remind-me-later: resend email at some future date

Replies:

Parents:

  • None.
I leave messages in my inbox as a way of reminding myself to do
something later, but this has a couple drawbacks: my email client
only lists 40 messages at once, so anything older than that scrolls
off my screen and is unlikely to get attention ever again, and
after doing this for the last decade or so my inbox has built up
to 6125 messages totalling 140 MB.

A while ago I heard of something that sounds useful: software
to bring a message to your attention again at some future date.
Getting Things Done calls this a "tickler file" [1]; there are
implementations available for email clients including Outlook [2]
and Gmail [3], and even a custom service called FutureMail [4].

I wrote a short shell script called remind-me-later [5] to
accomplish the same with Mutt: I just type "|rml" or
"|rml jan 25" when viewing a message to cause it to reappear
at the date/time specified. (defaults to 5am tomorrow)

I don't have much experience using it yet so it remains to be
seen how much impact it will have on my email habits.

A few implementation details: it keeps each message in a separate
file in ~/mail/later/ with a timestamp indicating its due date;
to process the queue it just looks for any files in that directory
with a date/time in the past.

The queue processing is done by a separate cron job that I run
every 5 mins:

   */5 * * * * www/people/gerald/2009/01/remind-me-later process-queue

(it just marks messages as 'new' and appends them to my inbox)

The date formats accepted are the same as those accepted by touch(1)
which seems pretty permissive. (you can use '5am', 'next week',
'2 months', '1 week tues', '2009-01-31', etc)

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tickler_file
[2] http://www.trenholm.co.uk/?p=59
[3] http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/7676
[4] http://futuremail.bensinclair.com/home/index/
[5] http://impressive.net/people/gerald/2009/01/remind-me-later

--
Gerald Oskoboiny <gerald@impressive.net>
http://impressive.net/people/gerald/

Re: remind-me-later: resend email at some future date


Le 11 janv. 2009 à 05:22, Gerald Oskoboiny a écrit :
> I leave messages in my inbox as a way of reminding myself to do
> something later,

(this depends on Mac OS X Apple Mail)

I do not have an inbox anymore for the last two years. All my incoming  
mails are filtered to a dated folder with the pattern YYYY/MM.

I have a big list of "smart mailbox". These are virtual mailboxes,  
just a view depending on specific metadata (subject, mail headers,  
keywords, etc.). I can create or destroy them at will. For example,  
all the mailing-lists have their own virtual mailboxes. And sometimes  
for some specific people, I create virtual maiboxes.

I read my emails as usual or sometimes just scanning.  For mailing  
lists if the topic doesn't interest me, I just mark as read.

Then when I know I need to reply to an email, I put a flag on it. The  
net results is that I have not lost an email since. I can take time to  
reply depending on the type of emails, but I have always replied what  
I should have replied.

This specific email was flagged (aka to reply) for the last day. ;)



The same in French with images
http://www.la-grange.net/2008/03/26/organiser-courrier



--
Karl Dubost
Montréal, QC, Canada





Re: remind-me-later: resend email at some future date


On 12 Jan 2009, at 2:09 PM, Karl Dubost wrote:

>
> Le 11 janv. 2009 à 05:22, Gerald Oskoboiny a écrit :
>> I leave messages in my inbox as a way of reminding myself to do
>> something later,
>
> (this depends on Mac OS X Apple Mail)
>
> I do not have an inbox anymore for the last two years. All my  
> incoming mails are filtered to a dated folder with the pattern YYYY/
> MM.
>
> I have a big list of "smart mailbox". These are virtual mailboxes,  
> just a view depending on specific metadata (subject, mail headers,  
> keywords, etc.). I can create or destroy them at will. For example,  
> all the mailing-lists have their own virtual mailboxes. And  
> sometimes for some specific people, I create virtual maiboxes.
>
> I read my emails as usual or sometimes just scanning.  For mailing  
> lists if the topic doesn't interest me, I just mark as read.
>
> Then when I know I need to reply to an email, I put a flag on it.  
> The net results is that I have not lost an email since. I can take  
> time to reply depending on the type of emails, but I have always  
> replied what I should have replied.
>
> This specific email was flagged (aka to reply) for the last day. ;)

Hi Karl!

I process email differently:

 1) I leave everything in my inbox until I've dealt with it. I prefer  
that to moving around.
 2) Once managed, I move it to an archive (all messages for that  
calendar year),
    which I can search.
 3) I use keyboard shortcuts to quickly do the following:
    - mark message as spam (and move out of inbox for spamassassin  
training)
    - move message to year archive (according to year message  
received).

