Stave Off Distractions With A Send-Only Email Account

Stave Off Distractions With A Send-Only Email Account
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We all need email for work, but if you’d like to send emails without getting distracted by your overflowing inbox, Mac-centric blog TUAW recommend creating a send-only email account in its own email client.

An inbox full of messages is a giant distraction waiting to happen, and it’s why we don’t recommend checking your email first thing in the morning. Sometimes, during the day, you need to stay focused on what you’re doing, but that involves sending email — thus putting you into the conundrum of sending email without looking at your email. TUAW found that the best solution was a separate email client that only lets you send mail, not read it:

Email apps expect that when you want to send email you also want to check email. I ran into this problem when I tried to start checking email once or twice a day. Quitting my email app was easy, but then a few minutes later I realised that I needed to send an email. So I launched my email app again. Hey look, new email!

Finally it occurred to me that what I needed was a second email client, one which was setup only to send, and not to receive.

TUAW recommends Mailsmith for OS X users, but you can really do this in any email client. Just create a POP account for your email address using your email provider’s instructions (here, for example, are Gmail’s). When it starts to download messages, cancel the process. You may need to delete a few messages from your inbox if they get through. Lastly, head into your Account Settings and change your incoming mail server to a fake address (I thought whitson.whitson.whitson was a pretty good bet).

Now, your account will no longer receive new emails, but you can still send them just fine, since your outgoing server — the one that says SMTP — is still valid. Your inbox will always stay empty and distraction-free, without cutting you off entirely. It might give you “server offline” errors, but you can just ignore them — the server that matters will still work. Hit the link to read more about the send-only email strategy.

Use Mailsmith to Create a “Send-Only” Email Account [TUAW]


  • You left off the fact that the reason I recommended MailSmith was that you could configure “Send Only” accounts without getting incoming server errors.

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