Reva Minkoff admits she has a hoarding problem—an email hoarding problem, that is.
The head of a Chicago-based digital marketing agency, Minkoff says his personal inbox is “continuously growing” to the point that he now has 686,000 emails sitting on it. “Staying on top of it is like a full-time job. It’s very hard to disorganize,” she says.
Minkoff is hardly alone. With a daily flurry of messages from friends and colleagues, as well as an ever-increasing stream of solicitations, newsletters, and more, many of us are struggling with email overload. Minkoff says the situation becomes more dire because of the many offers from businesses during the holiday season. They’re emailing “five times per day,” she says.
All of this raises one big question: Should we start the new year with a clean slate and delete all our old email?
Sure, a case can be made for the fact that a cluttered inbox hinders productivity. One survey from 2020 found that over 60% of millennials had concerns over email overload. A similar percentage said it hindered workplace activity.
People who try to do a bigger cleanse often say they are happier for it. Recently a respondent said, “Seeing (my inbox) so fresh and empty has cleared my soul.” reddit thread She asked the question, “What do you have too much?” (Several people on the thread pointed to his email.)
Average inbox size? 8,024 Emails
However, it doesn’t take long to fill that empty inbox. a daily study A few years ago, data collected from 38,000 inboxes found that the average inbox contained 8,024 emails.
But the same study found that about 20% of users have inboxes with more than 21,000 emails, although it also noted that most large inboxes “topped with fewer than 100,000 emails.”
Philadelphia-based campaigner Gia Vecchio has 75,000 emails in her inbox. But Vecchio says she likes things that way because she prefers to access older messages if there are details that might be relevant.
It’s one thing to have email contacts, she says, but it’s another to have genuine email, which provides information that may prove valuable later — eg, from a vendor about the quality of service she has received in the past. was hired.
About the rationale for refusing to delete the messages, Vecchio says, “I need context.”
Some business experts warn that too many emails can spell trouble.
A crowded inbox can be a sign that you’re not staying on top of your work life, says Carrie Green, a business coach based in New Jersey.
“Things in your inbox are decisions you haven’t made,” she says. Plus, it’s the kind of clutter we don’t need: “If you think about it, if this was real mail, would you have 300,000 pieces?” she says.
Green advises customers to put email into one of three categories—the kind you deal with immediately, the kind you delete and the kind you delay handling, but only for a short while. Ultimately, the goal is to have an empty or nearly empty inbox, she says.
“From my point of view, I don’t think even 100 emails in your inbox is good,” Green concluded.
Minkoff, the head of the Chicago digital-marketing agency, is trying to embrace such a philosophy, though she admits it’s a challenge. “I used to spend an hour a night just trying to clean things up,” she says.
Would You Pay $100 to Manage Your Inbox?
Of course, email providers also suggest ways you can stay on top of your inbox. Google Google,
Who is behind the Gmail service, Offers A variety of tips and strategies And notes that users can create filters that automatically delete or forward certain messages.
Other companies have also ventured into this area. Last year, Basecamp, a software firm, introduced its Hey.com mail service, which it calls “fresh outlook[that]turns email into something you want to use, not something you have to deal with.” are compelled.”
Notably, Hey.com, which runs $100 a year for personal use, offers automated features that range from blocking emails from certain senders to organizing newsletters in a dedicated space.
Basecamp co-founder Jason Fried says the service can’t do anything about the emails you’ve already submitted. But this time. He says it is a losing battle for many.
“They need to declare bankruptcy and start over with a new inbox,” he says.
‘Precious moment in curio cabinet’
Betsy Smith, owner of a Pennsylvania-based social-media marketing firm, says she sees no need to make such an announcement. Even when her husband maintains an “inbox zero” philosophy, she’s satisfied with her 82,000 emails, spread across two inboxes, “You never know when you might need one.” is” something to see.
In other words, he is a proud email hoarder.
“I keep them all like precious moments in the curio cabinet. Their sitting there collects virtual dust, which makes me happy,” she says.