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How Your Learning Mindset Can Cost Your Job (and how to avoid it)
Mon, Sep 1st 2014 92
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Bothell City Council exposed for avoiding due process to build a new $47 Million City Hall without a Public Vote
Wed, May 28th 2014 463
Request to repair Bothell road and provide pedestrian access to 1000 homes instead of spending $42M on a Boulevard
Mon, May 26th 2014 177
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Making a REAL difference in your inbox management. (HINT: Don’t use Domino inbox maintenance!)
David (The Notes Guy In Seattle)    

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.




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http://blog.thenotesguyinseattle.com/2010/12/20/making-a-real-difference-in-your-inbox-management-hint-dont-use-domino-inbox-maintenance/
Dec 20, 2010
30 hits



Recent Blog Posts
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How Your Learning Mindset Can Cost Your Job (and how to avoid it)
Mon, Sep 1st 2014 6:13a   David Hablewitz
It’s Labor Day (U.S. Holiday) A great day to write about work.  If you work in a computer-related profession you can never stop learning if you wish to remain employed.  And that trend is spreading across professions like wildfire as the benefits of technology influence almost every profession.  But not everyone is cut out for a lifetime of success through learning.  In a recent article published by Salman Khan, the creator of KhanAcademy.org, he wrote about Learning Mindsets: “D [read] Keywords: connections ibm development wiki
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How to get Sametime Video Chat in SmartCloud
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Tue, Aug 12th 2014 4:14p   David Hablewitz
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Webcast on Latest progress on IBM Mail Next
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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
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177


Request to repair Bothell road and provide pedestrian access to 1000 homes instead of spending $42M on a Boulevard
Mon, May 26th 2014 6:15a   David Hablewitz
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Here’s to my friend Tim Tripcony
Mon, May 12th 2014 4:11p   David Hablewitz
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IBM Connections in the Cloud New Service Update!
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Helping my friend the best I can. His story will move you.
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