Sane Advice for Avoiding Email Inbox Overload

Ah, yes, another day, another couple hundred emails arriving in my inbox. My poor email program is so waited down with emails received, sent, and filed that for quite some time it’s been limping due to the heavy burden its carrying.

I admit it. I’m the “What if I need it?” type. And the “I’ll read that later” type, too. You’d think by now I’d realize odds are I don’t need to keep all the emails. And I’ll never have time to read all the newsletters, respond to the appeals to help save the world, or seriously consider advice for improving everything from job search techniques to my home’s closet space.

Part of my problem is that emails are ‘invisible’, out of sight on my computer and not taking up physical space like paper, file folders, newspapers and magazines. I don’t have to move emails around, stack them up, stuff them in file drawers, or trip over them.

However, in self-defense I want to point out that thanks to my ‘What if I need it?’ paranoia, there have been times when I’ve been able to retrace a conversation or series of events to refresh memories or to retrieve a needed ‘historical’ attachment. And when a client or associate wants to verify something from the past, they know whom to call…er, email. The keeper of the email morgue! Laugh if you must, but it has happened!

How-to advice for overcoming email overload usually involves employing cut-throat guerilla tactics. However, I recently read an article on this topic written by a woman I feel understands me. Shannon Brayton, vice president of corporate communications for LinkedIn, offers a kinder, gentler approach. Click here to read her common-sense advice for keeping email manageable. Read the comments below her article, as well.