Climbing Mt. Email

I’m at the base of Mt. Email. The summit looks very high (elevation of 400+ emails), but I know that I’ll never reach the top unless I start climbing. There’s no way I can reach the summit tonight or even in a week, but maybe I’ll get to a reasonable base camp in a few days. If you’re waiting for an email reply from me, it will take me a while to reach the peak; please be patient. If you’ve emailed from the outside world, I might ask Adam Lasnik for some help to take some of the email load off my shoulders.

Update: a full day of work, still managed to touch base with my team, and down to 325 emails. The remaining ones get harder and harder though..

33 Responses to Climbing Mt. Email (Leave a comment)

  1. BTW, Vista comes out this week, so first go read this article:
    then practice saying “Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Limited Numbered Signature Edition” as fast as you can. How fast can you say it five times?

  2. Harith


    Now who have sent you all those 400 emails? some SpamKings at the plex or something πŸ™‚

    Suggestion: Why not let Adam filter your emails first so that you end up with around 20 most important emails to reply to. He should work a little for his salary, right πŸ™‚

  3. Mr. Popular, haha. πŸ˜›

    You posted this more out of ego than complaint, didn’t you? Come on… admit it.


  4. Harry Maugans, not at all. Most of the email I’m behind on is internal Google mail. πŸ™ I was relatively up-to-date and then took that vacation where I didn’t touch a computer for a week. That was my main downfall.

    Harith, Adam does a lot of stuff to earn his keep, not to worry. πŸ™‚ I may ask him for some help though.

  5. You could leave the blog untended for a week. Also, have you considered OpenID authentication for the comments?

  6. Matt, don’t worry too much. Emails are never that important. And for the ones you never reply to, just say they got filtered out by spamfilters on the way. In fact, I once got an email from you, some years ago, that got spamfiltered. Wonder why? hehe πŸ™‚

    > How fast can you say it five times?
    I can’t even say it once without hurting my toungue. Do we have to? πŸ˜‰

  7. Matt you have not answered my question regarding

    Whether you consider that as spam or not?

    Since it is not a spam I hope you would not consider it as a spam

    Also give me your email address

  8. Sven

    “You could leave the blog untended for a week. Also, have you considered OpenID authentication for the comments?”
    Wasn’t this on Matt’s wishlist? Authenticated e-mail? πŸ˜‰

    “Also give me your email address”

    Lololol, also, give us your SSN!! And Visa card number and expiration date, at once! :p

  9. Delegation? Of emails to your fine self to some other? Goodness me .. I hope you will at least look at them before sending them back.

    Always hard to get anyone with as much passion as oneself to do anything about your holiday backlog and I know how passionate you are about your work Matt. I mean .. even this blog is an hour a day keeping in touch with the comments isn’t it?

    I would pass it over to Venessa if I were you, I bet she has more time spare than you and it is always nice to get a female perspective on life isn’t it πŸ™‚

  10. Matt you have not answered my question regarding
    Also give me your email address”

    ROFL – apparently someone didn’t read your post….

    I’m sorry you are buried under your emails – hey, can you send me your email? πŸ˜€ Too funny.

    I know the feeling, Matt. I’m down to 261 emails from 634 on Friday, and it’s not looking good right now. I find that if you start by sorting by person/name rather than date it’s easier – that way I can deal with all their issues at once, rather than sending then several and needing to switch mental gears, but even so, it just plain takes time.


  11. Not a bad idea, Ian.

    York England, I think Vanessa is already quite busy handling her own list of to-do items. πŸ™‚

  12. I’d be happy to ever get down to 400. Ugh… I need to hire an email filter. πŸ˜‰

  13. wow.. can you imagine.. how did the business world manage without e-mail? πŸ˜€

  14. David

    I have filters most goes to /dev/null some sticks in the other 10 mail drops.

    Matt, you need an email classifier system, with most heading to the great bit bucket.

    Now I must get back to writing docmentation.

  15. why not simply select all those emails hit the delete button and email them all saying: If it was important, email me again.

    You may want to do a pre-selection of emails you really don’t want to delete,. like emails from your boss,. πŸ™‚

  16. You wouldn’t believe how many times I have don ethat Peter.

    Email ettiquette always diminishes the longer the list. I can’t say I receive quite the amount it sounds you guys get, but I have ‘accidently’ deleted a few before. Well I receive about 20 genuine emails a day, from people requesting ‘sponsorship’ for services. Usually a simple query for ‘free’ or ‘sponsorship’ is a good way to filter down!

