7 days in email hell

The author vows to read and reply to all email for one week. Can he tame the wicked beast?

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Day seven: Free at last!

One more day. Lord give me the strength. For reasons unknown, my last day in email Hell produces more email and spam than any other. And yet I manage to slog through it.

My totals for the week: 860 legit emails and 860 pieces of spam. A perfect 50/50 split. Given that more than 90% of all email messages are spam, according to Symantec, I should be grateful. On the other hand, this is the spam that made it past the filters at my ISP, my Web host, and the various corporate entities where I maintain an email address. It's superspam!

I ended up with 250 messages left in my inbox for the week, all of them read (or at least marked read). Compare that to the previous week -- where I had around 650 messages left in my inbox, 85 percent of them unread -- and I'm doing great.

It's been a few days now since I completed this regime, and my inbox has returned to its chaotic state. But I've gotten rid of easily 50 newsletters I never looked at -- and, even better, all the guilt that came with not looking at them. I have confirmed that most of my email is dreck, most of my Twitter followers are D-bags, and I'm not missing much by not scanning my Spam folder. I've also gotten just a scosh more disciplined about keeping up with my mail and deleting stuff with extreme prejudice. There are fewer messages screaming in boldface to be read.

Also: No more emails from Ms. Poo-Pourri. That alone qualifies as a victory.

Now read this: 7 days using only keyboard shortcuts: No mouse, no trackpad, no problem?

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