I just spent four hours going through my inbox and taking it from 500 emails to zero. These were old unanswered emails, not spam (which I delete regularly in the ordinary course of business).
My email routine, now that I am solidly on gmail and loving it, is to quickly check off and delete all spam in my inbox at least once and ideally twice or three times a day.
Then I scan my inbox for emails from my top priorities; wife, family, partners, colleagues, portfolio, etc. I try to get to all of those at least once a day and ideally twice or three times a day. Gmail knows who these people are and I can't for the life of me understand why they don't build a tool to source up all of those emails automatically. Please build that feature google.
I let the rest build up in my inbox and try to get to it on the weekends. That's how I get to 500 unread emails and that's why I spent my sunday mornings in my inbox.
So for those of you who email me from time to time, here are some suggestions:
1) Be patient. I do try to respond to all legitimate non-spam email and do a pretty good job at it.
2) I am not perfect. Sometimes in my haste to delete spam, I delete a few legit emails. If you have not heard back from me in over a week, please resend your email.
3) Short and sweet gets a faster response than long winded.
4) I like to have conversations via email. If you send me an email looking for a meeting, expect a few questions back from me first.
5) Just because my reply is short does not mean I have no interest. It simply means I've got 500 emails to get through.
6) I've largely given up on responding to anything other than urgent emails and disqus comments on my blackberry. I do scan a lot of email on my blackberry.
7) I still would like a send and delete button from gmail. Send and archive is so awesome but I do a lot of send and delete too.
8) Gmail is life changing. Thank you google.
That's it for now.