Monthly Archives: November 2013

Keeping up with email

This is something that I have struggled with for a long time and that has puzzled me.  How do people keep up with email?  I have tried all sorts of strategies.  I have over 200 students in my class this semester so I ask them to put the class code in the subject line to filter those to one folder.  I use completely different email addresses for work and family and typically do not use my work email when at home and vice versa.  I have a filter for people within the department that goes to another folder.  However, I am still way behind even just sifting through all the messages and keep missing important ones.  Here is a cropped screenshot of the times emails have come in between 10:00am and 10:30am this morning, and this is only for filtered emails within the department.


In this example, I am getting an important email every five minutes; these are from different people about different things.  Also, I did not cherry pick this; I'm sure if I searched I could find a denser set of messages.  It feels like as soon as I reply to one another one comes in.  And, this is not including the several phone calls and several people that stopped by my office this morning as well.  If replying to people was my only job I could keep up with it but it is not.  I have to prepare for class, grade exams, apply for grants, not to mention work in the lab, etc.

I know I am just complaining but I honestly don't see how people can keep up and still get everything else done.


Update: A busy morning (Dec. 3).  I couldn't resist a screenshot of my inbox times.  (I can't wait for the semester to be done.)  ... I was interrupted by six people coming by my office before I finished posting this.