Managing Email

Five thousand two hundred sixty-nine unread email messages is what I have in one of my accounts. My oldest account, which is at rouley dot-com, is the one I visit the least. Mostly, that is because I am overwhelmed by the volume of email I receive there and I just don’t want to spend the time looking for the occasional gem among the fodder. So, a couple of times a week, or whenever I think of it, I log in and browse through the past few days of messages to see if anyone from my family or friends may have dropped in with something worthwhile. I’m almost always rewarded for my efforts, so you might think that would motivate me to do this more often. It does not.

Then, about once a quarter, I take a deep breath, clear some time on my schedule and commit to reducing the number of unread messages to something less than a hundred. I have no idea why I don’t go for zero. Maybe, by comparison, “only a hundred” sounds pretty good. Go figure.

So here’s the cool stuff. I use Gmail and it allows me to sort my inbox by “importance” and if I take the time to train Gmail on what is or is not important to me, it will properly sort my email to bring those “gems” to the top of my inbox. Then, all I have to do is delete the other stuff. So, while writing this article, I’ve been popping in and out of my Gmail account and selecting and deleting messages. In the space of about 20 minutes, I’ve deleted a whopping 200 messages. That was sarcasm, in case it didn’t come across properly!

Let’s try a different approach. I’m going back to my email and I’m going to move all of my “important” email into a folder, then see if I can make more progress more quickly. Well, that works pretty well. In the space of about 15 minutes, I’ve moved about 100 messages to my “keepers” folder and I have deleted another 500 messages from the fodder. Along the way, I am training Gmail on what it should consider important for me.

That’s all I’m going to say for now. I’ll have to produce a short video to illustrate the process. Eventually, my instructional videos will be organized, categorized and monetized, as I complete my newest website project to offer subscriptions to my one to one video teaching series.

Until then, I’ll keep working on managing my email. Be careful who you befriend via email and watch yourself when those subscription forms ask for your address, or soon you’ll have thousands of unread email messages in your inbox, just like me!