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Digital Makeover: Spend Less Time with Email #30DaysofGOOD

Life’s too short for so much email. Use these ideas to reduce the amount of time you spend reading, writing, and replying to electronic messages.


30 Days of GOOD (#30DaysofGOOD) is our monthly attempt to live better. This month we're focused on improving the way we use technology.

Far too often, it feels like no matter how much time you spend replying to email, you'll never be able to get to all of it. New York Times columnist Nick Bilton recently published an essay about this problem, and offered some pretty stunning statistics.

Last year, Royal Pingdom, which monitors Internet usage, said that in 2010, 107 trillion e-mails were sent. A report this year from the Radicati Group, a market research firm, found that in 2011, there were 3.1 billion active e-mail accounts in the world. The report noted that, on average, corporate employees sent and received 105 e-mails a day.

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As Bilton says in the title of his post, "Life’s too short for so much email." Indeed. Today's task is to explore ideas and tools for reducing the amount of time you spend reading, writing, and replying to electronic messages.

There has been a spate of articles lately lamenting the sad state of the inbox. Take a look at the links below, and please offer your own tips for dealing with email overflow in the comments section of this post.

Mashable offers a great set of easy and practical tips for getting your email under control. The article provides a useful summary of Inbox Zero, a message management method you should consider investigating further.

The Next Web's new "geek's guide to dealing with email overload" points to several services and tools that can help you make email more manageable. My favorite is OtherInbox, which automatically organizes your email according to message type and sender.

Finally, TIME Moneyland gives a series of best practices for business email senders. Put these tactics to use to avoid wasting your time (and the time of your coworkers) on uneccessary email.

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