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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Love-Hate Relationship

Once upon a time, I used to love email. I had Outlook Express setup to download new mail once a minute and I always had it open. Those days are long gone.

Don't get me wrong, I still like email. I hate the phone with the fire of a thousand suns and will do whatever I can to avoid it. Email is a blessing in this regard. It lets me take care of things without having to talk. I'm much better at writing than talking. Especially talking on the phone where there's no facial expression to help me out on the communication front. I just don't love email anymore.

It's not the spam. I actually get very little spam since I went to a contact form on my website. What ended my love affair with email was the sheer volume of it.

Right now, I have 275 emails in my inbox. 275!

Some of them required a response, but got pushed so far down the list as new notes poured in that I forgot they were there. Some of them I kept so that I would take some action on them. Same problem, though. New email pushed them off the radar. Some of them I kept for the information they held. I looked at several that had me scratching my head, trying to figure out why I still had them.

To make things worse, I also get email in on Facebook and even on MySpace. This makes me whimper. I can't keep up with my actual inbox, so please, please don't message me on FB. And if you're an author pushing your book via FB mail, well, you don't want to know what I'm muttering about you. Trust me, it's not "I've got to add him/her to my To Be Bought List."

It all leaves me feeling very overwhelmed.

The articles I've read on taming the email inbox all say only handle an email once. Read it and do what needs to be done with it right away. Sure, like that works. Maybe if this was my day job email this would be doable. But my personal email? Not doable.

There are a couple of issues. First is all the email that comes in overnight. I might have 20 emails in my inbox when I wake up in the morning. There's no way to handle them all before I have to leave for work. I delete what I can, but that still leaves a handful to deal with.

The second problem is that I get a lot of email while I'm at my day job. I skim it quickly on lunch, but again, I don't have time to handle anything then and afternoons/and evenings are busy as I try to get everything done that I need to do.

I've tried different sorting methods for email, but none of them have really tamed the electronic tiger. Then toss in another issue--Outlook Express is no more and I'm using Outlook 2010 now. As soon as I download email into that program, it becomes invisible to me. I don 't know why. I even bought an Outlook 2010 For Dummies book thinking that if I knew the program backward and forward that I would solve this problem. It didn't work.

I'm not saying don't email me. Trust me, if you loved my books and want to tell me how much, your note will be welcomed and much enjoyed.