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:
- batching saves time (a lot less mental context switches), and
- removes distractions throughout the day (no notifications, or distractions when using GChat, searching or composing emails), and eventually
- 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:
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 🙂