Flawless Email

I used to be just like you.

My email was a goddamn nightmare. Sure, it started off simple enough, but over the years it evolved into something else — something messy and complicated. There was no real structure, no rhyme or reason. The unread messages started to pile up. It became problematic to find the messages that I needed to respond to in an endless sea of crap I had allegedly signed up for. Opening my inbox was a source of stress. I had to disable notifications on my phone because of the constant irritation. The hundreds of unread messages started reaching into the thousands. My friends, family, and work partners couldn’t rely on a prompt response from me. It was getting worse, and there was no end in sight.

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Effortless Email Processing [archive]

Email seems to be an area where quite a few people struggle and easily get overwhelmed. I’ve seen inboxes with tens of thousands of unread messages — How could you possibly trust a system like that? Over the years, I’ve developed a rather effective system for allowing me to process email very quickly with a minimum of hassle. Here, I will do my best to lay it out in excruciating detail, and hopefully give you the tools you need to get on top of this.

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Google Chrome Search Engines

Google Chrome is a great browser. One of the more powerful features that I use extensively is the built-in search engines. If you know how to leverage these, you can use the address bar as a command line of sorts. You can access your engines by right-clicking the address bar and selecting “Edit search engines”, or by visiting chrome://settings/searchEngines (which you will have to copy and paste, as Chrome will not let you access addresses beginning with the chrome:// prefix). They are listed by name, command, and query string. Typing the command in the address followed by a tab or space will engage the engine, and whatever you type after this will be passed as a parameter to the query. To customize your engines, the parameter is represented by “%s”, allowing you to carefully craft your query strings.

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