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DamInbox
FAQ

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Asimov's first law?

Asimov's First Law of Robotics states that a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. Your email client can surely tell from your compulsive behavior that you are addicted to checking email, yet it does not intervene. DamInbox makes email a safer and more empowering tool.

Why do I need to limit the flow of my inbox?

Distraction from checking email limits your ability to focus and do meaningful work. For an examination of the fractured attention and continuous anxiety that result from compulsive email checking, see Cal Newport's A Modest Proposal: Eliminate Email. To understand why email addiction has spread faster than our culture can catch up to protect us from it, see Paul Graham's The Acceleration of Addictiveness. For concrete advice on introducing new email customs, see Tim Ferriss' How to Check E-mail Twice a Day.

What if there's an email I really need to see right now?

DamInbox doesn't remove emails, it just temporarily hides them out of view in a labyrinth of Gmail labels. The purpose of this labyrinth is to thwart your ability to compulsively check for new messages. But every message you receive is still in your account — and searchable — so you can always use Gmail search to check if you have new mail with a specific subject or from a specific sender.

Why not just check email less frequently?

Have you ever asked a smoker, "why not just smoke less?" How'd that go?
Some people are more susceptible to email addiction than others, and therefore find it harder to limit their compulsions. What makes it so hard is that email is a vital tool. You can't just walk away from it: it's like being chained to a slot machine which you must operate to do your job. When the design of a tool doesn't support you, you should change the tool to suit you, not the other way around.

Why not do this with a browser extension / desktop application / etc.?

DamInbox works directly on your inbox so that it's effective across platforms. For example, you don't want a pristine inbox on your laptop while you can still reach for your phone and check for new messages.

Okay, why not just remove email from your phone?

Email is one of the most useful tools ever created. Being able to pull up a past conversation or open an attachment on the spot is incredibly helpful. But it's this ubiquity of email which makes email addiction so insidious. DamInbox softens the sharpest edges of the tool while still enabling its greatest benefits.

Who made DamInbox?

DamInbox is made by Mark Wilson, a software engineer and data scientist in San Francisco, CA. He analyzed his email habits over three years and was shocked to discover that he was addicted to checking email. He tried several solutions before finding that the DamInbox strategy worked the best.

I still have questions!

Send me an email and I'll respond when I see it (which is usually a day later!).