Living in an email world … sigh
I don't think it will be my first act when I become King of the World, but it will happen in the first few days. Email is just a little too much for most things people do with it. Status updates, file sharing (and storage), message board, marketing, notifications, and on and on an on. Most of that needs to go away - go into places where it is much more useful.*
Of course, there are people out there who would make it their first act. I just discovered Paul Jones, who is really aiming for #noemail. Both he and Luis Suarez pointed to an article by Matt Gemmell that is loaded with practical advice on Managing Email Realistically.
Gemmell talks about his simple strategy for being lazy AND dealing with email. I like his reminders that what is important to me is not important to others; that we are lazy (prone to habit); and to be ruthless to save time. That first item is an important aspect of my own first rule of email: don't send email if you don't want to be deluged. Interesting idea on using preview mode to let you ignore it even more.
On the other side of this are the people who have hundreds, thousands of emails sitting in their inbox. I've seen people with hundreds of "unread" mails. (And proud of it.) Personally, I don't get it. It's just not possible to even read, much less respond, to that much email. Just kill it all. If it was really important, they'll find you via a channel that might actually work.
* I fully acknowledge that email has some utility. I even use it myself. I just wish the ecosystem of personal and work messaging were all working better.
[Photo: "12322 Unread Emails" by Frank Gruber]
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