I have an email newsletter called One Great Read. Can you guess what it is? I’m about to send out the latest email, so now it a good time to sign up.
I also read a lot about parenting. Not really how-to stuff so much as research and interesting things for parents to know. My friend Pramit and I launched an email newsletter for parents that you might enjoy if you’re a parent. It’s called Outcome Unknown. If you like the latest newsletter, feel free to subscribe. It’s 3-5 links per week delivered to your inbox, spam-free of course.
Don’t write email that people can respond to.
If you ask questions in an email, people will respond. If you don’t answer their questions, they’ll ask again. If you write charming email, they will want more. Don’t do those things. Write an email that is impossible to respond to. Answer every question. Tie up every loose end. Write a complete and completely un-respondable email.
Instead of complying, Lavabit shuts down. Help them out by donating to their legal defense fund.
So now who do we use for email?
For anyone not freaked out about the NSA just having metadata on every email you’ve sent and received in Gmail, make sure you take a look at this little project/experiment some MIT students put together. The graphic you see above is a diagram of who I email, how often I’ve emailed with them and how and if they are related to other people I’ve emailed with. I removed the name labels, but you can view the diagram with names as well. This is approximately 10 years of email. So yeah, just having metadata can tell someone a lot. MIT lets you delete the info. The US government does not.
BTW, something I figured out was that because I had Gmail (on the web) configured to only give access to my 1000 most recent emails via IMAP, I had to remove that limitation in order to give this project access to all of my email.
Put to best use, Inbox Zero is merely a philosophical practice of learning to be parsimonious about which and how many inputs we allow into into our lives—and, then, to responsibly but mindfully tend to those inputs in a way that is never allowed to hinder our personal commitment to doing the work that really matters to us.