Fred Wilson, a VC with Union Square Ventures and the blogger behind the AVC musings of a VC in NYC blog, has recently written about how to solve an all too familiar problem – too much email. Like many, Wilson has a love-hate relationship with email – as much as he hates it, he just can’t function without it. However, the more efficient he got with email, the more email he would receive. In fact, his inbox was recently inundated with 1,200 unread emails and after three hours on a Sunday night, he had reduced the number to only 800 before completely giving up and declaring what he referred to as “email bankruptcy.”
How did he declare email bankruptcy? First, Wilson figured out that he had a list of about thirty people who he emails on a regular basis and these are his most important relationships. He then used two web services, Gist and Etacts, to tell him just who these people are and then did gmail searches on their names to make sure that he has no unread and unarchived emails from them. Finally, once he made sure that he has read and answered all emails from his thirty most important email relationships, he selected all and hit the archive button. Problem solved.
Of course, there is one problem with Wilson declaring email bankruptcy: If you are not on Wilson’s list of thirty key relationships and you have sent him an email recently, you might want to send him another one, as he has probably not seen it.