 _ Ian

>
>
>
> The same in French with images
> http://www.la-grange.net/2008/03/26/organiser-courrier
>
>
>
> --
> Karl Dubost
> Montréal, QC, Canada
>
>
>
>

--
Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447



Re: remind-me-later: resend email at some future date

Replies:

Parents:


Le 13 janv. 2009 à 16:17, Ian Jacobs a écrit :
> 1) I leave everything in my inbox until I've dealt with it. I prefer  
> that to moving around.

I don't move it around. :) procmail power. the rules are in the blog  
post.

>
> 2) Once managed, I move it to an archive (all messages for that  
> calendar year),
>    which I can search.

which means I don't have to do that.


--
Karl Dubost
Montréal, QC, Canada

Re: remind-me-later: resend email at some future date


On 13 Jan 2009, at 11:24 AM, Karl Dubost wrote:

>
> Le 13 janv. 2009 à 16:17, Ian Jacobs a écrit :
>> 1) I leave everything in my inbox until I've dealt with it. I  
>> prefer that to moving around.
>
> I don't move it around. :) procmail power. the rules are in the blog  
> post.
>
>>
>> 2) Once managed, I move it to an archive (all messages for that  
>> calendar year),
>>   which I can search.
>
> which means I don't have to do that.


Your cost is up front: moving around to various folders to look at mail.
Mine is after: moving to various folders after looking at it.

_ Ian
--
Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447

Re: remind-me-later: resend email at some future date

Replies:

Parents:


Le 13 janv. 2009 à 18:35, Ian Jacobs a écrit :
> Your cost is up front: moving around to various folders to look at  
> mail.
> Mine is after: moving to various folders after looking at it.

Did you look at the blog post?
I don't do that… I have difficulties to understand how you understood  
what I was doing :)


--
Karl Dubost
Montréal, QC, Canada

Re: remind-me-later: resend email at some future date

Replies:

Parents:


On 13 Jan 2009, at 11:46 AM, Karl Dubost wrote:

>
> Le 13 janv. 2009 à 18:35, Ian Jacobs a écrit :
>> Your cost is up front: moving around to various folders to look at  
>> mail.
>> Mine is after: moving to various folders after looking at it.
>
> Did you look at the blog post?
> I don't do that… I have difficulties to understand how you  
> understood what I was doing :)


Clarification: You are not moving email. You are selecting different  
folders for
viewing, one at a time. That is also a form of moving around. I only  
ever look in my inbox, so
I don't have the "UI" moving around.

Have I understood?

_ Ian
--
Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447

Re: remind-me-later: resend email at some future date


Le 13 janv. 2009 à 19:13, Ian Jacobs a écrit :
> Clarification: You are not moving email. You are selecting different  
> folders for
> viewing, one at a time. That is also a form of moving around. I only  
> ever look in my inbox, so I don't have the "UI" moving around.
>
> Have I understood?

hihi not exactly. Summary: I work in dynamic contexts and/or on a  
general view of everything if I need (your inbox).

I use smart mailboxes (dynamic ones). So for example what you call  
your inbox would be my "to:karl@…" smart mailbox, where I can set the  
number of days, weeks or months. Usually I set around 1 month but it  
could be 1 year. The number of unread messages are visible.

My flagged messages smart mailbox has no date limit, so there is the  
oldest to the most recent message and I named it "to read again" aka  
this is to reply.

When I was working at W3C, I had a smart mailbox "from:ij@… to:karl@…"  
which is another contextual view which is a bit more constrained than  
the one above.

The principle is that a message is not in one physical mailbox but can  
belong to multiple virtual mailboxes (or contexts if you prefer). It  
is not duplicate, there is only one physical message put in /2009/01/.  
For example right now, there are 505 messages for January month. Note  
that I could have chosen to put everything under a directory /2009/  
and then moved to next year but not very practical.

The benefit is that I focus on what I really need to do only, and  at  
the same time be subscribed to many mailing lists without necessary  
having to read them.

If I ever need to read a thread where I was not included at the start,  
I can go back to the right mailing list smart mailbox (context) or  
create it if it didn't exist. The search of Apple Mail gives most of  
the time enough power to find something. (There are missing  
features).  Result: I barely used the mail search engine of W3C,  
except if I was not subscribed to the mailing list.


(PS: I have (had) also two different email addresses one for pro and  
one for perso and two entirely different imap accounts for them. This  
for sanity in personal life.)



--
Karl Dubost
Montréal, QC, Canada











RE: remind-me-later: resend email at some future date

Replies:

  • None.

