Processing my Inbox

Sunday, November 4th, 2007 at 07:41pm

A month ago I installed a Thunderbird extension to give me a simple feature that has made the processing of my Inbox easier.

Ever since I started using SpamAssassin on my incoming email I have had two SPAM folders one that procmail automatically moves messages identified as SPAM into, and another that I manually move SPAM messages that were not identified as such.

Every few months I then run the contents of the manual folder through sa-learn to train the bayesian classifier.

So why is this significant?

Ever since I started to use rss2email for reading RSS feeds I have been running through the messages in my Inbox at least once a day in order to process it to (nearly) empty in a (sort of) GTD manner. As the majority of the messages are from RSS feeds the my most common action is delete, via the toolbar button (I click on the article link to bring it up in a new tab in Firefox and then return to my Inbox).

My next most common action is to move the message to the Spam/Manual folder. Even though it isn’t very complicated, every so often I drag the message to the wrong folder in the list down the side of the window. This was an annoyance and I wished that there could be a button to move the message.

A month ago I found Buttons!, an extension for Thunderbird that allows you to add a number of additional buttons to the toolbar. One of these is Archive! which moves the current message to a predefined folder.

So I now have two buttons; the standard Delete and right next to it a button that moves the message to Spam/Manual. This covers almost all of the actions I perform to process my Inbox.

In hindsight this doesn’t seem like much. But an optimisation of a daily process can be worth a lot more than you think.

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