Fog Creek

Periodic Email Notifications: For Inbox Zero Bliss

That inner OCD sometimes gets the better of all of us.  You’re happily working away when the familiar ring comes over your computer speakers: “You’ve got mail!”  Quickly, you drop what you’re doing to go look at the latest chain letter that your co-worker is emailing you (because, what could be more important).  Then you’re disappointed to find out that it’s just an email from FogBugz telling you that your indecisive manager has changed the priority on that typo bug, again.  After regaining your inbox zero bliss, you go back to your normal work and struggle to regain The Zone.  After 6.28 minutes, Mail interrupts you again.  That typo bug is now an inquiry instead of a bug, and The Zone continues to elude you.

Introducing: Periodic Email Notifications

From your user options page within FogBugz you can now choose to get periodic emails instead of instant emails.  The periodic emails are sent every 3 hours, and cover all of the activity that’s happened since your last periodic email was sent.  You can now get the upper hand for 3 solid hours, and not make your bliss depend on your co-workers respecting your do-not-disturb hour.

The Power of Periodic Emails

Periodic emails also reduce the time you spend in your inbox by only showing you the things going on within FogBugz that require your attention and that you’ve missed.  If you’re like us and spend most of your time in FogBugz, then you’re probably using the personal notification menu to keep on top of the cases that come your way.  Your next periodic email is then only a list of things that you haven’t already seen; gently reminding you to not lose cases in the cracks.  If you spend little of your time in FogBugz, instead using your time to write great code, then the periodic email is a reminder that there is a wider world out there, and someone may need your help on those pesky cases that keep getting in the way of your “real work.”

Configure your email settings to control the frequency of email notifications from FogBugz

Really, No More Email

As noted in the Notifications blog post, we also now respect the “no, seriously; don’t send me any email” option.  Now that you can get all of your notifications from within FogBugz itself, there’s no reason to force some types of email notifications into your inbox (formerly, wiki modifications and “Notify More Users” would trump the “Don’t send me email, kthxbai” option).

We’re as interested in your productivity as you are.  Honestly. We use FogBugz too, so we’re also interested in our own productivity. Keeping more of our day out of our email and focusing on tasks has helped us significantly.  We hope it helps you too!