Just last month we pointed to a study that showed that more experienced internet users checked their email a lot less
, as they had realized what a distraction it could be. Of course, there are some people who just can't resist -- so it's interesting to see companies and services trying to deal with it. First there was the launch
of a service called HitMeLater
, which lets you forward your email to an address that determines when it will resend that email again. That is, if you get an email that you don't want to deal with right away, but know you'll forget about it once it scrolls out of the main pane of your inbox, you can just forward it to email@example.com and it will email that message back to you four hours later. You can replace the number with any number of hours you want, or with the name of a day, and it will resend the email on that day.
But apparently it wasn't just HitMeLater thinking about this type of service. Microsoft is apparently experimenting with its own email snooze button
for Outlook. It's different than HitMeLater, in that this is really a solution for those who simply can't resist checking email. Instead, you can have the system put up a virtual "Do Not Disturb" sign -- and Outlook won't sync up your email for whatever period of time is specified. Of course, there will be those who will say that people just need to learn some discipline on their own, but knowing that's not going to happen, what's wrong with some tools to help people out?