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.
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
WARNING: Google Apps for Business Terms of Service
Sat, Aug 30th 2014 2:12p David Hablewitz These are the terms of service you are agreeing to in your Google Apps Business account. See the text highlighted in RED. Does this agreement concern anyone?
(Taken from Google Business TOS https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/terms/ )
Your Content in our Services
Some of our Services allow you to upload, submit, store, send or receive content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.
When you [read] Keywords: policies
How to get Sametime Video Chat in SmartCloud
Sun, Aug 24th 2014 11:12p David Hablewitz The maintenance window is over and SmartCloud Sametime chat now includes audio and video. Some details to know:
First, the feature is accessible only via a browser or via the mobile app. It is not available in the Notes embedded client (yet). Also, all parties in the chat must be logged into SmartCloud. That makes sense. If they weren’t, you couldn’t chat with them either.
Once logged into https://collabserv.com website, logged into Sametime, open your contacts list. You wi [read] Keywords: notes
New easy way to get your IBM software downloads via SmartCloud!
Tue, Aug 12th 2014 4:14p David Hablewitz OK, you’ve seen my article giving a detailed review about how bad Passport Advantage website was for many years. It took awhile to get fixed. But for the most part, much of that has improved dramatically since – and at least partially because of – that article. But downloads are still a bit of a pain. That is, until now!
If you subscribe to SmartCloud Notes, you can get to your downloads in Passport Advantage directly from the Apps – Downloads and Setup menu. It [read] Keywords: ibm
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: