Email - the bane of our existence yet still seemingly as crucial to communications now as it's ever been. Despite the rise of collaboration tools like Slack and trying to educate people otherwise, I'm still finding that many people seem to regard email as the primary way of communicating with somebody, regardless of the level of importance they tie to that communication.
Myself, I email a lot to people on the main project I'm working on - I can't deny that. However I can caveat that by saying everything I send it is informational and is either confirming or requesting certain details. There is certainly nothing urgent that passes through my Outbox - that's what I use my phone for.
This morning I had a bit of a Eureka moment. I was sat on the train, commuting into London when i reached for my phone to check my email. I thought to myself:
"When was the last time I checked email on an iOS device and felt positive afterwards?"
That was a real head-scratcher. I couldn't come up with a decent answer. Now working with the premise that I regard all email as informational, not urgent, why do I feel the need to check it on my mobile device - a device I regard as crucial to my leisure time.
Couple that with the fact that I have a system for processing email on Mail.app which involves MailTags, Mail Act-On and OmniFocus and all of a sudden checking email on a mobile device seems mighty redundant.
So that's exactly what I did. I have relegated Mail on iOS deep away from my home screen, buried deep into a folder that houses applications I only dip into occasionally. Now, when I unlock my phone, my thumb doesn't automatically gravitate towards that envelope icon. Instead, I find myself reading an article on Pocket, clearing a few pages in Blinkist or checking upcoming tasks for the day in OmniFocus. Yes, I may also catch up with Tweetbot but that's the role I have designated to my phone, so it's not an action I feel guilty about.
No more checking mail on my phone and I feel like a weight has lifted.