Thursday, August 10, 2006

Cleaning Out Email

How is it that I had allowed my email inbox to accumulate ONE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED messages? (This is not even counting mail stored in folders.) I've deleted approx. 250 already, and I am hoping that by the end of the big purge to have only 500 saved. And even that is too many, really. But Rome wasn't built in a day, right?

In other getting-ready-for-the-academic-year news, I went to Staples and purchased the biggest binder they had - only five inches. I've got to find a way to edit the reappointment/tenure/promotion binder so that I need not ever expand beyond that point. This is no easy task, as I've mentioned before.

I now have only 862 emails in the inbox. Still deleting. But can I just note the following about The Great Purge?

a) It is so sad looking at all of the calls for papers that looked interesting, that I saved, and that I never did anything with and

b) It is disheartening indeed to see how many emails I get from students. Generally I try to delete student emails immediately, but some always slip through the cracks. And let me tell you, I get a lot of student email.

c) I'm hungry again, even though I had a sandwich only two hours ago. And I feel like I want to eat something really bad for me (as I've fallen off of the good eating wagon, pathetically).

To all people who use subject lines like "hey" or "information" or "update," please be more specific. Your vagueness means I've got to do one of two things: 1) open each cryptically subject-ed email to decide whether I should delete or 2) play email russian roulette and assume that nothing of import resides in cryptically subject-ed messages. Neither option is satisfactory. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Final Update!
I have managed to whittle down my number of saved emails to a mere 243. This took 3 hours. What a totally lame way to spend one's day.


psychgrad said...

I love the time of year where you get to clean everything up and prepare for the new semester. I have commitment issues with my e-mails. I just never know if I'll need them later.

Terminaldegree said...

I have about 900 e-mails in my old inbox. Yikes. I hate weeding them out. I should switch to gmail for everything, I suppose...

RLT said...

a) I know that feeling. I am always saving stuff that looks interesting and I never seem to find the time to look at them. When I finally delete them – without ever really having looked at them – I really regret that I might be missing out on something interesting.

Update: I so totally agree with this. It’s the equivalent of leaving a voicemail with just a name and number. Can’t you please leave just a brief message of what this might be about so that I can either take care of it or at least start thinking about it?

Final update: It may be lame in the sense that it was in no way enjoyable. But, hell, 1500 to 243 is a major accomplishment. It definitely wasn’t a wast of time. Good for you.

Jenny D said...

I am ashamed to say that I have (gulp) 6733 in my inbox, I don't delete enough stuff as it comes in I'm afraid.... I am NOT looking forward to dealing with it, but you have set me a good example!

Psycgirl said...

I'm surprised to see you erase all your student emails right away - I save mine for at least a year in case someone comes back to argue something. Maybe I'm a little paranoid.

Mel said...

that's an inspiring decrease...every so often I start purging with the goal of getting to zero...haven't gotten there yet, though.

Dr. Crazy said...

Howdy all!

First Psycgirl - I don't erase all student email right away - clearly - but I do try to erase those that are just about coming to office hours or non-controversial stuff immediately. Otherwise, I generally do a purge at the end of each academic year of stuff I'd saved just in case.

Mel, I don't even TRY to aim for zero - that's just impossible :)