First, how long have you been using email? For me it’s almost 20 years. How many email accounts do you have? I have some I forgot that I have, but they range from the one my ISP gives me, to the company email account, to Yahoo!, Hotmail, and Gmail, and my TeraTalks account.
Second, how much time do you devote to email each day? Have you ever written an email message that came back to haunt you later?
By now you’re aware of just how much trouble the killer app for the internet really is. It’s a killer. Email wastes time. Email is bothersome. Email is an audit trail just waiting for a hacker or an investigation. Email is a picture of your life that Google stares at daily.
Even with Apple’s Mail or any decent email app that manages multiple accounts and pulls every message into a single Inbox, email is what we call a necessary evil. It’s evil for sure, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to avoid it. Or, is there?
It’s time to kill email.
I started slowly; first by removing messages and attachments from Yahoo!, Hotmail, and Gmail. That’s a tedious process. Then, I contacted every person who’s ever sent me an email that wasn’t spam or a subscribed list and gave them a single email address.
Finally, I started the process of pruning my Apple Mail Inbox and Mail boxes; keeping what is necessary to document parts of the past, but being brutally honest about the need to ditch everything else.
After only a week I felt clean and pure; as if I’d been on a diet for a month, with that feeling you get after exercising and taking a hot shower. My Inbox has dwindled but gets less love than ever. I use the phone more, talk to people instead of cranking out a quick reply on my Mac or iPhone.
It’s unlikely that email will disappear any time soon, but it can be tamed. All it takes is discipline, some work, and a willingness not to give up part of your life each day to something that has truly become an evil exercise in futility.