Poll: Email Loads at Work

Gary Lawrence Murphy garym@canada.com
23 Apr 2002 01:36:58 -0400

>>>>> "L" == Luis Villa <louie@ximian.com> writes:

    L> On Mon, 2002-04-22 at 23:07, Kelley wrote:
    >> I'm curious about what emails loads people are dealing with on
    >> a daily basis. I'm interested in work related email, not spam,
    >> not lists, not goofing off with your buds at work. Either
    >> estimates of current situations or former employments
    >> situations is fine.  if you can estimate how big the company
    >> was/is that would be great, but not necessary.

    L> I'm an extreme edge case but my folder for 'today's mail'
    L> contains 920 pieces of mail, which is not atypical for me; I've
    L> averaged a shade under 450 a day since mid-January.

My counts are about the same ... normally it's just this steady
trickle so I don't know the actual counts without consulting the logs;
I only notice the total numbers if I am away for a day or if my ISP is
down for any length of time.

to be fair, that's my grand total of all messages except high-volume
mailing lists (like Mandrake Cooker) which I siphon off with procmail.

To be honest, not all 450 are work related, but sadly most are :( and
I am not required to _read_ all 450, but I do need to scan the
subject/from lines for vital messages.  For example, much of the
work/client related emails can be communications between other team
members where I need not read the message, but I have to check the
message headers to know this.  

Managing email volume is intimately connected to the software you use.
If you have badly designed email software, you are up a certain creek
with no paddle.  I have the deepest sympathy for those chained to
Outlook, Evolution or KMail.

Since I use GNUS, my email is tidily threaded and pre-categorized into
dozens of folders, and individual authors and subjects weighted by
scorefiles, further aiding a rapid zeroing in on what is relevent and
what is likely low (or zero) priority.  On the other hand, because I
use GNUS, there is no operational difference between email and
newsgroups, and I have at least 1000 subject-line scans of news
articles that are part of my daily routine.

a guestimate break down would be roughly as

         client communications:            5%
         project relevent mailing lists:  45%
         other work-related (inc ml's):   30%
         professional assoc (I inc fork): 10%
         hobby ml's (music, art, astro):   3%
         personal communications:          2% :(
         spam:                             5%
I miss about half a dozen important emails a year (at least, that's
all that I _know_ I've missed ;) and I have a policy of responding
with at least a "I can't respond right now" within two days; if I
don't, the sand slips through my fingers and all the universe is lost.

Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com
"Poet for sale!  Real live one! Real live person for sale" -Daevid Allen