Being Harsh

So I just decided to slog through my 200+ emails that have backlogged in my inbox. These are real emails, not mailing list crud or spam. I don't know how you organize your email, but I have a very simple system: Everything comes into my inbox and then I delete it (if its useless or mailing list stuff), put it into folders after I've read it or reply when I get a chance. I quickly browse everything that comes in, but if I need to reply or read it in detail later, it stays in the inbox until I get a chance to get back to it. That way it's very organized.

However, this system has just completely broken down over the past few weeks and every day it seems that I end up with more emails waiting... I had emails sitting in there from January. Thus I decided I needed to just go through it right now, but the only way to do that and get it cleared out was to just be harsh:

  • No replies unless it really needed one. Replies cause more replies... "thanks" gets a "your welcome", etc.
  • No support. Any questions about my Manywhere prototype apps just got filed - the code sucks and doesn't work except in very specific circumstances (which happen to coincide on my computer/server). Sorry.
  • No random advice: I have no idea what's wrong with Blogger and why you can't get a appkey (several emails). I have no idea what the best mobile for you is (several emails). I have no idea how to get a job here in Spain (several emails).
  • No Proper Thanks: I'll just say it here: thank you for your emails! Thanks for the advice, tips, thoughts, requests, etc. I've read every one and You Rule! Sorry I'm such a bastard that I can't respond properly.

I can't imagine what it's like for the top-tier bloggers out there who get hundreds of emails a week, instead over a couple months like myself.

Just to make things a bit more organized, I've implemented filters for anything I could from Amazon updates to mailing list news - those will all automatically go into a separate folder as they come in now, and I'm going to make an effort to NOT look at that stuff until I've emptied out the "real" inbox. That should help organize me on a daily basis going forward...

So anyways, this is what I needed to do to clear out the inbox. The thing is - business is about relationships. All these emails that I'm blowing off are potential relationships that I'm losing. But honestly, email is a lot of work and I've got other things I could be working on... And as a matter of efficiency, this one long blog post is worth 6000 emails (the number of unique readers I have monthly)

I'll need some serious help if this blog (and Mobitopia) gets any more popular... ;-)


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