Announcing BatchedInbox.com: (Free) Email Batching for Gmail

I’ve become a big fan of email batching recently, which is the act of checking email only at specific intervals and processing them in batches. It has a lot of advantages:

  1. batching saves time (a lot less mental context switches), and
  2. removes distractions throughout the day (no notifications, or distractions when using GChat, searching or composing emails), and eventually
  3. reduces anxiety — you won’t feel the need to check your inbox constantly!

Before creating BatchedInbox, I tried batching “manually” by only checking email at specific times. This didn’t work well; I’d still get distracted by new emails when searching for an existing email, composing a new one, or using GChat. I’d also just obsessively and unconsciously check the tab as a way to procrastinate on the task at hand.

I wanted to fix this for myself and others, so I wrote a service I’ve released as www.batchedinbox.com. You simply authenticate with it (OAuth2) and set up a filter in your Gmail, and then you’ll only receive new emails in your Inbox at times you specify, hourly or at specific hours:

BatchedInbox Configuration

BatchedInbox Configuration

I and a handful of beta testers have been using it successfully for a bit, so I feel comfortable announcing it and having others use it. If it interests you, please check it or the FAQ out, and I’d love your feedback either way. It is intended as a permanently free service, supported by myself and perhaps your generous self via Gittip.

If this service doesn’t sound interesting to you, please do let me know why. It may reveal a marketing bug :)

  • sup

    Hi! That sounds good! I would need somthing like that for RSS as well:-). Have tyou got any tips?

    • mrooney

      Thanks! You can use it to batch other things as well, if you direct them to your Gmail. For example, I “batch” my Facebook and Twitter usage by configuring them to email me on any action I care about. Then I get these once per day, and don’t have to keep checking in on those sites throughout the day.

      I’m not familiar with a specific RSS solution, though it looks like http://blogtrottr.com/ might do the trick!

  • http://twitter.com/ubuntusoren Soren Hansen

    Awesome. Just awesome. Thanks so much for this!

    • http://twitter.com/ubuntusoren Soren Hansen

      I had some initial concern about how this was implemented, though. I feared my e-mail woul be held in some 3rd party mail server and was also concerned about what the impact would be if this service suddenly stopped working. Using labels this way is a great idea and completely addresses these concerns. Perhaps others feel the same way and need a basic explanation of how it works to feel comfortable with it.

      • mrooney

        Thanks for the feedback! Do you think there is a better way to explain it than is being done when you click learn more / FAQ (http://www.batchedinbox.com/step2/), or is the problem that this is too late and it needs to be called out on the front page?