Making 200K emails a little less stressful (and Gmail a little more useful)

Sometimes I wonder why I keep so many unread emails. All the best coaches say Inbox Zero is the way to a less stressful life, and I understand where they’re coming from. But I can’t bring myself to just delete all of it.

And now and then, I stumble across a little informational gem that makes me glad I go my own way on that topic. I was looking for any evidence that I had ever signed up for an Airtable account, and though I had not, I did find mentions of Airtable in some newsletters I hadn’t read. One of those newsletters was from Zappier, and an unrelated post linked from that email reviewed how to reclaim the space at the bottom of my Gmail sidebar which has recently been taken over by reminders for Google Meet and Google Chat.

That little annoyance has been like a splinter in my mind for weeks, but I hadn’t had the time to focus on it long enough to formulate a question to google. And here’s Justin Pot, with the answer to my unverbalized prayer to get my entire sidebar back and relieve the stress of not being able to tell at a glance when my most important email accounts have unread messages I need to see from specific people (on specific topics).

Well, you say, wouldn’t Inbox Zero relieve that stress anyway? Not really. I use email as a documentation repository, and I worked with Enron back in the day, when documentation was life itself when things went awry. I still run into situations where I’ve notified someone of an issue they needed to address, and they didn’t, only to have them come back at me sometime later in a tizzy about the problems that resulted from their own inattention. Nobody likes to hear (see) it, but if I told you a month ago there was an iceberg in your way, and now you want to yell at me because you didn’t pay attention and your ship is sinking, I’m going to send the receipts saying that I told you. I’ll help you patch the hole, but you’re gonna have to live with the knowledge that you could have saved yourself time (and probably money) if you’d paid attention earlier.

So Inbox Zero is probably never going to be a thing for me. Just because it’s not important today, that doesn’t mean it will never be important. And sometimes I don’t know what I need until I need it, and when I find it, it’s like having my own guardian angel drape a little blanket of calm over my shoulders.


One more time

Does it work now?

Testing Integrations too

here’s another one, does it work?

Testing Integrations

Testing integrations between your site and your various social media accounts isn’t always smooth. This is a post which does exactly that, and should appear on my LinkedIn company profile.

WWGD (What Would Google Do?)

Everybody wants more traffic. Most of that is going to come from a major search engine, and like it or not, Google is the majorest of the major. Here’s a recent article on what they like and don’t like to “see” in a website.

How to Analytic

Probably not the best title, but it’ll hold the spot. Here’s an article on how to get the organic keywords out of that pesky (not provided) group in Google Analytics reports.

And even more detail on parsing out the data:

Hello world!

If you’ve ever written a program, you know “Hello World” is the equivalent of Coder Kindergarten. I like leaving the first blog post title as a little reminder of that beginning point, the first step that connects so many programming languages across the technology universe. Scott Adams said “Technology is no place for wimps,” but I think I can be a little sentimental without being wimpy. If you’re considering a comment keep in mind that I have your IP address.

Oh, now I remember why I was writing. The blog title. That’s another sentimental reference for me. A former co-worker and comedy buddy used to spell what we did “developmint,” and this is a little nod to his minty fresh humor. And it’s also a self-reference to the site and company name, as well as to my interests in photography and typography and Deepak Chopra.