Just as I get my head around a new system of managing my e-mail, I start reading “A World without E-mail” by Cal Newport. Typical. It’s an interesting book about the way we work.
Putting that aside - I thought I would update you.
Domains. Offer have been flooding in for domains that I rent, but no longer want. Flooding in, in that, not at all sort of way. 😁
I fear that hopes for a long and luxurious holiday funded by the sale of domain names that I had acquired, “just-in-case” are fading. I may only realise savings by letting my leases on them lapse. Ah well.
I have now moved the Nero’s Notes family of domains to a new registrar, Gandi.net. Included with their registration is email hosting. I have migrated the emails away from Google Workspace, saving the company £100 or so per year, and simplifying my life considerably. Next, I will move the Lime group, and the Lennon family domains onto Gandi.net and move their email hosting away from fastmail. Netting further savings. Hurrah.
Changing where email gets hosted doesn’t actually help with managing the stuff. It still keeps coming. Hey and SaneBox (both payable) can help with that to a certain extent. With Hey, I can screen out senders, so that mail from them never makes my inbox. At SaneBox, I can train senders into the Sane Blackhole. I am paying handsomely for those tools - and its tempting to look at a world where I pay no fees for email hosting. However, that’s for another day.
For the moment, I have split the mail into three groups. Lime, Nero’s and Personal.
Hosted by Fastmail and supported by SaneBox. Managed on all devices in Microsoft Outlook. These accounts sit by side with corporate accounts that I have with a key client.
Hosted by Gandi.net and managed through Spark on all devices.
Hosted by fastmail, iCloud and others. All forwarded into Hey and managed there.
I half-heartedly backup everything to Mail Steward, a Mac utility that creates a searchable database. I say half-heartedly, because a large part of me is unsure as to whether I really need to back up e-mail anymore. After all, it exists on multiple devices, as well as corporate servers. All those instances are backed up - so is backing up email independently really worth it? To make it work, I download all mail to Mail.app on my Mac, where the utility runs in the background.
Separating all the accounts like this is, on the surface, not efficient. To check my email, I have to open three apps. However, it is focused. I don’t have any e-mail apps open all the time. Their default state is closed. Nor do I have notifications switched on. If I’m in email, it’s because I chose to be there. This sometimes causes consternation with corporate colleagues - never the senior ones, by the way, but generally, people use e-mail to get stuff of their to-do list and onto mine. However, when I shut down for the day - I clear down my e-mail accounts. Generally, that means hitting archive and delete a lot, but sometimes, there’s even something important there. Not often. Keeping the streams apart prevents work leaking onto the couch - I catch up with my personal mail there, and am not distracted by work messages coming in to a unified inbox.
My friend, Amanda Fleet, is exasperated by the time and effort that I put into mail and domains. Hopefully, I’m getting to a place that will cost me less, be easier to manage and will keep my data mine.