Sunday, June 30, 2013

Inbox management for RSS and Mail

Marco Arment notes that those complaining of RSS Inbox overload are not using RSS correctly: it should be used to check on a possibly large number of rarely updated but valuable sites.

He recommends simply deleting feeds that are updated frequently. I have a slightly different approach: two basic feed directories. One is my A-List, which contains feeds that roughly fall into the "rarely updated but valuable" category, and the other is my River of News, which are feeds that I enjoy and which keep me up-to-date, but which I don't mind clearing out by marking all as read.

Incidentally, pretty much the same goes for my E-Mail Inbox: as much of the lower priority stuff as possible is sorted into specific mailboxes automatically. The rest I triage quickly into one of 3 categories: action, read-ponder, will-file.

I used to sort by categories and that didn't work at all. In fact, it frequently managed to invert the actual priorities, leaving me focused on e-mails that weren't actually important, just hard to categorize, whereas most of the important e-mails would have their own categories and disappear from view.

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