The Problem with Important, not Urgent Emails

At this point, at least 90% of the email I receive is purely automated or transactional. Purchase confirmations; newsletters for both research and consumption; 2FA links, you name it.

The other 10% is incredibly important.

Of that 10%, only 2% is urgent. Email is not where I go for urgency. It’s a chore. I have to block time out for it. The thought of writing responses is brutal.

In my starred folder—which means “pretty important, but not urgent”—around 50 or 60 emails have piled up that I haven’t had time to give myself to.

I’d love for there to be a way to automate responses that go something like this:

I promise to get back to you because this is important, but it’s not urgent, and I think we can both agree that whether or not I respond now or in 3 months won’t change much.

That’s impossible to do now, and I’m probably not going to manually can those responses.

I don’t think email’s broken. This part of it is, though.