Nine Emails!

Here’s a glimpse into the mind of Josh Lewis. Read on… if you dare!

I use my email’s Inbox as a to-do list of sorts. If there’s a chore I’ve got to remember to do, or a person I need to contact, I’ll remember to do it if it’s in my Inbox. As soon as an email leaves my Inbox I consider it to be done (or in rare cases, I’m tracking the issue elsewhere) so I pay it no more attention. This means that there are certain emails that I refuse to move from my Inbox even though they’ve been there for… oh, I don’t know… five months.

Seriously, a friend of mine (or at least he used to be my friend) wrote to me and asked how things were going, and I wanted to sit down and write a really nice response because we don’t communicate often at all, so I kept the email there until I had the time. He wrote me on March 30th at 8:18am PST. The email is still there, gathering digital cobwebs. I still want to write you back! Don’t give up on me! Heck, just send me another email.

The good news is that my Inbox is now down to only nine emails. Four of them are on the same subject, and will require several hours of my attention, so I haven’t gotten around to them. One is a reminder to help a friend with a PHP problem. Two (including Mr. March 30th) are letters from college friends. The other two are reminders to do particular chores. And that’s it! I’m excited because I usually have twenty or even fifty of these things hanging around, waiting to get answered. It feels good to be almost down to zero.

What are your email habits? How many are in your Inbox(es)?

6 thoughts on “Nine Emails!

  1. Cleaning out my Inbox never goes well. And when it does it doesn’t stay clean for long. I currently have 97 in my Inbox, though that’s just my main inbox. I’ve got 91 in one and 71 in another. But my main problem is my inability to file anything.

  2. I’ve been known to reply to emails over a year old. My boss does that too. For most people I tend to try and reply saying “I’ll get back to you after x happens” and then leave it there, but people forget about it and are surprised at a seemingly random reply after x happens. For other people (like my boss) we’ll just sit on the email until it can be done. It’s sorta well known within the group that we won’t drop stuff, it’ll just get delayed until some unknown point in the future (sometimes due to other events, sometimes due to priorities).

  3. Yeah, I do the same thing. I’ve responded to e-mails that were SO old. Stuff just sits in my inbox until I get around to it. Sad thing is, sometimes Josh and I will be sitting just inches away from each other and rather than *gasp!* ask each other something, we’ll just e-mail it. You might think that sounds really dorky…but I acutally think it’s kind of romantic. 🙂

    That must be a qualification to be married to a geek. “Must think e-mails, sent while in the same room, are endearing.”

  4. I think it could be called funny or romantic, but I think it’s also very practical. If Steph is going to ask me to get something done, and I might not be able to get to it right away, I would much prefer that she email it to me rather than just tell me, so I won’t forget about it. It just takes a little pressure off the brain to try to remember stuff like that.

  5. I have 639 messages in my home email inbox, stretching back to March 9, 2004. This is when I last moved email out of my inbox, and into another folder where I archive messages. At work, I am forced to deal with email slightly differently – I only have 100 MB of storage space on the central email server. So, I clean things up when I get a message that I am over my quota. I usually start by sorting a couple mailboxes by the size of the message, and remove the few messages than have 1-5 MB attachments to them. I filter off all messages that my boss sends me to another mailbox, and ususally move all those messages to my machine locally. Then, I sort through the 500-1000 messages in my inbox. I sometimes write new mail filtering rules just to process 20-50 emails from the same person. I sort by who it is from, and either dump it in another mailbox, or delete it. I move around to 3 stores, and on 3 different workstations at each store, so I try to keep as much email on the central server as possible. This helps me avoid having to return to my main machine to process a request for information.

    It seems that every 3-5 months I sit down and clean things out at work. It takes 1-2 hours of time usually, because there isn’t enough time in the day to do this day-by-day. Josh, you thought that you had problems, eh!

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