I have read a few articles in recent days about folks declaring themselves email bankrupt. The term has been around for a while but it it just know hitting my radar.
The email bankrupt among us just cannot and/or will not keep up with the barrage of email and feel overwhelmed and unable to get out.
Interesting, I thought.
I know I get a lot of email…more than some folks and much less than others, I’m sure. I feel like I am probably on the slightly more than average range of the scale. But, I use spam filters, rules to move messages to folders and other tactics to keep things under control. I try new stuff all the time to keep up with messages, what I need to reply to and what I need to do based on emails. (the best has been my removal of my overly complex set of subfolders for filing messages so I didn’t have to make decisions about whether this message needed to be in REFERENCE -> DESIGN -> CSS or REFERENCE -> HTML tricks ->CSS. Having to make those kinds of decisions meant I didn’t make the decision so the message just stayed in my Inbox.
Now, I have 3 folders along with my Inbox. Action, Reply, Archive. That’s it. If I cannot deal with it in a short amount of time – it goes into one of the first two. If I need to keep the info and it should just say there for ease (rather than go into my SOHO Organizer file) – then off ot Archive it goes. Right now I have 10 message in my Inbox. I’ll deal with them on Monday.
[Actually – I lied…I have 4 folders. I have a very large project going on at work so I am putting all email for it in that folder. It just makes searching a bit easier. Once the project is wrapped up – I will delete a lot of those and move the rest of Archive. Just wanted full disclosure!]
So, I don’t have thousands of messages in my Inbox, which is what I think these folks are trying and failing to deal with.
Even more interesting to me right now is the feeling that I have about some folks, mostly co-workers, who I used to only hear from via email that now use the phone much more. As someone who really doesn’t like the phone much, I am probalby prone to notice it more.
I am curious about this change in communication style. Are they trying to avoid email bankruptcy or are they getting more concerned about the “record” of email that might be left behind? It has been on my mind a bit and I am going to think about it a bit more, I’m sure.