Anna Burgess Yang

Tinkering With Ideas #023: Emails. are. everywhere

Published 5 months agoΒ β€’Β 2 min read

Hi Reader πŸ‘‹ -

Happy Wednesday and happy new season (Fall, here in Chicagoland). I've had an awesome few days: one of my cats escaped the house back in August and over the weekend she came home β€” after a 43-day adventure in the neighborhood.

Anyway, here she is, back in her usual spot on my desk.

If you'd like to read more about her homecoming, you can head over to my blog.

1) Reflection:

Your to-dos are a list of your priorities.
Your email inbox is a list of other people's priorities.

Isn't that the truth?

My work email (for my solopreneur life) hovers close to Inbox Zero. Usually only a dozen or so emails at any given time.

My personal Gmail account? Ummm... a lot more than zero. It's so damn overwhelming with marketing emails I don't want from companies that refuse to unsubscribe me when I click the button, hide their unsubscribe button, or have sold my info to other companies. It's infuriating.

I used to think Inbox Zero was some type of nirvana I could reach. Now I'm just happy if I can keep the number of unreads to a reasonable quantity.

Yet I still unsubscribe, frequently. I take the moment to try and reduce the inbox clutter. That includes newsletters, sometimes from people I like. I just don't have time. (And if you unsubscribe from my little newsletter, I'll miss you and also I get it)

2) Product:

I used to be a person who sent out a LOT of Christmas cards. But the list kept getting longer and longer and eventually, I had to make decisions about who would receive a physical card. But rather than stop sending altogether, I started an email list.

I use Mailchimp because it's free and easy enough for the one time a year I log in. Here's what I do:

  • Add people in Google contacts
  • Add a "Christmas Card" tag
  • Download to a .csv file once a year
  • Upload to Mailchimp

I fully support the use of a mailing list to keep in touch with people in your life. I usually do a cute little recap of our year (trying very hard not to make it a brag letter because those are annoying) and include some pics.

3) Tip:

If you are in a relationship with another person, do yourself a favor and get a joint email account.

I don't know why it took my husband and me so long to do this. Like bills or appointment reminders would go to one person's account and the other person would have no idea.

Now we use the joint email address for everything household-related. And also use a Google Voice number associated with the account for two-factor authentication, when needed. (You can read more about that here.)


That's it for this issue of Tinkering! See you again in two weeks.


Anna Burgess Yang

​LinkedIn | Threads | Medium | Substack​

Want more ideas?

β†’ I chatted with my friend Tamilore Oladipo (from Buffer) about global remote work. Read more here.

β†’ I wrote a guest post for Peak Freelance about the joys of ad hoc work. Check it out.

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Anna Burgess Yang

Writer. Productivity geek. Always tinkering.

I share tips, tools, and resources to make your daily life a bit easier.

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