.
Structured Gmail Inbox
The only issue with filing items away is that they can seem filed away. So the final piece of the puzzle, for me at least, was to structure my Gmail inbox so I couldn’t fail to see emails in my @action etc folders. I used this approach to customise my Gmail inbox and find it helps keeps the right things top of mind.
by Meri in Development
Struggling with a particularly nasty set of unicode & URL encoding bugs a couple of weeks back, I was reminded just how much I hate dealing with unicode and encodings.
Gave me an opportunity to brush up though, and to find a bunch of good resources I hadn’t seen before including:
- Ned Batchelder‘s Pragmatic Unicode or How Do I Stop The Pain? — I love that he included the text of his talk as well as a link to the video of him giving it at PyConUS 12
- Python Encoding, Completely Demystified
- Python Module of the Week’s codecs write-up
- What Every Web Developer Must Know About URL Encoding
- Unicode Frustrations including some smart solutions / tips for keeping you out of hot water
And also to revisit some golden oldies & useful references:
- Joel Spolsky’s Unicode overview
- Python UNICODE HOWTO from the official docs
- List of standard Python encodings
Mostly posting as a reference for myself 😉