I’m something of a pioneer of on-the-go email checking. Maybe pioneer is too strong. Let’s say “early adopter”. I used to check my email using my WAP-enabled phone when I was on vacation. It was painful, but it worked. Eventually I graduated to a Treo 600 with Chattermail for always-on IMAP-push email notification (equivalent to Crackberry service, basically). This was before everyone and their cousin had a Crackberry.
On the Treo, when I get new mail, the little green light starts blinking rapidly instead of its normal once every two seconds or so. Over the last 2.5 years or so I’ve apparently developed a habit of glancing down at my belt holster, looking for that rapid flashing to see if I have mail.
I’ve started trying it. The email on the phone is generally turned off. If I’ve been away for a while or I have time to kill (waiting in a long line or whatever), I’ll fire it up. At work I check email as a break after I’ve finished a major goal or a big block of little goals, and after lunch. I’m keeping it down to once or twice in the evenings at home. So far, it’s been mostly okay.
I find myself doing odd things. I look down at my phone, even though I know the email program is off. I bounce my mouse down to the dock in Mac OS X, looking for the little red circle with a number on the Mail icon to tell me I have mail. Occasionally I actually open the Mail app without that being my original intention. Hopefully after a week or two I’ll be able to break those habits.
How often do you check your email?