After I missed a few critical email messages recently, I spent a good part of today simply trying to get my email inbox under control. Over the past decade, the “email problem” has slowly grown into an unmanageable beast. I looked at my work inbox today (this isn’t even counting my personal email accounts) and noticed I had over 18,000 emails in the Inbox alone, with over 3000 marked unread (and I file and filter even more than that). Ouch. Staying ahead of email, responding to one as several more come in, has become a Sisyphean task. Quite simply, email is failing us. The system hasn’t scaled with the volume and variety of communication we deal with today.
I’m obviously not alone in reaching this massive point of failure in the email system:
- Lawrence Lessing publicly declares email bankruptcy
- TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington returns from a trip and decides to simply delete his entire inbox
- Andrew Baron starts over as well, telling everyone to resend their email if it was important