Tyranny of email

i finally figured out why i hate email.

it’s not as simple as “your inbox is someone else’s todo list.” this implies someone else’s inbox is your todo list. equilibrium.

no, i hate email because nobody’s inbox is my todo list.

here’s my daily email volume:

  • send 0-2
  • receive 30-50

i’m expected to do 48 things for others that are never reciprocated.

same goes for my Twitter DMs, so today i pulled this trigger:


besides the obvious — less mental clutter — deleting Twitter DMs closes the all-you-can-eat line of communication i once had with 100s of people i don’t know.

what is email?

a lot of apps try to reinvent, replace, or optimize, email. from Superhuman to Slack, Inbox to Mailplane.

but these tools address the symptoms, not the problem. the problem is doing work for free, with time i don’t have.

charging people to send messages… no, to receive an opinion, has been a successful experiment. i’ve donated a nice chunk of $$ to Black Girls Code through this link alone.

but that service is shutting down. what’s next?

fixing email

a few months ago i hired an assistant to help me process email from several inboxes. our current setup: every day she handles what she can, and on Wednesdays she forwards me “Ryan” stuff.

it’s time to increase the intensity.

going forward my assistant will forward me content just 1x /month. i will make an exception for emails from team members. our portfolio has 4 support colleagues in place for daily customer conversations.

my goal: inbox zero less email no email no inbox.

how you can help

question? FAQ me so everyone can read it.

want an opinion? tweet me so everyone can read it.

something else? try my products so i can make more of them.