This week’s Loose Wire column looks at email and offers some tips on blowing off the cobwebs on your inbox and getting organized.
GIVEN THE AMOUNT of time we spend handling our e-mail–checking it, reading it, writing it, occasionally clicking on attachments we suspect we probably shouldn’t–you’d think we would do a better job of organizing it.
If you’re anything like the rest of the world, nearly every e-mail you’ve ever received sits in your inbox, gathering dust, cobwebs and the digital equivalent of bedsores. Some of them appear to date back to the Magna Carta. Your basic attitude towards e-mail is to read it when it comes in, and then, if you work for the government or any company with more than 10 employees, forward it to as many colleagues as possible in the hope that you won’t actually have to do anything more about it. The same applies to outgoing e-mail: You write it, usually with a revealing and helpful subject title like “Meeting” or “Proposal” and then send it, retaining only the haziest idea of whether you still have a copy of it and, if so, where it might be.
For the column I took a look at some newish products on the market, including a new version of Bloomba, a new email/organizer from Poco Systems called Barca and Thunderbird, the free email sister of browser Firefox.