When I was in college, I had a professor who demanded all computer programs be written modularly, broken into logical functions and procedures that were short enough to be viewed on one screen without scrolling. We would get a one letter grade deduction for each procedure in the program that did not fit on one screen. (at that time, one screen was 25 lines) His reasoning was that troubleshooting a unit of code was vastly more difficult when the entire piece could not be viewed at one time.
This same best practice applies to most everything you view on the computer including websites and INBOXES. That’s right. The moment you have to scroll your inbox to view all the messages, you have reached the point of functional breakdown. Once you have to scroll the inbox, those messages not on the screen are less likely to be looked at ever again and it is very unlikely it will ever get back to not scrolling without radical action. Why? Because it literally becomes endless. That is, you can’t see the ends. Other than the size of the slider in relation to the bar, there is no way to tell how many messages are in the inbox. And as the saying goes, out of sight, out of mind. It is vastly easier to keep an inbox to less than one screen full than it is to reduce an inbox to one screen once the scroll bar appears.
Some people would have you believe the Inbox Maintenance feature is the greatest thing to come along for maintaining your inbox. WRONG. All it does is hides the problem and makes it even harder to fix later. Once you remove the messages from the inbox without adding them to another folder, they become lost in the morass of the All Documents view, forever inseparable from the messages that have been properly filed except through creative coding of an agent. Sure, that will temporarily improve server performance, but it does not go far enough to address the real problem: degraded human performance. The server will tolerate an inbox with several hundred messages. But humans performance degrades as soon as they don’t all fit on one screen. (This is the one advantage of using the preview pane on the side rather than the bottom.)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Step 1: Empty your inbox.
- Create a folder called “Inbox 2010″
- Open your inbox and select all messages. All of them. On a PC type Ctrl-A to select all.
- Drag them to the new folder you just created. You now have an empty inbox. You can always go back and deal with those messages you moved when you have extra time. But we both know that won’t happen.
Step 2: Keep the inbox empty for as long as you can.
- Make it your goal to eliminate all new messages promptly. Whenever possible, process each one only once. Read it, act on it and delete or file it. Much like a video game, your goal is to “kill” the emails. You lose as soon as your inbox gets large enough to scroll.
Step 3: Game Over: Start again.
- When you get the scroll bar for the inbox, repeat step 1 again.
You can simplify the process of filing messages if you install Swiftfile, the free add-on from IBM that learns your message filing habits and gives quick links for the 3 folders you will most likely want to file the message. In just one click the message is filed and next one opened. (see screen shot)
For more on this topic, check out the book Getting Things Done by David Allen.
Bothell City Council exposed for avoiding due process to build a new $47 Million City Hall without a Public Vote
Wed, May 28th 2014 12:12a David Hablewitz If you live in the City of Bothell, you will definitely be interested in watching what happened at the City Council meeting on May 20th
It is long, but you need to watch the first 20 minutes and again at about time stamp 2:54:00.
After watching it I am certain you will be motivated enough to visit the next City Council meeting in person and let them know how you feel about what they are planning to do with your money. The next meeting is Tuesday, June 3rd at 6:00 PM at City Hall.
In summar [read] Keywords:
Here’s to my friend Tim Tripcony
Mon, May 12th 2014 4:11p David Hablewitz Tim, your passing is felt around the world, even here in Washington state. Your genius only eclipsed by your humble nature. So much more I want to say, but I’m without words.
Follow Scott Hooks for more info.
https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140512170336-24024491-tim-tripcony-you-will-live-on-in-our-hearts [read] Keywords: linkedin
Helping my friend the best I can. His story will move you.
Thu, May 8th 2014 6:14a David Hablewitz Brian Steele is my good friend and one of the best managers I have ever worked for. I remember the day when he quietly explained to me that they had just learned his son Cullen had Pulmonary Hypertension. I never heard of it before and asked “Is it bad?” “Yeah, it’s bad.” he said. Watch this video and learn Cullen’s story.
At the time Brian mentioned it, I didn’t fully appreciate what it all meant or the impact it would have on him and his fa [read] Keywords:
SmartCloud Demonstration at Seattle Technical Forum Meetup, Redmond, WA
Tue, Apr 29th 2014 11:10p David Hablewitz If you are a CTO, IT director, computer professional or enthusiast of cloud computing technology, you won’t want to miss out on this meeting of the Seattle Technical Forum meetup group.
There will be 3 presenters at this meeting speaking on the following topics:
- Google Cloud Platform: Top 10 Edition
- Properly securing your cloud infrastructure
- SmartCloud – IBM’s Biggest Little Secret
I will be presenting a demonstration of SmartCloud for Social Business with IBMer David [read] Keywords: ibm
Wealth is not measured by how much you have, but by how much you give
Thu, Mar 13th 2014 11:12p David Hablewitz This time of year I am normally helping out at my YMCA with their Partners With Youth campaign, sitting in a phone bank with other volunteers, calling people in the community asking for donations to help their cause.
Phone bank volunteers working hard
This is a charity that helps provide funding for kids whose family can’t afford to put them into programs like before and after school care, swim lessons, or summer camp. In some cases this care is vital in making it possible for their parent [read] Keywords: community