Parents:

I completely agree with the principle of mailbox views. I am researching and
prototyping the use of views with Microsoft Outlook right now - and they
have a lot of promise for managing your 'inbox'.

If you don't mind me asking Karl, what are your most useful 'views'?  By
month/date?  What UI software/technology do you use to set up your smart
mailboxes?

Curtis

-----Original Message-----
From: fogo-bounces@impressive.net [mailto:fogo-bounces@impressive.net] On
Behalf Of Karl Dubost
Sent: January-13-09 1:46 PM
To: Ian Jacobs
Cc: fogo@impressive.net
Subject: Re: remind-me-later: resend email at some future date


Le 13 janv. 2009 à 19:13, Ian Jacobs a écrit :
> Clarification: You are not moving email. You are selecting different  
> folders for
> viewing, one at a time. That is also a form of moving around. I only  
> ever look in my inbox, so I don't have the "UI" moving around.
>
> Have I understood?

hihi not exactly. Summary: I work in dynamic contexts and/or on a  
general view of everything if I need (your inbox).

I use smart mailboxes (dynamic ones). So for example what you call  
your inbox would be my "to:karl@…" smart mailbox, where I can set the  
number of days, weeks or months. Usually I set around 1 month but it  
could be 1 year. The number of unread messages are visible.

My flagged messages smart mailbox has no date limit, so there is the  
oldest to the most recent message and I named it "to read again" aka  
this is to reply.

When I was working at W3C, I had a smart mailbox "from:ij@… to:karl@…"  
which is another contextual view which is a bit more constrained than  
the one above.

The principle is that a message is not in one physical mailbox but can  
belong to multiple virtual mailboxes (or contexts if you prefer). It  
is not duplicate, there is only one physical message put in /2009/01/.  
For example right now, there are 505 messages for January month. Note  
that I could have chosen to put everything under a directory /2009/  
and then moved to next year but not very practical.

The benefit is that I focus on what I really need to do only, and  at  
the same time be subscribed to many mailing lists without necessary  
having to read them.

If I ever need to read a thread where I was not included at the start,  
I can go back to the right mailing list smart mailbox (context) or  
create it if it didn't exist. The search of Apple Mail gives most of  
the time enough power to find something. (There are missing  
features).  Result: I barely used the mail search engine of W3C,  
except if I was not subscribed to the mailing list.


(PS: I have (had) also two different email addresses one for pro and  
one for perso and two entirely different imap accounts for them. This  
for sanity in personal life.)



--
Karl Dubost
Montréal, QC, Canada




Re: remind-me-later: resend email at some future date

Replies:

  • None.

Parents:

--0016e6de005eed6edc04606159d0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Hi,

On this complicated matter, I finally switched entirely to GMail 6 months
ago and I'm still very happy about that. They are three very big advantages
in using GMail over any other mail solutions I used previously:

- Instant search: full-text, always available, always up to date, nearly
instantaneous. Advanced search works perfectly.
- Archival: A notion I discovered using GMail : Your inbox is composed of
two folders, one that contains the "current emails" you can access by
default when opening your inbox and one "archive" that contains any other
mails that you archived previously: Just like storing your last-year/month
emails in a separate folder, archiving an email makes it disappear from the
view you used usually. But still, it is very simple to access your archived
mail. In my current main GMail account, I have 28 Conversations visible (th=
e
thread notion we have in Mutt, except that if you archive a thread and
someones replies to it, it comes back entirely into your inbox) and 2954
Conversations in my archive folder (where I never go unless I'm searching i=
n
it...).
- labels: Labels are like folders, except that you can stick more than one
on a given Conversation. You can assign a label via GMail filters (just
really like procmail will dispatch your email). Oh and "Inbox" (the non
archived emails) is also a label like any other. You can navigate into you
label via a small list on the left of GMail interface and of course, use th=
e
search engine to make some hand made searches ("list:(fogo.impressive.net)
label:Inbox from:Karl" will list all Conversations in which Karl sent a
mail, in my inbox, and coming from fogo). Off course, you can have a nice
URI for this search, here it is:
https://mail.google.com/mail/?search=3Dinbox&shva=3D1#search/list%3A(fogo.i=
mpressive.net)+label%3AInbox+from%3AKarl<https://mail.google.com/mail/?sear=
ch=3Dinbox&shva=3D1#search/list%3A%28fogo.impressive.net%29+label%3AInbox+f=
rom%3AKarl>
.

On the whole, this changed my vision of email.

