Mail Notification Liberation

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A friend asked me how I can work without any mail notifications. Are you kidding me? How could I possibly work WITH mail notifications?

Apple has done a great job of building in several mail notifications into OS X. Mail.app can stick a badge in your dock and make a very cute little “dingy” sort of sound every time a new message arrives. That is not all though. Using third party software you can make your system growl and even shoot off fancy graphics every time you get a note from Amazon about something “you may want to buy” or even a message about “cheap prescription medication.” I asked my friend, “How on earth do you get anything done with all those pyrotechnics?”

I just don’t believe it is possible to keep your focus if your eyes and ears are trained to jump like a Pavlovian dog everytime someone (or somebot) decides to send you a note. Think about it. If you get an email every 5 minutes, that is 12 interruptions an hour and 96 interruptions in an 8 hour work-day. Just think how much faster you could work with 480 less interruptions a week.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t want my system to check email for me. I just want to be in control of the situation .. not the other way around.

The way I accomplish this is a few simple checkboxes in Apple Mail.

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New Mail Sound: None = No ding.

Dock Unread Count: None = No tempting badge.

That is all there is to it. Note I did not turn off auto mail checking. When I do decide that I want to process mail, I want it already loaded. This gives me the benefit of current email without the devastating interruptions.

If you are carrying a smart phone, you also need to turn off the notifications there as well. On my iPhone it is done as follows:

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This is all found under the “Sound” menu of the “Settings” button. Before everyone starts firing up your email to me, I *know* sms notifications are still turned on. There are only a few people who text me and when they do, it (usually) is a legitimate interruption.

10 Comments Mail Notification Liberation

  1. anthonyjross@mac.com

    So many of your tips and suggestions are great. But a collateral benefit is that, even when not every suggestion is right for me, the exercise of rethinking default or long ago adopted settings often clears out some cobwebs and sets me on a better course. Thanks!

    Reply
  2. anthonyjross@mac.com

    So many of your tips and suggestions are great. But a collateral benefit is that, even when not every suggestion is right for me, the exercise of rethinking default or long ago adopted settings often clears out some cobwebs and sets me on a better course. Thanks!

    Reply
  3. anthonyjross@mac.com

    So many of your tips and suggestions are great. But a collateral benefit is that, even when not every suggestion is right for me, the exercise of rethinking default or long ago adopted settings often clears out some cobwebs and sets me on a better course. Thanks!

    Reply
  4. anthonyjross@mac.com

    So many of your tips and suggestions are great. But a collateral benefit is that, even when not every suggestion is right for me, the exercise of rethinking default or long ago adopted settings often clears out some cobwebs and sets me on a better course. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. anthonyjross@mac.com

    So many of your tips and suggestions are great. But a collateral benefit is that, even when not every suggestion is right for me, the exercise of rethinking default or long ago adopted settings often clears out some cobwebs and sets me on a better course. Thanks!

    Reply

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