Notification Addiction

The Suck
I just listen to the newest “This developer’s life”, episode 1.1.0: Diconnect. Scott Hanselman and Rob Conery sound as if they drown in e-Mail and Twitter notifications. And I wonder why people are addicted to e-Mail or Twitter or Facebook? And I believe people don’t really use all the opportunituies they can get to battle the different sources that fight for your attention. And thats important, because Time is What Life is Made Of. You won’t wanna waste it. Here’s my strategy:


Have at least three different e-Mail accounts.

  • One for work, use that on your work computer(s), but never on private machines.
  • One for real communication. Keep this e-Mail-Adress as sectret as possible, never use it to register for anything (I only use it for the most trusted and important sites) and only give it to friends. Everytime you get a mail on this account, you may want to read that. If you have a smartphone, you should use ONLY setup this address on the device.
  • And one for everything else (this will attract spam, so I often call it my spammail
    ). I have one mail account that I just use for everything on the web and it goes through several spam filters before it lands only on my primary private PC. Don’t check for mail on this account more than once a day.


As with e-Mail, I use two different accounts.

  • One is my main account which I use to follow everything and everyone that interests me. At this moment, I follow186 accounts, and if you’re between these, I really like what you tweet. I use this stream to feed my interest from time to time, but I won’t always read everything. Also, I don’t check in this stream when I have no time or I need to focus. Then I just switch to my private account.
  • My private account only follows some few people that I don’t want to miss tweets from or that I know and that I only allow trusted people or people I know to follow. Again, on my iPhone I let this account notify me of @replies and direct messages, but not the “main” account where more often @replies come in.

Another point: Don’t set something up that pops up messages. This is distration you intentionally install. I use Echofon for Firefox on Windows and Mac and set the preference that it doesn’t pop up stuff. Therefore I can see how many tweets are waiting, but I must intentionally klick on the echofon icon to read tweets.


I just don’t use it. It is a whole network just made for distration, so I just don’t visit it when I don’t need to. Therefore I feed my twitter account in Facebook so it looks like I’m posting there. And I set up notifications on iPhone for messages and use Meebo to communicate via “Facebook chat” if someone uses that.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Big Fat Rat

, Posted Thursday, December 30th, 2010 under GTD.

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