Compared to having mutt on my private server, I need to delete some mail
because GMail currently only offers 7284Mb of storage for my mail. So I
delete all the useless junk I receive and keep only stuff I might need
someday. This is still 95% of my email.

I never, never forget anything and if I forgot, I can remember just by
typing some search terms in the search form. Before, it was a pain to searc=
h
for something which was in my email (grep -ri "From:a@c.bom"...).

My inbox is always very clean: Only the "pending" Conversation are in it an=
d
I now use more and more Labels to sort my mail out.

Drawbacks:

There are some.


  - There IS one big: All my mail are belong to Google. This is not
  nothing.
  - You cannot easily add script support to GMail (there are some
  greasemonkey extensions, but I don't like this). Google is adding some n=
ew
  experimental features to GMail via their labs, but no GPG yet, and I don=
't
  think I'd trust Google for that anyway.
  - If GMail is down, your mail is not available. If GMail decides to
  destroy your email, you lose your mail (seems it happened with some peop=
le).
  I use GMail Backup[1] to regularly backup my mail from Google servers.

There is no opensource alternative right now that implements these 3
features I just described so I guess I'll keep that this way for a while.

I tried all these combinations of client/helpers for the last years :

  - mutt + spamassassin + procmail with auto-rotating dated folders
  - sup, a CLI ruby mua supporting labels, archival and FT search via
  Ferret. Promising, but unicode support was awful.
  - Namazu as a search engine, difficult to implement, not really easy to
  use with mbox folders.

At work, I use a Thunderbird extension that provides GMail features, It's
called GMailUI and has the Archive feature and the some power-search
built-in.

--=20
Pierre Baillet <pierre@baillet.name>

1: http://www.gmail-backup.com/

On Tue, Jan 13, 2009 at 6:35 PM, Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org> wrote:

>
> On 13 Jan 2009, at 11:24 AM, Karl Dubost wrote:
>
>
>> Le 13 janv. 2009 =E0 16:17, Ian Jacobs a =E9crit :
>>
>>> 1) I leave everything in my inbox until I've dealt with it. I prefer th=
at
>>> to moving around.
>>>
>>
>> I don't move it around. :) procmail power. the rules are in the blog pos=
t.
>>
>>
>>> 2) Once managed, I move it to an archive (all messages for that calenda=
r
>>> year),
>>>  which I can search.
>>>
>>
>> which means I don't have to do that.
>>
>
>
> Your cost is up front: moving around to various folders to look at mail.
> Mine is after: moving to various folders after looking at it.
>
> _ Ian
>
> --
> Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)    http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/
> Tel:                                      +1 718 260 9447
>
>
>

