Now think about how often you need to see a message immediately or the world will end. How many of those times will somebody trust such a critical message only to e-mail, where it can get caught up by a spam filter or lost in the general clutter of your inbox? Using one of the most congested communications mediums available for the most urgent notices imaginable doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me; if you want to get somebody’s attention instantly, you pick up the phone and call them.
Then consider how you process incoming e-mail. Pushing a message to your screen can’t push it into your brain. If you can react and respond to each new e-mail as it arrives, you have a lot more free time than I do. Me, I usually wait until I have an idle moment to scan over the latest batch of new messages, then delete, file or answer them as necessary. – Rob Pegoraro, WashingtonPost.com
I moved away from automatic email notifications long ago, and I couldn’t be happier. All my email clients (including iPhone) are set to check manually. I check my email when I’m ready to check email. And since my email accounts are all IMAP, my inbox and folders stay up to date between email clients.
As a long-time (and long-suffering) .Mac fan, I’m excited to see how MobileMe changes the way I work, but push email isn’t a feature for Me.
Interestingly, Mr. “Inbox Zero” Merlin Mann is all over the pushiness.