The Quest for Email Ninjahood – I Admit That I Have a Problem

I’m beginning a short series here that, on one hand, I hope to use to educate and on the other hand I hope to expose myself and the flaws I have in how I deal with email.

Email quite simply is a problem. Some people are blessed to have little email traffic so they squander that luxury by creating email by sending chain letters or otherwise. I however, have a much bigger, and much more deadly problem.

At last count, across all my various email addresses, I receive about 900 emails every single day. Much of this is junk email (not necessarily spam, but still very Bacn). Another large chunk is mailing lists for WordPress, or Twitter or various different other mailing lists. I read all of it.

When I was at b5media, Jeremy lectured me (not just me) about email management. We instituted various techniques to get our Blackberry usage under control. It was best practice kind of stuff like turning off notification on all emails except ones with certain tags in the subject line. That worked, kind of. It worked for the more disciplined, but I always just figured that I was looking at my email anyway, no need to worry about stupid little additional things.

I left b5media and my email load did drop significantly. For awhile. Then it picked back up again as I was putting quotes together and talking to prospective clients. Much of my communication shifted from email to Twitter direct messages where potential clients often approached me asking if I could help them with a project or something.

My messaging got to be a real problem and my Blackberry had to be cleared regularly. There was just too much mail hitting it and I really didn’t want to see it all on my Blackberry.

Again, I read all my email. Suddenly though, I realized what people like Jared and Jeremy had been telling me for years: I didn’t need to be seeing every single email on my Blackberry. Not even close.

Over the next few articles, I’m going to tell you some of the things I’ve already done in the past two weeks and rules, literally and figuratively, I’ve put into motion in my email life. Everything that could be done has not been done, however the plan is ongoing and, as I’ve loved the results, I expect you probably will too.