NOTES: Danny's Latest Inbox-minding Scheme

Things that haven’t worked:

  1. GmailZero (I slide down a slippery slope of snoozing messages no matter how I try to set bright line safeguards)
  2. Isolating backlogs and beeminding them separately (works nicely until it doesn’t, plus I just keep creating new backlogs and eventually inbox and backlog kinda blur)
  3. Time spent
  4. A million other things

New idea 1: Beemind instances of hitting Archive. But I’m failing to find a good way to get that number from Gmail.

New idea 2: Maybe number of sent messages is an ok proxy metric. I can do that as a manual odometer goal. The theory will be that when I have a sendmail beemergency, the easiest way to dispatch it will be to find things to reply to. Ok trying things here I go:

dammit, i don’t get a +1 for replying to a thread that i’d already previously replied to :(

ok, maybe a manual do-more goal. i just go to my sent mail folder and count the number of threads with today’s date. so the metric is actual sent messages, except multiple back-and-forth on the same day doesn’t count as separate messages. if that makes me throttle my sending to a 24-hour turnaround time, that’s probably [100-emoji]

From dialog with Bee on whether snoozing messages is the problem:

i could say that anything snoozed is still part of the inbox count but, i don’t know, it’s just too daunting to commit to getting the total backlog size down every day when there’s a stream of new stuff arriving. (yes, isolate the backlog and beemind it separately, and that’s ok but the real problem i guess is redqueening the incoming stream)

(I do think I’ve over-villified snoozing when talking about why I’m a hot mess about email.)

Update: I’m currently hopeful about a plain old GmailZero on my sent-mail folder — Not getting credit for new replies to any existing threads may be fine. It’s just a proxy metric anyway and the idea is I keep working through my inbox/backlog until the graph is happy and if i ever hit inbox zero and it still isn’t then i can pick the stalest person in my rolodex and say hi to them or whatever (and/or dial down the steepness of gsent).

(oh, i say “plain old gmailzero” but i had to convert it to custom and flip the good side of the bright red line since i want to keep increasing my number of sent messages and gmailzero assumes you always want to whittle down)

i guess i’m calling it an ice cream truck loophole [1] that i make my gsent graph happy by sending new email while letting old messages languish. that may or may not turn out fine if i keep control-systems-ing [2] the rate until i’m redqueening [3] my inbox


UPDATE: I’m now using both a manual do-more goal and a GmailZero goal, waiting to decide which I like better. The GmailZero one has one more annoyance: GmailZero only records the min (it ought to respect aggday!) so I use the workaround of manually deleting the automatic datapoint at the end of the day so that Beeminder has to fetch it anew.

With the manual do-more goal, I’m also putting my inbox+backlog count in the datapoint comment and so far I’m managing to keep that number going down…