    Matt, whats the subject you least want to reply about? Im sure you can find a general term! Try ‘help’ πŸ˜€


  17. just curios Matt. What percentage of your daily emails are spam? mine is around 50%.

  18. I take Ian’s idea one step further, personally (it’s a good one though, Ian.)

    I create rules for the more common people and have a folder for each. As they send me emails, those folders get bold.

    So I know when I see Folder A, C, and E are bold to check those and not bother with Folder B and D.

    After I’m done with A, C, and E, if there’s time I deal with the inbox spam…er…emails. πŸ˜‰

  19. Matt –

    I know what you’re saying about email. Think about the working world before email existed. You could take a vacation and come back to work without the backlog of hundreds of emails to catch up on.. ah, those were the days.

    Not sure if this is good or bad. But one thing’s for sure, staying connected has its price.

  20. β€œMicrosoft Windows Vista Ultimate Limited Numbered Signature Edition” – i nearly bit my tongue trying to say that 5 times.

    Mt. Email Stats
    Height: 400+ (units unknown)
    Climatic Conditions: very cold
    Formation of Mt.Email: movement of “lithospheric email” plates

    How is the montane? your reached base camp yet?

  21. I can’t say we’ve become more efficient because of the accessibility of communication using e-mail.

    I think we’re even pushing ourselves even more because we have less excuses not to access such messages.

  22. Matt,
    Regarding Windows Vista, I would strongly strongly recommend spending three minutes to watch this movie:


  23. PI

    Most of the time I read emails by title, which usually results in deleting most of them without even seeing what’s inside. I know this is not professional for someone who ‘cares’ but I’ve never regretted deleting any message this way, as far as I remember.

  24. EGOL

    “start by sorting by person/name rather than date it’s easier – that way I can deal with all their issues at once, ”

    That is a GREAT idea… I just tried to do it with my Gmail account and could not figure out how to do it.

    Maybe this is a great new feature for the Gmail Team to add – or at least make more obvious how it can be done.

  25. EGOL with gmail you sort by name simply by searching for that name. It’s not quite the same but it certainly allows you to reply to one persons issues all in one go.

    Btw matt. Recently discovered the blog and I’m loving it. Keep up the good work. Especially as many of your commenters seem to complain about you/google and appear to miss the point of your posts. Thanks.

  26. Where’s the pro limited numbered signature edition of google docs and spreadsheets, personally signed by larry and sergey? lol

  27. You could try getting a new spam filter program.

    I’m not going to get Vista until more of the bugs found and taken out.

    Watch out for those “*.0” programs!

  28. Matt,

    I can’t say enough how amazing David Allen’s GTD approach to managing email is. It’s so freeing to keep your inbox at zero, and it’s actually not that difficult to achieve. It involves doing things differently — doing triage on each email that comes in, applying the 2-minute rule (if it will take 2 minutes or less to handle, just do it then and there instead of saving it for later), not using your inbox as the place to process your emails, and a bunch of other stuff. You can learn more about the process from 43Folders’ Inbox Zero series.

    If you aren’t familiar with GTD, you can get the Cliffs’ Notes version of what it is from my article published today on MarketingProfs. GTD is amazing! It’ll transform the way you work!


  29. If email is a huge problem for you, you might want to look into what Seriosity is working on. We’re still in Beta, but the idea is that we create an email system where users attach value to individual messages, and where the tokens of value are scarce. In other words, if you want to send a message to get someone’s attention, you attach units of virtual currency to “put your money where your mouth is.” As a busy person, you tell your coworkers that you’re going to prioritize your emails based on how many currency units are attached. πŸ™‚

  30. Suggestion to help legitimate cloaking:
    I posted this on , but wanted to contact you with the suggestion:

    I have intellectual property that I would need someone to login/register to view; some pay per view, some free.

    I think something like a Meta Tag indicating what type of content the bot is indexing would solve the problem.
    For example:
    Meta Content = free/register/pay/subscription/etc

    Then the search engines can give an option to their users to view only free or free + β€œnon free” content.
    A bot crawling this content would run across the Meta Tags and deal with it accordingly.

  31. Man, I sure hope you never go weeks without checking your emails, that would be horrible