Merlin Mann has made what he calls world’s dumbest and “awesomest” Automator app (Mac only). All it does is let you send an email without having to look at your inbox first. You start it and then the Gmail “Compose Message” window opens. Simple, but powerful.

Think about how crazy it would be to have to look at your entire history of text messages every time you tried to text a friend. Or if you were forced to see your history of phone calls each time you tried to make an outgoing call. Why is it okay to be forced to look at your email inbox every time you want to send an email?

Email can be a knowledge worker’s Siren. It beckons you forward with promises of exciting projects and gratifying announcements only to dash you against the rocks of busywork until your productive day has died a slow and agonizing death. Be like Odysseus and lash yourself to the mast. Download Merlin’s simple little app and avoid the impulse of looking at your inbox when all you need to do is send an email.

  • csouthey

    I like the idea! I wish I could figure out what should replace email. It should change the world for the better

    • Sam Spurlin

      Maybe… but I think the problem is much less about the medium that delivers information and the way we manage a nearly insurmountable amount of information itself. You have a point, though, perhaps there is a better method we can be using.

  • Sam Spurlin

    I’m sure that helps productivity. I definitely try to keep mine closed as much as possible, too.

  • sprain

    Also check out – it blocks the ports of your incoming mails whenever you want to.

  • braincutlery

    The Gmail Notifier app will do this for you too, though you may find the temptation to read emails too hard to resist when the option is right next to ‘compose’ button…

  • Russell Sinclair

    I’m quite fond of the modl used by Mailbox on iOS. One of the things they advocate is getting to inbox zero by using the archive functionality in gmail. While all of your mail is still there, it’s it in the default view when you open any mail client. This way, you are not distracted by existing mail when you need to compose something new.

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