Having come back home from holiday to an in-box which I have now managed to reduce to ‘only’ 500 messages I have some sympathy for “Lawrence Lessig”:http://www.lessig.org/blog/’s novel ‘solution’ to email overload. He emailed all the people he had yet to respond to and told them he was declaring email bankruptcy and wasn’t going to reply to any of the messages unless those who had emailed him before felt it was important enough to email him again.
It is certainly hard to know what to do with those emails that don’t have to be dealt with immediately but don’t seem unimportant enough to throw away at once. I believe you should take time once a week to ruthlessly scour your inbox of email that is now outdated on the grounds that if you didn’t answer it within a week you probably won’t. But I confess I haven’t done it. In fact I have email in my inbasket from the start of 2003 (and rough blog postings I have stored but not posted dating back to June 2003). Do as I say not as I do!