Photo by Rafa from Brazil
If you’re not suffering from email overload, you must not have an email account. Pat yourself on the back, leave the library computer you’re reading this on, and go oil your typewriter.
For everyone else, I’m ending 2007 with a new series on managing email overflow. Close your email and pay attention. I guarantee these tips will help you start 2008 with a cleaner inbox.
Find the delete key
Do you remember the days when you got an email or two per day? I’ll bet you saved every single one. I know I did! But those days are over.
Getting dozens (maybe hundreds?) of emails every day means that you need to be a ninja with your delete key. If you don’t need it down the road, trash it. If in doubt, trash it. Feeling lazy about an email, trash it. You get the picture. Be ruthless!
If you’re still feeling helpless, I’ll give you a bit more guidance. Here are emails I get regularly that I’m trying to stop…for good. I suggest you do the same.
Delete these emails NOW
You’ve been SuperPoked! – Do these notices really need your attention? They’re breaking into your work flow, just so you can know that Bob threw a sheep at you. If you can’t immediately delete this one, find a therapist.
Jim is your latest fan on Digg! – I know you like having friends, but do you even know this guy? He’s probably just building up a list of Digg “friends” so he can spam them all with submissions.
You are Sally’s newest friend! – Twitter sends these notices whenever someone new starts following you. It’s always great to have followers, but your sanity requires a clean inbox. Instead of immediate “follow” notices, just check your Twitter page occasionally for new followers.
A payment posted to your account – Do any of your banks or credit cards send notices like this? I get them when my MasterCard payment goes through. Rest assured that you’ll know if the payment doesn’t post on time. Save yourself an email and nix these useless notices.
Are you seeing a pattern yet? These emails are probably all bacn. They’re not spam, but they don’t offer important value for your day.
You can easily setup Gmail filters to handle these emails. But I suggest you just trash them. It’ll give you a sense of control over your inbox. And you probably didn’t need them anyway.
Check back here on Thursday for Part 2 in this Email Checkup series: do you really need all those newsletters? To make sure you catch the entire series, you can subscribe via RSS.
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