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Avoiding E-mail Bankruptcy

November 9, 2007 – by Per Christensson

I saw something today I haven't seen in awhile. An empty Inbox. For the first time in over two years, there are zero messages in all seven of my e-mail accounts. I tell you, it feels pretty good.

As the websites I run have grown, so has the number of e-mails I receive on a daily basis. While it is a manageable amount, if I don't keep up with my e-mail for a few days, the collection of messages grows into a somewhat ominous pile. If this trend continues over the course of a few weeks, the pile eventually turns into a mountain. What was once a manageable task becomes a seemingly impossible one.

A few months ago, I added a definition for a term called "E-mail Bankruptcy." When I wrote the definition, it was a solution I was admittedly considering for myself. E-mail bankruptcy involves either replying to all old e-mails in one mass apology letter or simply deleting them and moving on. While this option would have made my life much easier, I just could not bring myself to do it. I feel that if visitors take the time to send me a message, the least I can do is acknowledge your effort with a reply.

The truth is, I like reading my e-mail, especially from Sharpened.net visitors. So something is not right if checking my e-mail begins to feel burdensome. Therefore, now that I have replied to all the messages in my Inbox, I have set a goal to continually keep my Inbox in check. This way, I will avoid feeling smothered by a mountain of messages and will never need to declare e-mail bankruptcy. I will also be able to enjoy reading and replying to the e-mails I receive, which is the way it should be.

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