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Do you use your smartphone to waste time on e-mail double processing?

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  • Do you use your smartphone to waste time on e-mail double processing?

    GTD Times post Is Your Smartphone Making You Less Productive? comments:

    Originally posted by Mike
    I think the greater loss of productivity for me is that I tend to read email messages on my phone, but wait to respond to most of them until I am back at my computer. That means I process them twice – if I remember to.
    Originally posted by Max
    Double processing of my mails + risk to forget to reply because they are marked as read even on my PC + I’m never fully present / always connected.
    Originally posted by TesTeq
    Mike & Max,

    Does your smartphone force you to double process your mails???

    I’ve got Nokia E71 with mail functionality that I have never configured. My smartphone is my tool – not my master. A person that really needs my immediate response can call me.
    Do you use your smartphone to waste time on e-mail double processing?

  • #2
    No, but I cannot claim any special will-power here. It's just that I work from home, with both work and personal e-mail right here on the same computer, and I don't travel.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
      Do you use your smartphone to waste time on e-mail double processing?
      No, I don't process e-mail or read it on my phone except is specific circumstances such as I'm traveling away from my computer and I need to be watching for a specific e-mail to so something while I am out. In those special cases I do end up processing twice as I get the e-mail on my phone but don't really process other than to delete off the phone the unwanted stuff and handle the one I am waiting for and then get all the e-mail again and really process it when I finally get back to my computer.

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      • #4
        I do that from time to time, but mostly when I am waiting for an important email. I have linked my phone only with my personal email, but I check my work email through the web interface (which is slow, ugly and non user-friendly

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        • #5
          I archive, delete and do quick replies from my phone, but usually try to wait for iPad or desktop to reply to long email. I often forward an email to Toodledo from my phone with appropriate context and status to get it into my list manager.

          I try to avoid processing twice.

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          • #6
            I don't consider replying later "processing twice," I just consider it a delayed next action.

            I got an iPhone almost a year ago, and run gMail's app on it. When I go through my e-mail on my phone, I treat it just as I would a regular session with my inbox, except that perhaps the "two-minute" rule becomes more like a "thirty-second" rule and/or "would I be mortified if an autocorrect error wound up in this email" rule.

            I archive, label, and delete from my phone, answer any quick "Thanks!" kinds of emails, and then label the remainder @action so that I'll come back to them when I have a real keyboard.

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            • #7
              Shouldn't we avoid sending "Thanks!" emails?

              Originally posted by jesig View Post
              I archive, label, and delete from my phone, answer any quick "Thanks!" kinds of emails, and then label the remainder @action so that I'll come back to them when I have a real keyboard.
              Shouldn't we avoid sending "Thanks!" emails? Isn't it just a distraction and a recipient's inbox overloading?

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              • #8
                I find that there are some emails that can be easily dealt with on my iPhone (e.g., random stuff that needs to be deleted, messages that require a short response but no further processing) and some emails that can't (e.g., messages requiring longer replies that would be a pain to type on the screen keyboard, messages with attachments that need to be saved or otherwise processed).

                At this point in my life I find that the benefits of being able to address emails that CAN be dealt with on my iPhone during blocks of time that would otherwise be wasted (e.g., get to day care before pickup time but am sitting in car) outweighs the fact that I am, in a sense, processing the emails that can't easily be dealt with twice. Weeding through the easy stuff that way makes full, official, sitting at my desk processing more efficient. I do find that as long as I process my inbox at my computer regularly I have enough memory for the ones I've already looked at on my phone that I'm not processing from scratch.

                One last thought -- I think that a key to the mobile email/not wasting processing issue is to check your email on your mobile device when it is beneficial to do so but to have the discipline to NOT constantly check on your mobile device when it isn't beneficial.

                --Marc
                Last edited by Mtk8; 05-02-2012, 03:19 AM. Reason: typo

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                  Shouldn't we avoid sending "Thanks!" emails? Isn't it just a distraction and a recipient's inbox overloading?
                  Yes, but it's also a common courtesy. Maybe the trick is in distinguishing between who is offended by the inconvenience and who is offended by leaving it out.

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                  • #10
                    I do. But there's a need in a pen to put down Next Actions as I process.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                      Shouldn't we avoid sending "Thanks!" emails? Isn't it just a distraction and a recipient's inbox overloading?
                      I was just using that as an example of something that really can be sent from a phone without screwing up the professional nature of the e-mail.

                      But, it's true, I also work in an environment (grad school) with people who haven't cottoned on to the idea that e-mail can be a one-way communication and get offended when there's no reply. I once sent a subject-line only message to my advisor telling her I'd be ten minutes late to our meeting and she was completely befuddled.

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                      • #12
                        "You're welcome!"

                        Originally posted by cfoley View Post
                        Yes, but it's also a common courtesy. Maybe the trick is in distinguishing between who is offended by the inconvenience and who is offended by leaving it out.
                        I'm not against courtesy but I've met people that send "You're welcome!" message after receiving "Thanks!" email! Too much courtesy can be painful.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TesTeq View Post
                          I'm not against courtesy but I've met people that send "You're welcome!" message after receiving "Thanks!" email! Too much courtesy can be painful.
                          Yep, you've got to know your audience. It means something to some, and nothing to others.

                          I've found myself writing something like, "OK, back to work!" at the end of some emails so the other person feels off the hook to reply, knowing I'm going back to work.

                          Dena

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                          • #14
                            "OK, back to work!"
                            Oh, I like that! Used at the right time, that could be really powerful!

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