Thursday, 31 May 2007

Emails out of control?

Earlier this week I read about people declaring 'Email Bankruptcy'. This is where they delete all emails in their Inbox and start afresh, telling close friends and family to resend any messages from the last few days.

I also read (in a separate article) that storing too many emails in your Inbox can cause the program to crash - and all messages will be lost. Still, I suppose that has the same end result!

I remember a friend of mine telling me (must be a couple of years ago!) proudly that she had just over 3,000 emails in her Inbox - three thousand!! How on earth could she expect to find anything?

Perhaps the question to ask is how do people allow their emails to build up to this extent? Do they also have piles of paper everywhere? Or is it an 'untidiness' gene?

Personally I believe that we all have to be really disciplined in dealing with all the electronic information we receive each and every day : Emails we've been cc'd on (do question the need to 'reply to all'!), Spam Emails (get an effective filter), Ezines we subscribe to (are there any we don't really want any more?) and all those interesting-looking links to explore on the Internet (a great way of spending a precious hour or more!).

I have a quick 3-second rule that I apply to each each of my emails. Open message, scan for urgency, if urgent move to next message, if not urgent - move message to another folder called 'action' or 'pending' and deal with later. Open next message, scan for urgency .... etc. By applying this rule, 300 new messages will only take 15 minutes to filter those you need to deal with urgently.

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