I’ve been using other ways of trying to keep my inbox queue under control,
for both personal and work things. The trouble is that basically everything
is based around the number of outstanding emails. It’s not practical for me
to get to 0 frequently, since I’m using my inbox as a to-do list, often
sending emails to myself to put things into that queue. Tracking only the
number of emails is a problem because I frequently end up with tasks in the
queue that are particularly painful, and I’d always rather do something
else. So the queue stays shortish, but a few tasks are languishing
My idea then is to Beemind something like task-days outstanding, so that an
email that’s been languishing for nearly two weeks is worth a dozen from
I’m not sure what Beeminder goal type would be best for that. There’s an
Inbox Zero goal, and perhaps I could just use that but feed it task-days as
input instead of number of emails? A general Do Less? I’m not sure of the
exact semantics of adding things to these goals (whether successive updates
replace the level or stack, for example) and would love a point to those
details. Beeminder users are mostly data nerds, after all.
If I find that this is working for me, I’ll probably patch or write an
extension for Gmail to count this value automatically, since it’s a bit of
bookkeeping overhead. On the other hand it would force me to look at and
acknowledge every task every day, so maybe that’s a good thing.
Any thoughts? Is there a name for this I just don’t know? I tried various
things about “support queues”, “backlog”, “SLA” and so on, but didn’t seem
to find anything.