A while back, I wrote about how I keep up with the stuff that I am reading on the internet. I subscribe to a lot of newsletters. I think there is a lot of value in curation. When we have an infinite amount of information available, curation becomes critical. But keeping up can be overwhelming. The other prominent source for me is, the links I collect from all over the places like Twitter and various Slack and Discourse community forums (self curation). I send myself emails with these links to read them later. I don’t use Pocket because I am not in the habit of going back to it. But I definitely go back to my email client. When I am overwhelmed by the volume of unread emails, I archive them. Now I realize that I am missing out on enlighting material. But there is only so much time.
For better organization, I have started categorizing these emails using labels in Gmail. First, I mark them as “read”. So they demand less attention. Then I have a search filter to add a “to-read” label on all newsletters and emails that I send to myself as they arrive in my inbox. I configured the Gmail UI to show all emails under this label right below the “unread” emails. Search filters make sure that the correct label gets attached automatically when the pattern matches. But Gmail UI is not as configurable as I would like it to be. Maybe there are other email clients out there that provide more control over the UI.
Personally, I would like to see a Trello like UI for Gmail labels. After I have read the thing under “to-read” label, I have to remove it manually. If I forget to remove the label. The “to-read” list gets cluttered. Managing labels is difficult in Gmail clients. With “Trello like” UI, I can just drag and drop the email to a different label.
Automatic labelling based on patterns works excellent. It makes organizing a reading list a little bit easier. But not being able to remove the labels automatically requires manual effort to clean up. Some times I want to pause a list. Because those days I am not in a mood. I also didn’t find any easy way to do that.