Opting In and Opting Out of Email

As I reviewed the amount of email I get – both in aggregate, looking at last year’s email in a prior article (see the “That’s a lot of email” sidebar in Email: Save Everything So You Can Delete More), and just in passing, as I deal with my day-to-day email – it occurred to me that a lot of the email I get is by choice, or by failing to make a choice when I had the chance.

Hence, I started making some different choices to reduce the amount of email I get.

In short, I asked the senders to stop.

I now do this periodically.

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Email: Save Everything So You Can Delete More

One of my recommendations for managing email sounds very counter-intuitive. In fact, you may think I’m completely nuts – yet it’s fundamental to my approach to an empty inbox.

I was able to do an analysis of my incoming email – which accompanies this article – because I save all my mail.

I save all my mail.

I have every piece of mail my wife and I received last year. Every bit of spam, every virus, every incoming message, no matter how important, annoying, or trivial.

That seems like the exact opposite of what most people want: less mail, not more, right?

I do it because it’s incredibly liberating.

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