My Permanent Out-Of-Office Email – One Month Later


An interesting experience on how to handle our e-mails. Every day we receive ton of emails and feel we are required to respond to every single one, and quickly.

Read this experience made by a person from Backblaze:

Back Story: After a vacation last year I realized how much freedom my out-of-office email notification provided, so with the new year starting, I decided to try an experiment and make my email management plan permanent. I promised to check back in and let you know what happened.

My Original Plan

Here was my 3-step plan to attack the email monster:

  • Start Clean – move all email prior to Jan 1st into an archived mailbox.
  • Check Once – ideally only read email once, toward the end of each day. If reading emails more, at least deal or snooze them to not constantly re-read them.
  • Permanently Out-Of-Office – setup a permanent auto-responder that provides common answers, saying I’m in the office but won’t necessarily reply.
What I Actually Did

Start Clean?

Almost. I probably shouldn’t have done it, but I scanned through the emails still in my inbox from October through December to see if there were any I should deal with before archiving 2014. Realistically, I probably shouldn’t have even looked – but a number of those are still in my inbox. Having said that, my inbox is nowhere near as daunting as it once was.

Check Once?

Wow, this one was hard. Wake up in the morning? Check email. Waiting in line? Check email. Going to bed? Check email. I checked email less often, but not nearly as infrequently as I ought to. Will try again. Just moved both of my email apps (the default iPhone one & Mailbox) onto the second screen of my phone. This seems to be helping, it’s the little things.

Permanently Out-Of-Office

I’m going to count this one a success. I set this up on my external email account and it has been great. I have seen many emails come in that were truly auto-answered by my common answers. The auto-responder also weeded out who was a real person versus a fake “I’m personally sending this to you” email. Reduced my workload, added a sense of freedom, and reduced my ‘need to answer email’ anxiety….

How do you handle your email? Read all on Backblaze

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