Since I removed comments from this blog, I’ve been asking y’all to email me when you have feedback, with the promise that I’d publish the good bits. Today I’m making good on that for the first time, with this lovely missive from Adam Doherty:
I just wanted to say thank you. As someone who is never able to say no, your article on email struck a chord with me. I have had Gmail since the beginning, since the days of hoping for an invitation. And the day I received my invitation was the the last day my inbox was ever empty.
Prior to reading your article I had over 40,000 unread messages. It used to be a sort of running joke; I never delete anything. Realistically though was I ever going to do anything with them?
With 40,000 unread messages in your inbox, you start to miss messages that are actually important. Messages that must become tasks, tasks that must be completed.
Last night I took your advice; and that is saying something - most of the things I read via HN are just noise. This however spoke to me directly.
I archived everything older than two weeks, was down to 477 messages and kept pruning. So much of the email we get on a daily basis is also noise. Those messages took me half a second to hit archive and move on.
I went to bed with zero messages in my inbox, woke up with 21, archived 19, actioned 2 and then archived those.
Seriously, thank you so very much. I am unburdened.
First, I’d like to thank Adam for writing in. I really do appreciate the feedback.
Second, I wanted to post this here not in service of showcasing my awesomeness1, but rather to demonstrate that getting to the bottom of your email can have a profound effect on your state of mind. Even if it’s a running joke, even if you don’t think it’s stressing you out, there’s a good chance that, somewhere in the back of your mind, it is. After all, if you really don’t care, what’s stopping you from hitting select all / archive right now?
At the very least, if you did that, your mail app would load faster.
although, let there be no doubt, I am awesome ↩