I’m steadily getting my Gmail and work email count back down to zero with the help of The Email Game, Saneinbox, and some increasingly intense conditional filters. As I’ve gotten close to zero, I’ve realized a few things that I didn’t realize before I began working with so many freelance writers and photographers, co-workers, and publicists:

— Every email you answer generates another 1-3 emails: More questions, more thoughts, more “thank you!”s and “got it!”s. I’m guilty of this too, but I blame others for this — everyone else sends “thank you!” emails to finish off a thread, so then I feel like I have to send these emails too. It’s pointless.

— Sometimes, even most of the time, a writer or photographer answers their own question if you give them an hour or two.

— People you don’t want emailing you are only encouraged to email you more when you send them an email telling them you aren’t interested in whatever thing they’re offering you.

And these are all problems, because email makes my day look like this (screenshot from RescueTime):


So, what’s the solution?