Technology is amazing; you can now converse with someone the other side of the globe effectively instantly via IM and email.

The question is: is this a good thing?

Clearly in a lot of cases it is. But what about for non-urgent matters? Conversations that previously could have been conducted at a snails pace are now instant, and over in a few hours. People we have a single conversation with are, effectively, single serving friends.

On an individual level email is becoming a flood! Over the course of a day I can get up to 100 that might need replies - and that is probably a small amount.

So I am trialing a new three step approach to email:

  • I will reply to around mail 48 hours after is recieved
  • The exclusion to this rule is:
    • If this is your first email to me
    • The matter is urgent/needs resolving within 48hrs
    • You're a personal friend (or direct client)
  • Any replies will tend towards just a few sentences
With this I hope to achieve a much more leisurely pace to email conversation. I've been using it effectively for the last few weeks and a few people have already commented that they particularly enjoy emailing/discussing with me.

From a technical perspective I filter mail with the following Gmail filter:

after:2010/[m]/[d-2] before:2010/[m]/[d-1]
Where d = todays day of the month and m = the current month. If anyone has a better filter (that I don't have to change the dates for then please let me know!)