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my life is now mostly about processing email

 
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It is 11:04am. Most of my day has been spent processing email. I currently have over 50 emails that were sent to me this morning that I still have not yet processed. And this doesn't include the stuff in the spam box.

As I write this post, more have come in.

Several of these are CRITICALLY important - but will take hours to process. And they can only be done by me.

I know I have written about this in the past, where emails will be lost in the email river and I never respond. PLEASE consider posting to the forums or emailing cassie (cassie at richsoil.com).

In one of Sepp Holzer's videos he says "who would be so rude as to not respond to an email." and apparently I am that rude.
 
pollinator
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Paul - you may already be aware of it, but there are various programs that can help streamline inboxes. I use Sanebox with my gmail account and it is a massive help... email processing time is cut way down and critical items don't get buried/lost anymore. It has a paid monthly subscription ($5/month I think?) but if it saves you an hour a month it pays for itself. I think mine saves me 30 minutes or more a day.
 
paul wheaton
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I am using the gmail "priority inbox" feature.

The problem doesn't seem to be organization so much as: I just need to process each of these.

 
Michael Cox
pollinator
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Sanebox is another step in functionality above "priority inbox", but yes - eventually most things need to get done!
 
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Hey Paul,

Buddy...there is a time to let go...

You are there and I am a short distance behind...again...

There is chronologically (if one is going to keep their sanity and health)..no way...that we can respond to everyone...its just not dimensional possible with in this space time continuum (and lack of 'pie fuel') to pull it off...

I know of other writers, teachers and professors that live by the "boiler plate" response file, and do a lot of cutting and pasting...Its the only way to help some of them as they are asking the same things...some over and over again.

We are going to loose some...just can't help it....Those that really want help will understand this and just resubmit there questions...

Next big one...

We want to make a living (a good living mind you not a survival living)...'with' (not from)...Permaculture and the related. This does involve a great deal of written and phone correspondence...it comes to a point where your time is of value and you must put a value on it.

I will respond to many folks, and refence many folks to Permies.com for info...If they want more...well, they have to hire me as the professional I am to work with them and/or teach them...I can't live on "air" I need pie, and if I can't make "pie" I have buy "pie" or get paid with "pie." Its just the nature of the beast...

I am really "Google" saturated...I even am a region "checker" for map related stuff. I am also "Chromed" inasmuch that I use gmail through chrome and have my mail box split into:

Spam
Primary
Social
Promotions
Updates
Forums

I average about 200 per day minimum and I think the best (worst?) day was over 800...not including spam...

I also think you need and deserve a personal assistant if you don't already have one...(pie sharing accordingly...)
 
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maybe you shouldn't spend so much time messing about on forums and get productive. Works for me.

Wait! What?
 
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Dumb question, but are these actually important messages that only you can answer? Or are you just trying to be helpful? I ask because it seems Jacques Spiercaux has a pretty good system. He tells people what to put in the subject line (presumably so he can filter based on the subject), and makes no promises that he'll write back (or address the question on his show).
 
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Are there ones you can delegate? Maybe you need a new assistant, either on site, or on this site, that can take care of some of the email stuff, that you can forward a lot too. Do you have standard boilerplate written for frequently emailed queries?

You seem to take on lots of projects at one time. What kind of administrative help do you have? World domination requires underlings.
 
paul wheaton
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Cassie gets most of my email.

I do try to forward a fair bit to people that can deal with it.

Frankly, I need to get to the point where I have hours in a day to work on new projects.

Cassie has been putting out feeders to get help, but .... it sounds like it is a bit hit and miss.

Sam is here at the lab taking care of a lot of the video stuff and processing orders.

Jocelyn takes care of a lot of my emails and all of the accounting stuff here.

So there is already quite the group effort. And still - so much of this HAS TO be me. Email exchanges with Jack Spirko, people wanting to do tv shows, a new permies logo by alexander, diego footer about permaculture voices, stuff about an upcoming sepp holzer event, people that are replying to emails that I sent them, code changes to jforum, amazon problems with my stuff that is sold at amazon, cassie (she can thin the email herd, but there are still a few things that she has to pass on to me), ernie and erica, bart, my brother needs me to order parts (using my amazon prime and the amazon gift card i received), mike oehler, coderanch advertisers, youtube comments (i need to police to watch for stuff I need to remove) ...

 
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I try as hard as I can to not bug Paul with emails. But I can't read his mind yet, I'm working on it though. And like he said, some of it just HAS TO BE him.

I don't get as near as much email as Paul gets. But I still get so much that it takes at least a few hours a day to deal with. SO please please please if you have any questions about permaculture stuff, ALWAYS post to the forums. Please. I probably spend about an hour a day JUST replying to people suggesting they ask their question in the forums.

If it's something else ALWAYS email me first instead of Paul. I can't read his mind yet, but I sure can determine if it IS something that only he can deal with. And if it is, I will then direct it to him. I promise!
 
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Cassie Langstraat wrote:SO please please please if you have any questions about permaculture stuff, ALWAYS post to the forums. Please. I probably spend about an hour a day JUST replying to people suggesting they ask their question in the forums.



Folks this really does work. I had a notion to email Paul with a question a little while ago, but it was a pretty trivial question and I know he's a busy guy though I didn't at that moment specifically know he was email-swamped. (Although just about anybody who starts successful online communities is going to be email-swamped.) So I did a forum search first, and found an old thread where Paul had already answered about four-fifths of my question. I posted to that thread and about a day later he replied with more of the answer. Win for me, and I hope win for him as well. I know that for me, doing email is always work even when I'm hearing from wonderful people who want wonderful things, whereas reading and replying on a congenial forum feels a lot more like play. Maybe that breaks down when it's your own forum, but for Paul's sake I hope not.
 
paul wheaton
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I know this sounds really stupid, but ...

To all those people that sent me email in the last 24 hours, I have to go into missoula for a few hours ... so there could be delays. I will try to get caught up later today.

 
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Paul
I worry about you . I worry You try to do too much, sometimes one can do more by trying to do less . Pressure and guilt can kill I know been there dont want to go there again as its a dark place . Make sure you have enough time for yourself ( and for important others ).

David
 
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Segondo !
 
paul wheaton
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Trying. At the same time I have a rare opportunity to do epic shit. I just need to work a little harder for a little longer.
 
David Livingston
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" At the same time I have a rare opportunity to do epic shit."
I am sure you do Paul but you also have the far too common oppertunity to burn out . Take care Chum

David
 
paul wheaton
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I plow through emails all day every day.   I process a few every time I pee.   I had a conversation with somebody recently and 50 emails came in during that conversation.

Right now, today, I am all caught up on the email that came in since midnight.   This doesn't happen often, so I thought I would share.



 
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