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Do you have 7,513 unread emails in your inbox? Research suggests that’s unwise

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses the challenges and risks associated with managing personal records, such as bills, subscriptions, and other documents, solely through email inboxes. It presents the findings of a survey that explored how people manage their personal electronic records and the implications of different approaches.

🙋 Q&A

[01] How people manage their personal electronic records

1. Questions related to the content of the section:

  • Most respondents (two-thirds) used their email to manage personal records like bills, receipts, and subscriptions.
  • Of those, about half sorted their emails into folders, while the other half left everything in the inbox.
  • Respondents were much less likely to sort their personal email compared to their workplace email.
  • Only 52% of respondents who left all their email in the inbox were satisfied with their records management, compared to 71% of those who sorted their email into folders.
  • 83% of respondents who saved their paperwork in the cloud (e.g., Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox) reported being satisfied with their home records management.

[02] Risks of leaving all emails in the inbox

1. Questions related to the content of the section:

  • Users can lose track of tasks that need to be done, such as paying bills, due to emails getting buried in the inbox.
  • Relying on search to re-find emails requires knowing exactly what you're looking for, which can be challenging, especially for things like tax receipts.
  • Many bills and statements are sent as hyperlinks rather than attachments, and those links may not be accessible if the service provider changes.

[03] Tips for better records management

1. Questions related to the content of the section:

  • Sort emails into category folders or save records in folders in the cloud or on a computer.
  • Download documents that are not attached to emails or sent to you, such as utility bills and payslips.
  • Put important renewals in your calendar as reminders.
  • Delete junk mail and unsubscribe to keep the inbox manageable.
Shared by Daniel Chen ·
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