• CRM114 to filter spam. I wrote a script that grabs all mail saved into teach-mail and teach-spam folders and uses them to improve CRM114. The result has been a 95% drop in inbox spam with less than 1% false positives.
  • All mail goes into my INBOX and stays there. I bcc all outbound mail to myself. I view my mail most recent first. Now regular mail usage is compatible with POP and lots of other mail readers. If a mail needs to be processed then it can be saved into a folder. But following the philosophy of Dave Allen’s Getting Things Done, I only check email when I am ready to process it. Any mail that I can answer quickly I do. Any other mail that requires a larger response gets put on a todo list. Using your inbox as a TODO list is just a recipe for trouble.
  • All bulk messages are delivered to a bulk folder that I can check when I anm ready to read random news broadcast. Email in my INBOX gets presumptive priority. The result is a much lower aggregate interrupt level. I created a cron job that grabs all the from: addresses from a teach-bulk folder and adds them to a buklist. See here for info on how. My procmail filter looks like this
    | (formail -x received: -x X-Envelope-From: -x from: -x sender: -x reply-to: -x
    return-path:| fgrep --quiet --ignore-case --file=$BULKLIST)
    :0 Wa

    Note: From enumeration appears to be the best way to do this. Custom addressing doesn’t help enough.
  • I set my email client to check for new email ever hour rather than every minute. That is also a vast reduction in distraction.

All of these changes have made me gigantically less distracted and hopefully more productive. Yay!
Update: A sideeffect of a consistent inbox is that I now have things configured so that all from addresses of mail accepted in my INBOX are whitelisted. Note if you use CRM114, you should only whitelist AFTER training.


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