--0016e6de005eed6edc04606159d0
Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Hi,<br><br>On this complicated matter, I finally switched entirely to GMail=
6 months ago and I&#39;m still very happy about that. They are three very =
big advantages in using GMail over any other mail solutions I used previous=
ly:<br>
<br>- Instant search: full-text, always available, always up to date, nearl=
y instantaneous. Advanced search works perfectly.<br>- Archival: A notion I=
discovered using GMail : Your inbox is composed of two folders, one that c=
ontains the &quot;current emails&quot; you can access by default when openi=
ng your inbox and one &quot;archive&quot; that contains any other mails tha=
t you archived previously: Just like storing your last-year/month emails in=
a separate folder, archiving an email makes it disappear from the view you=
used usually. But still, it is very simple to access your archived mail. I=
n my current main GMail account, I have 28 Conversations visible (the threa=
d notion we have in Mutt, except that if you archive a thread and someones =
replies to it, it comes back entirely into your inbox) and 2954 Conversatio=
ns in my archive folder (where I never go unless I&#39;m searching in it...=
).<br>
- labels: Labels are like folders, except that you can stick more than one =
on a given Conversation. You can assign a label via GMail filters (just rea=
lly like procmail will dispatch your email). Oh and &quot;Inbox&quot; (the =
non archived emails) is also a label like any other. You can navigate into =
you label via a small list on the left of GMail interface and of course, us=
e the search engine to make some hand made searches (&quot;list:(<a href=3D=
"http://fogo.impressive.net">fogo.impressive.net</a>) label:Inbox from:Karl=
&quot; will list all Conversations in which Karl sent a mail, in my inbox, =
and coming from fogo). Off course, you can have a nice URI for this search,=
here it is: <a href=3D"https://mail.google.com/mail/?search=3Dinbox&amp;sh=
va=3D1#search/list%3A%28fogo.impressive.net%29+label%3AInbox+from%3AKarl">h=
ttps://mail.google.com/mail/?search=3Dinbox&amp;shva=3D1#search/list%3A(fog=
o.impressive.net)+label%3AInbox+from%3AKarl</a>.<br>
<br>On the whole, this changed my vision of email.<br><br>Compared to havin=
g mutt on my private server, I need to delete some mail because GMail curre=
ntly only offers 7284Mb of storage for my mail. So I delete all the useless=
junk I receive and keep only stuff I might need someday. This is still 95%=
of my email. <br>
<br>I never, never forget anything and if I forgot, I can remember just by =
typing some search terms in the search form. Before, it was a pain to searc=
h for something which was in my email (grep -ri &quot;From:a@c.bom&quot;...=
).<br>
<br>My inbox is always very clean: Only the &quot;pending&quot; Conversatio=
n are in it and I now use more and more Labels to sort my mail out.<br><br>=
Drawbacks:<br><br>There are some. <br><br><ul><li>There IS one big: All my =
mail are belong to Google. This is not nothing.</li>
<li>You cannot easily add script support to GMail (there are some greasemon=
key extensions, but I don&#39;t like this). Google is adding some new exper=
imental features to GMail via their labs, but no GPG yet, and I don&#39;t t=
hink I&#39;d trust Google for that anyway.</li>
<li>If GMail is down, your mail is not available. If GMail decides to destr=
oy your email, you lose your mail (seems it happened with some people). I u=
se GMail Backup[1] to regularly backup my mail from Google servers.</li>
</ul>There is no opensource alternative right now that implements these 3 f=
eatures I just described so I guess I&#39;ll keep that this way for a while=
.<br><br>I tried all these combinations of client/helpers for the last year=
s :<br>
<ul><li>mutt + spamassassin + procmail with auto-rotating dated folders<br>=
</li><li>sup, a CLI ruby mua supporting labels, archival and FT search via =
Ferret. Promising, but unicode support was awful.<br></li><li>Namazu as a s=
earch engine, difficult to implement, not really easy to use with mbox fold=
ers.<br>
</li></ul>At work, I use a Thunderbird extension that provides GMail featur=
es, It&#39;s called GMailUI and has the Archive feature and the some power-=
search built-in.<br><br clear=3D"all">-- <br>Pierre Baillet &lt;<a href=3D"=
mailto:pierre@baillet.name">pierre@baillet.name</a>&gt;<br>

<br>1: <a href=3D"http://www.gmail-backup.com/">http://www.gmail-backup.com=
/</a><br><br><div class=3D"gmail_quote">On Tue, Jan 13, 2009 at 6:35 PM, Ia=
n Jacobs <span dir=3D"ltr">&lt;<a href=3D"mailto:ij@w3.org">ij@w3.org</a>&g=
t;</span> wrote:<br>
<blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" style=3D"border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, =
204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;"><div><div></div><=
div class=3D"Wj3C7c"><br>
On 13 Jan 2009, at 11:24 AM, Karl Dubost wrote:<br>
<br>
<blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" style=3D"border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, =
204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">
<br>
Le 13 janv. 2009 =E0 16:17, Ian Jacobs a =E9crit :<br>
<blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" style=3D"border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, =
204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">
1) I leave everything in my inbox until I&#39;ve dealt with it. I prefer th=
at to moving around.<br>
</blockquote>
<br>
I don&#39;t move it around. :) procmail power. the rules are in the blog po=
st.<br>
<br>
<blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" style=3D"border-left: 1px solid rgb(204, =
204, 204); margin: 0pt 0pt 0pt 0.8ex; padding-left: 1ex;">
<br>
2) Once managed, I move it to an archive (all messages for that calendar ye=
ar),<br>
&nbsp;which I can search.<br>
</blockquote>
<br>
which means I don&#39;t have to do that.<br>
</blockquote>
<br>
<br></div></div>
Your cost is up front: moving around to various folders to look at mail.<br=
>
Mine is after: moving to various folders after looking at it.<br><font colo=
r=3D"#888888">
<br>
_ Ian</font><div><div></div><div class=3D"Wj3C7c"><br>
--<br>
Ian Jacobs (<a href=3D"mailto:ij@w3.org" target=3D"_blank">ij@w3.org</a>) &=
nbsp; &nbsp;<a href=3D"http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/" target=3D"_blank">=
http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs/</a><br>
Tel: &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; =
&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;+1 718 260 94=
47<br>
<br>
<br>
</div></div></blockquote></div><br>

--0016e6de005eed6edc04606159d0--

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