How I Handle Email Without Going Insane

Draft created: 28 October 2014
Last updated: 2 January 2017
Status: Second draft, total rewrite

For a couple of years, I used a starred-email system to tackle my inbox. It worked well for me at first — the first draft of this post described the system — but came to feel unnecessarily complex. Inspired by Matthew “Glyph” Lefkowitz’s essay, “Email Isn’t The Thing You’re Bad At,” I’ve since simplified my approach. These are my new imperatives:

I’ve been following this approach for about six months. I’m happy with it; the simplicity clarifies my relationship with my inbox. But I’m also curious: Will this still be how I handle email a year from now? If not, then how?