Email Address Encoder

I had the creator of Email Address Encoder shoot me an email looking for a testimonial I think. I imagine it does a decent job. It probably RegEx’s for emails it finds on your WordPress site anywhere it finds one in the content then does some weird obfuscation shit in which to:

protects your email addresses from email-harvesting robots.

I’m sure it does a perfectly fine job of that. But I had to tell the fellow:

I’m just weird in that I’ve publicly listed my email address anywhere and everywhere without any obfuscation for like 15 years and it’s never once been a problem. With that experience, it’s hard for me to endorse personally doing any kind of obfuscation.

🤷‍♂️

Adiós

Adiós is to help you deal with email less: 

Adiós brings your emails into your inbox just 3 times a day, so you can get sh*t done.

I’m not entirely sure how it works, but it appears to be a Gmail-only thing that you just have to authorize and it does it’s thing. They promise to not look at the content of your email ever. The setup processes looks quick, easy, and configurable. 

This is curious to me as it doesn’t really help deal with email overload. It seems to be more about email addiction. If you find yourself poking around in your email too often, this could help. But if that’s the case, I wonder if delayed-then-bulk delivery is really a solution? Especially since surely it’s easy enough to turn off. The present some interesting light data though (no sources):

The average person checks email 74 times a day! That’s astronomical, given that most emails really aren’t that time-critical.


And it’s not just the time you spend reading and responding to mail – it’s also the time and mental-energy you expend context-switching.


Being interrupted during a focused task and then trying to context-switch back to focus on it again can take 20+ minutes before your mind is fully back in the zone again being productive.

In any case, it’s free and easy, so perhaps it will appeal to you. 

The most baller move in email

When you write out the entire email in the subject line and leave the body blank. 

That one above seems like a mistake, but it made me think of other times I’ve seen it where it wasn’t. It’s almost like a wrong-direction smiley (: in the way it makes you think for a second, Or a 150 character headline in how it grabs your attention in a unique way, but only because it’s rare. Or like the bass and guitar dropping out during a song and your attention is drawn clearly to the drums.

Maybe that’s a bit too metaphorical, but you take the point. Next time I have a short-to-medium length question to ask someone, I might just it myself.

Vacation Auto Responders

My educated guess is that 0.01% of all sent emails get an auto-responder response, 80% of that is from the recipient being out of the office. 

They all have some version of:

Thanks for your email! I’m out of the office from Monday, October 15, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. ET to Monday, October 15, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. ET. I will have access to email while out of the office, but if your email needs prompt attention, please forward it to 

I just got back today from being out of the office for 10 days or so. I also had access to email but didn’t respond to a ton of it. I didn’t feel any particular need to let people know that I was out. Email is already very asynchronous and the expectation is already there that a response will be sent when it gets sent. For me, urgent matters are rarely if ever conducted over email. I almost enjoy taking my time with email, enforcing that expectation. 

But in an informal poll (asking my wife), she totally uses vacation auto responders. I didn’t get a chance to dig in too deeply as to why, but I still am curious. Is it because people want to set a clear expectation that normally they are very fast with email, just not right now? Or it is just kinda whatcha do?

Send… later?

There are quite a few “email enhancement” products out there that do things like add read receipts and snooze emails. Another common feature is the ability to send emails later. A little perplexing, isn’t it? Like email is super asynchronous already. People assume and expect that email isn’t an instant medium. If you can’t wait on a reply, people move up the immediacy chain to texting/messaging, calling, or tapping on the shoulder. So why the hell would it matter when I send an email? Might as well just send it when my fingers are done.

Yet.

Certainly there are better times of day than others to send marketing emails. People think hard about that and email sending services allow you to set those times and help you optimize it. Social media posting has a timely nature to it, hence the need for tools like Buffer.

Then I saw this:

I can see that. I think at the places I work we’ve built a culture such that nobody would assume they need to jump on an email from me if I happen to send it at 10pm, but I understand that’s not necessarily the case everywhere. 

What’s the culture like where you work? Do you get emails at all hours? Do you feel the need to jump on them at any hour? Is it you doing that to others?

BitBounce

This is fascinating. BitBounce:

BitBounce is a free email service that pays you for every message you receive from an unfamiliar sender.

I became aware of it as I get a few auto-replies from people using it when I send the CSS-Tricks Newsletter.

This person wants a nickel from me to deliver my email. I’m not going to do it, as they are the ones who wanted the email from me, so the situation is a little reversed.

But I get it! It’s the ultimate spam guard. We’ve found at CodePen that putting things that could be attractive to a spammer behind a paywall has 100% effectiveness in stopping the spam.

The point here is that nobody is going to cough up a nickel to email you unless they really wanna email you. It’s not even spam, it’s anybody. And it’s not the nickel either, it’s signing up for some new service and needing cryptocurrency and all that. I can’t think of a single person I’d be willing to jump through that hoop for. Especially because I feel like if you did jump through that hoop, you’d look a little needy/desperate.

Points for cleverness though. I wonder how much usage they’ll need to stay in business. They say they have 400,000 users and a team of 14 so color me impressed so far.

No More Inbox

Of course, just a few days after I blogged about one little feature of Inbox that I really like (reminders, particularly on iOS), it is announced that Inbox will be shut down in March 2019.

I saw a good amount of sadness/frustration of it, but nowhere near the blowback I thought I’d see. No petitions to keep it open or bizarre threats (there probably are some, but none have crossed my path naturally). I wonder if that’s because people care, but not like I’m moving to Canada care about an email client. Nothing like what Google Reader saw. People still talk about that one.

Bad timing for power-user email people, as the also seemingly-beloved Newton is shutting down at the end of September 2019. Part of me wishes I could have gotten to try Newton anyway. With user quotes like: If you’re buried in email and want to get your life back, use Newton, plus the fact they charged 10 bucks a month for it so were strongly incentivized to make it awesome, sounds good to me. Founder Rohit Nadhani straight up said the competition from free apps is just too stiff.

There is even the other Google product, Google Keep, that I hear people quite like and appeals to me in some ways, but I’m not even going to bother to try it since I just don’t trust little things that feel like playground test apps for Google are going to stick around. They won’t.