Email overload

With the rise of mobile technology, apps for everything and a surge in instant messaging, you would be forgiven for thinking that email is a dying technology. You would be wrong

According to the Email Statistics Report, 2015–2019, from technology marketing firm The Radicati Group, worldwide email use continues to grow at a healthy pace.

In 2015, the number of worldwide email users will be nearly 2.6 billion. By the end of 2019, the number of worldwide email users will increase to over 2.9 billion. Over one-third of the worldwide population will be using email by year-end 2019.

In 2015, the number of emails sent and received per day total over 205 billion. This figure is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 3% over the next four years, reaching over 246 billion by the end of 2019.

And here’s a statistic to really make your eyes water from online researchers MarketingProfs: 122,500,453,020 emails are, apparently, sent every hour.

Sometimes you may wonder whether all those 122,500,453,020 are actually in your inbox, because out-of-control email is something many of us suffer from. The volume of messages keeps increasing, managing email overload is getting harder and harder. But it is possible to get things under control.

1. Create two new folders

Call these 'Inbox backup' and 'Sent backup' and set up a filter that copies every new message coming or going to the folders. Then select everything in both your inbox and sent items and copy them to the relevant backup folder.

2. Manage your emails in a chronological order

Select everything over a month old and delete it. Don’t dither. Anything important should have been dealt with, would have been chased up – and, anyway, you still have everything in your backup folder.

3. Spend time going through the emails that
are left

Delete them or deal with them.

4. Now you have a manageable inbox, you want to keep it that way

Going forward, set yourself specific times of day to check email as opposed to looking every time your phone alerts you that you have received something. Make it a morning and an afternoon activity at a quiet time when you can give it your full concentration.

5. Finally, cut down on the number of emails
you send

You will soon begin to receive less. It is often more productive to make a phone call or use instant messaging.