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Monday, February 18, 2008

Postpone Email Sending?

Google employee Matt Cutts mentioned before how he tries to slow down emailing by not getting into the habit of instant replies... this way, he receives less speedy follow-up questions (which might otherwise make him to quickly reply again, leading to something more resembling chat), decreasing the number of emails he gets. But ignoring unread emails for a while or saving replies as draft first might not be the best option, as it still creates a number of digital todos piling up. Now Johnny Haeusler of German Spreeblick writes:

Like zillions of other interweb users I’ve often wondered why you can’t set a future date for email sending. Type a mail in the evening which will then be sent out the next morning. This shouldn’t be a problem on a technical level.

The longer you think about it the more obvious it becomes: this is the kind of feature to bring down whole governments. If not more.

What do you think, would this make a nice optional feature for Gmail or other email clients? Also, can you think of other existing – or yet nonexistent but entirely possible – ways of artificially slowing down our tech life... in order to, paradoxically, save time?
(One is probably a phone’s mail box; then there are digital video recorders which can halt a running show; another use is freezing the timing of webpage animations down to the first still image, avoiding the distractions of blinking. We may also bookmark a webpage for later reading. Many blogging systems – as of recently, including Google’s – also have a feature to postpone a post.)


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