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Email Pruning

Email consumes a pretty significant chunk for me. Email for my day job, email for my blog, email from friend and family, email for learning and professional development, email with offers from various retailers I use here and there. It adds up.

I use my phone a couple times a day to read and remove the easy stuff. I can usually tell from the title the easy ones, though the tendency is to do as many as I can, I end up working and resolving enough to pain the price for occasionally opening one that I don’t have time/energy to do right then. It helps me stay focused when I sit down to do real work. It also makes me feel like I’m multi-tasking, though really I’m just switching threads, using the odd 5 minutes when I’m waiting on something/someone.

A few times a year I also take a hard look at the email I get over a week. There are a lot of messages I like to get. Discounts and sales on tools for example! Most vendors send out enough to be useful, a few seem to send too many. Sometimes it’s a one time purchase, even though I didn’t know that then. So I do some unsubscribing on things that I’ve deleted a large percentage of the time.

Thinking about email volume makes me think a little more about sending out email, especially anything that isn’t serious. Even a funny joke email or video takes time to open, read, delete, so it’s got to be both really good and something I think the other person would find really funny for me to send it.

Email is a good tool, a good way to communicate. Yet I don’t get paid to ‘do email’. Something to think about!


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


Posted by covey on 14 February 2012

consider employing filters to help segregate your inbox.

consider having your daily monitoring emails (job-related) send only if there's an error rather than for every successful AND unsuccessful event.

Consider portioning only specific hours to read email rather than leaving it open all day long.

Consider using multiple addresses - one for social crap; one for retail crap; one for work, etc

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