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Thursday News: Atlantic suggests labels for people based on inbox count;...

Painters hanging out on the Brooklyn Bridge

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Lisa J
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 05:01:28

    My in box is never more than 10 items, even at work. I only leave things that need to be dealt with or finished. Everything else is moved to categorized folders. I can’t stand it when I have too many items in my e-mail.

  2. Ellen
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 06:19:22

    I only delete spam and unsolicited ad-type e-mails. I will also periodically go through and delete personal social activity info that is no longer relevant.
    Any work-related e-mails stay on forever. Rarely do I move to files.

    I have over 8,000 e-mails in my inbox, more than half of which are marked unread. I love the hover function so that I can see what the e-mail is about without clicking.
    As an independent contractor, I don’t have a techie telling me to delete.
    Needless to say, I am both paranoid and unorganized.

  3. Loosheesh
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 07:23:28

    What @Lisa J: said. I’m a rabid organizer and can’t get any work done if my inbox isn’t pared down to the bare minimum. To prep for the upcoming week, I try to go ‘inbox zero’ on Fridays, so I move incomplete stuff unto my Calendar or Tasks list. I don’t know what I’d do without Outlook.

    That NYC photo database is awesome! I will be spending lots of time :-)

  4. EmilyW
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 08:33:54

    I read Wool after you posted a deal for it one day. It. was. awesome. He deserves some well-earned acknowledgement on that work.

  5. Darlynne
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 10:32:44

    My inbox is my to-do list. If it got out of control, I’d be that much crazier.

  6. Jennifer Lohmann
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 10:37:23

    I have 19 unreads in my personal email, but I’ve read all of them. I love marking things as unread in gmail because I keep the unread emails at the top of the page and it’s a reminder that I need to go back and do something with this. My work email has 5 unread emails and the inbox is a mess. I can’t access my folders from a computer that’s not in my office, so anything I might need to access while not in my office stays in my inbox. Drives me batty.

    Thanks for the pictures!

  7. cleo
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 10:48:38

    I am an “E-mail Chaos Lover” – I have tons of unread emails, and tons of read but un-deleated emails and I’m fine with it – until I read articles like this or talk with neat-freak anal compulsive types and then I have a moment of self doubt. But really, I function better with a nice balance between structure and chaos.

  8. SonomaLass
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 12:13:25

    I am an email hoarder. I sort some messages into folders to save, both at home and at work, but there are still far too many that sit in my inbox because I’m convinced that I’ll want them right after I delete them.

    I’m pleased to see Wool getting published for a wider audience, and the author earning a good amount from it. I’m not always happy about which self-published books make the crossover, but in this case it’s a good thing.

  9. Sylvie
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 14:34:47

    My husband has about a million unread e-mail in his box. It drives me nuts to look over his shoulder and see unread e-mail.

    I never have unread e-mail (except first thing in the morning). But clearly, I’m a little nutty. One of the best days of my life is when they allowed custom colors on GMail labels. I’d run out of their standard colors when organizing my Gmail.

  10. Joy
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 15:44:25

    I’m apparently an email chaos lover. But what I really am is someone who deletes lackadaisically, gets 1-line previews of messages, and gets a lot of messages that aren’t personally intended for me–ads, alerts, etc. for groups I’m tangential to at best or places I bought from once. Just in case one of them turns out to be useful some day, I suppose.

  11. Susan
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 17:10:37

    Oh, good. Glad to see I have some company here. I’m in the midst of a concerted effort to tackle my inbox, so I’m down to about 5100 emails, of which about 1500 are unread. Despite the fact that I’m terrified of missing/losing emails*, I actually delete a lot of unread emails just to try to keep my head above water. There are some people whose emails I automatically delete, figuring that if it’s important they’ll either resend it or someone else will tell me about it.

    As a backup, I archive every “sent” email.

    *I almost had a nervous breakdown at work when a system crash resulted in the loss of about 2 years’ worth of email archives. I had a brief cry (something I NEVER do) before I pulled myself together and moved on.


    I have the Wool Omnibus in my eTBR pile. Guess I need to get on that ASAP if it’s as good as EmilyW and others are saying.

  12. Lisa J
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 17:13:25

    @Sylvie: You are not alone with the unreads. I only keep things in my in box I am working on. I open and read the e-mail, then file, delete, or leave open those items I am working on or waiting for.

  13. Jessa Slade
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 21:51:29

    Google keeps adding more and more free space, and I keep getting more and more email. It’s an unholy union.

  14. Janine
    Dec 13, 2012 @ 23:15:53

    I only read the first Wool story and it was pretty bleak. Are the rest all like that or is there a hopeful ending?

  15. EmilyW
    Dec 14, 2012 @ 12:46:51

    @Janine, there is hope!

  16. Kate Y
    Dec 16, 2012 @ 14:52:26

    Thanks so much for linking to the article about the NYC photo database! These pictures tell fascinating stories from history. I’m looking forward to viewing more of them.

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