Mail management

Practical advise on how to deal with email backlog.  Summary:

1. Sort your messages by the “sender” column, then Shift click to select all the newsletter subscriptions, social network notifications, chain letters from Aunt Martha and Uncle Bert, and messages from anyone who sends you useless email. Press delete.

2. Sort your messages by the “subject” column. Select all the kitten forwards, mailing list threads, and long conversations with logs of back and forth that don’t matter anymore. Delete them.

3. Finally, you’re going to sort your messages by “date.” This might be a controversial tip, but when you’re dealing with a serious backlog, I encourage you to be ruthless. Anyone who sent you an email over a month ago and hasn’t gotten a response isn’t sitting around holding his breath. After a month, your window of email responsiveness opportunity is over. Delete or archive any messages that are older than a month. If the message was that important, the person would have resent it.

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