Tame That Inbox Gone Wild

I have been struggling for years with an inbox gone wild. I receive over 1,000 emails each day and between deleting spam and reading newsletters, contracts, working with vendors in the space, distributing press releases and meeting requests, dealing with internal TMC newsletters, keeping up on tech, communications and financial news, my inbox has seen serious action.

If I could just get everyone who sent me an email this decade to send me a dollar, I could probably bail out Detroit on my own. About five years ago in San Jose, I had a few hours to kill between meetings and I remember feverishly deleting emails to get down to two thousand or so. I routinely remember seeing numbers like 16-30,000 messages in my inbox over the last decade.

A few years back I decided that I would give up sleep and rest to ensure I get a handle on this chaos. The good news is I am now under 200 messages. In order to keep it this way I multitask and have been doing so for years.

If I am at a conference for example, I take notes, blog, monitor industry sites and check email while keeping an eye on the financial markets. My brain is a multitasking wonder but to compensate my neurons don’t allow me to focus on a single issue like I used to be able to. If I lock myself in a room or get on a flight – I can concentrate just fine (this becomes a problem as internet access pervades the cabin). It is just the availability of massive amounts of information that keeps my brain wondering what news I am missing and keeps me having the focus I had in a pre-internet/CNN/CNBC era.

And it is not the need for personal knowledge that fuels this drive. I direct dozens upon dozens of stories each day on TMCnet and decide what I will cover as well. If I don’t see everything how can I keep my blog and TMC net readers informed?

Part of the reason for this blog is to document my ordeal and to hopefully inspire others to believe they too can tame their inbox. Believe me, if I can do this, so can you,

Sendio has an antispam device which I have been using for a few months. The user interface of the device is not good for those who get massive amounts of email like me. But if you have a manageable amount of email, the company’s solution may be worth a try. Tom Keating for example really likes it and Tom is a harsh critic so this says a lot.

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