I have always had a love/hate relationship with email… I love to hate it. This always comes as a surprise to people, who assume that techies are all in love with messaging and gadgetry. The truth is that I have always had bad Inbox practices, and after a sabbatical year where I decided to ignore my work Inbox for the sake of productivity has left me with an unmanageable mess at the start of the semester. It’s good to see that I am not alone, according to the Guardian the average person has 450 messages in average on their Inbox, while tech/related industries can average up to 3,000. So what to do?

I have tried all of the usual advise: filters, sorting by date, by importance, by sender, etc. Yet if I slip up for a weekend the backlog is always there again. Perhaps the only way to get back on track is biting the bullet and deleting everything and starting from scratch. However, I have been wondering about just how important email has become for everyday businesses, and the potential legal implications of bad email management. I have yet to read a case where email management was the determining factor in a lawsuit. Anyone knows of such thing?



JennaMcWilliams · September 29, 2009 at 7:37 am

I am a huge anti-email kind of guy, though I leverage the bejesus out of this technology. But waking up to a dozen to a hundred unread emails makes me anxious. To have so much to do, so many requests, at a single time–well, it out-Herods Herod.

danah boyd takes short email sabbaticals where she literally auto-deletes every new email and sends an auto reply saying "sorry, I'm on email sabbatical and have deleted your email. You can resend your email on x date, or if you have an emergency, you can contact my mother at (phone number)." She says nobody has ever called her mother.


MichaelBoezi · October 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Boston's Mayor Menino – not sure that this will get to legal action, but all city employees have been forbidden to delete ANY e-mails from now on. Start here to learn more: http://www.wbur.org/2009/09/16/menino-emails-2

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