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Dealing with email, the Vanessa Fox way!

Tanya Goodin
Tanya Goodin
14 October 2007

Hit delete, and start again!

An interesting piece in today’s Times on how Vanessa Fox (late of Google and now working with Zillow) dealt with her email inbox. When it reached 30,000 (and I thought 4,000 was bad!) she declared ‘email bankruptcy and deleted the lot.

Now that is good going and I am sure we all like the idea of doing this, but are you brave enough? Even though we all have spam filters and manage the junk mail spending time processing ‘dead’ emails is really time consuming. I just laugh when I see how quickly my junk filter fills up and while not at the Vanessa Fox levels of 1,000 a day it is not far off.

So how best to manage this problem? A number of companies have ‘no email days’ and others recommend setting aside a set time to deal with emails. The worst habit is ‘twitching’ (guilty as charged) which is where you respond to each email as it arrives. Not the most productive way to handle this I am sure. So I am going to try to better manage the whole email process from now on, honest! 

With over 40 billion emails and the same number of spam emails sent each day this problem is only going to get worse, so time to get some good housekeeping methods installed now I think!



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