idea for the busy executive: the assistant-managed whitelist

by Derek Sivers

idea : human assistant creates whitelist

For the very-busy person that can afford an assistant:

Any email sent to that is *not* on CEO's whitelist, gets bounced to

Assistant goes through CEO's email, replies to some, deletes some, redirects some to other departments. Then only the ones that assisant knows for sure that CEO personally should be seeing, the assistant will personally add that email address to CEO's whitelist, and redirect the email back over to

CEO will know that every email has either been approved by his/her assistant, or is a continuation of a previous conversation with an approved person.

Once someone's on the whitelist, the assistant doesn't need to monitor emails from this person anymore.

It's very much an email version of the old classic "secretary that blocks access to the CEO's office". Once she recognizes old friends and trusted clients, they can go right in. But all new strangers are blocked until approved by her.

I'm probably not the first to think of this, am I?


2004-11-16 05:11:22

I use a similar system on my email.

I have an "Active" folder which only allows whitelisted people. Then I have my general inbox for catching things that aren't whitelisted. Then I have my normal spam box. I haven't had a misclassified legitimate message in months.