About Me, Technical

Workflow: An E-mail Client with a “Defer” Button?

So, I am pretty good at keeping on top of my Inbox. Every so often I plow through, and I “delete, delegate, defer, do” which means that mostly I delete or archive messages that require no action, or I’ll make entries in my calendar, then delete or archive, or I’ll write a reply, perhaps a lengthier reply. Or, I’ll transcribe the notes somewhere to work into an article, or whatever. When I’m done plowing, I sometimes have an empty Inbox. E-mail is triage and when that plate has cleared you can close it and go on to other things.

Sorting the mail . . . (CC: KRCLA)

Delete, Delegate, and Do, are all really easy. They even map to the e-mail buttons fairly well:

Delete “Delete” or “Archive” buttons.
Delegate “Forward” or make an entry in a bug / ticket system.
Do “Reply” with an answer or note that things got done..
Defer ??? . . . make an entry in your calendar? Tagging?

Some casual poking reveals that this may be doable in Outlook, which really isn’t my style. Have any of my geeky readers thoughts or recommendations along these lines?

What I have tried, using Gmail:

Tag-into-queue: TODO-reading, TODO-reply, TODO-projectfoo . . . unfortunately, once I have “tagged” a new message away I never bother to look into the TODO “tag queues”

Using Gmail, I have found that if you plow messages “from the top” in reverse-chronological order, then if you make it through a full cycle, you can leave “deferred” messages at the bottom, and clobber those in time.

I just kind of wish there was a “hide this message ’til tomorrow / next week” button. But maybe I’m uptight.

Or, maybe, deep down in side, I have the soul of an Outlook user.

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Categories: About Me, Technical

  • I don’t know bout gmail or outlook, but on other mail clients I have used (including the iPhone) they support the concept of e-mail Drafts. I’m pretty sure outlook does this as well.

    In terms of Defer, if its in your Drafts folder, its a deferred mail as long as your consistent about going through your Drafts folder.

  • I absolutely want this. Something that resends the email to me after a certain amount of time, or after a certain date. This could even replace an event calendar for things that don’t need a lot of planning.

  • Keith,

    I love Drafts for deferring outbound mail, but as you allude, I’m horrible at going through a “deferred” folder . . . I want it to go away and come back later.


    Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone in this insane desire.