Idiomdrottning’s homepage

My email setup

On the server side, it’s pretty vanilla. Postfix, Dovecot, SpamAssassin, WKD.

On the client side, I use mbsync and notmuch and I have a ton of automatic filters via nmsync.

Here is how I handle huge threads with notmuch.

Everything that those filters label with feed I read in a feedreader instead of an email app thanks to nmatom. I can check in on those newsletters once per day. No stress. And they’re not getting tangled up in my personal business, they don’t trigger notifications, they don’t require responses, they show up when I have time to read ‘em etc. Pretty great.

I also have the opposite, thanks to rss2email; I have one RSS feed (janitorial type news from inside my building) that are so urgent that I get them in my email client. It’s turned off now since I don’t live there anymore but it’s a good option that I can turn back on again in the future.

Here is how I apply patches.

Speaking of email client, I also use Delta Chat. It and mbsync read from the same imap store, they don’t read from each other.

Delta Chat is great as a biff replacement (a classic mail notification app from decades ago—that’s right, biff only did notifications) that can also bang out a quick reply.

But Delta Chat has some limitations, which is when I go to my other mail app, which is the Emacs interface to notmuch. Here are some of those limitations:

Delta Chat also can’t block users that send to multiple senders. Which is bonkers. It thinks it’s in “mailing list mode”.

Which sucks since I have a monthly bill/invoice that I didn’t even have to see when I was on all notmuch. I had nmatom stash away the bill, then alert me if the invoice wasn’t autopaid within a few days. But with Delta Chat, I can’t hide it because it thinks it’s in mailing list mode. It can’t even mute the thread since every month has a new ID in the subject.

Why do I even use Delta Chat?

Becaue the notification sitch on tablets suck. When I was at my desk all day I had a great all-notmuch setup. Now that I spend most days in bed, I wanna get pinged when I get email and there’s not an easy way to set up notifications. It’s same on Android tablets and iPad tablets—I started this on Android and just kept going with the exact same combo (Delta Chat + an SSH app) on iPad OS.

Also I was fast at email but that has been kicked up a li’l notch with Delta Chat.

How do I inbox zero?

I don’t use email to keep track of things I need to do. Instead, I paste things into a separate todo app. The email is never the reminder. That’s how I do it. There are other ways that might make sense for those whose work is primarily email-driven, but for the past few years I’ve only been using an external todo app to keep track of anything I don’t wanna get to right away. (But since my filters sort newsletters from conversations for me, there’s not a lot of further processing I’d need to do on my inbox.)

A few years ago I did have a couple of notmuch tags specific for this, and scripting & shortcuts to work with them and extract them to other systems. I had:

and I was also using a system to delay, or snooze emails and they’d return later

But these days I do none of that. I work from the todo app, not from the mail app. Mail isn’t anything special in that regard: I can add stuff to the todo inbox from mail, from fedi, from rss, from web pages, from a picture, from notes and mindmaps, from dreams or phonecalls.

I go into my mail apps to read & write mail. That works for me right now. 🤷🏻‍♀️