I was talking with one of my friends a while back asking about her email account and she told me something that stuck in my brain long after I heard it. I’m not sure why this confession of hers bothered me so much, but it did. I kept thinking about it and mulling it over in my head. I just could not wrap my mind around this at all.
She said “I hardly ever check my email account!”
To me this is akin to “I hardly ever answer my cell phone.” or “I hardly ever listen to voicemail messages.” or “I never answer my front door.”
I’m not saying there aren’t people out there that don’t do at least one of the above and some might do all of the above, but in this day and age, not checking your email is like putting your valuables in a safe and then locking it up with a combination lock that’s quickly busted open with a good pair of pliers. It’s just not the safest place to leave information that could ruin your life when it’s only protected by one word or phrase, that’s so easily hacked by the most wicked of folks. It’s just not!
People! If you have an email account, check it on a regular basis. Change your password often and never, ever use the same password for every account you have.
Something else that drives me bonkers is seeing someone’s smart phone and the Mail icon has some unrealistic number on there of unread mail. Why would anyone have 2000 unread emails? If you have Gmail, perhaps your tab for Promotions or Social is flowing over. If that’s the case then some simple maintenance will solve that problem. Use your Delete function. You never really know what kind of information is sitting out there that you’re ignoring on a daily basis. One of those harmless Promotions could be a misfiled email with your credit card account info in it. Or it could be an email from another account that you never check that someone has hacked and changed your password. You never know.
Clean out those overflowing email folders and get your email account in order.
I used to save a lot of emails from work and I still occasionally save stuff, but now it has an expiration date. If it’s a year old, I don’t need it anymore. I have a folder designated for each company I contract with. I save those contacts for about 6 months from the date I was hired. After that those emails can safely be discarded without any repercussions.
I like to make individual folders because this makes it seamless to find any email I’m looking for. Can you just imagine saving emails in your Inbox for eons? In my case that would be thousands and thousands of emails. Sure I could use the Search function and I often do, but when they’re all neatly organized I don’t have to.
I know it can be daunting, especially if you get a lot of emails, but you don’t have to organize it all in one day. Start out small and just do one folder at a time. While you’re in a waiting room, or bored in a meeting (Ha!) use your time to delete emails you don’t need, or want anymore. Eventually you’ll be totally organized and feeling a whole lot safer.
Let’s do something together this year! Let’s get control of our email accounts instead of letting them control us! I would welcome comments, hints, suggestions and updates from everyone that decides to take on this task. And thanks for having a look here too!