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#1 Edited by SkullPanda1 (1625 posts) -

Back around 2004-5 when Gmail came out I made a few different accounts (personal/business/spam) but even with filters on each one gets more random BS email that I know what to do with. It's at the point where I don't really ever check them anymore.

Do you try to keep your inbox at zero? What's your email strategy beyond just making new ones every so often and starting over from zero?

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#2 Edited by Strangestories (424 posts) -

Being in a university setting means I have to keep up to date with my email regularly. I check it probably 4-5 times per day. Luckily IT or whatever makes it so I only really get emails from my department which makes it easy to keep track of.

I have a personal email I use mostly for game accounts like battle.net and emailing parents about visiting for holidays and stuff.

Basically, if I didn't have to deal with a university I would probably only check emails once per week.

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#3 Posted by Th3_James (2616 posts) -

I still use email for alot of work and personal related shit. I don't find it obsolete and by no means want it gone. I like to have receipts and various other things kept record of in my folders. Another great thing about email is you have that time stamp and irrefutable evidence of something taking place. People can't go back on what they have said if I have a copy.

Even at work when I use Microsoft Lync IM I have it send me conversation receipts to a specific folder in case I need to refer back in the future.

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#4 Posted by Asurastrike (2306 posts) -

I have to check my work email regularly throughout the day.

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#5 Posted by Shindig (4935 posts) -

I check my work and personal ones daily. The latter becomes crucial if I'm ever looking for work.

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#6 Posted by ajamafalous (13817 posts) -

I check mine probably 3-10 times a day due to college, but yeah, depending on whether you believe the gmail unread counter or the iOS one, I have either 7100 or 20000 unread emails.

My phone has become the same way: 95% of the calls I get are telemarketers/scams/debt collectors for someone who isn't me/etc.

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#7 Posted by FrostyRyan (2921 posts) -

I literally check it to delete emails.

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#8 Posted by MattyFTM (14889 posts) -

I used to have thousands of unread emails. At some point I clicked "Mark all as read" and everytime I scan through my inbox to see if anything important has showed up (i.e. virtually never) I hit "Mark all as read" again. Helps me keep track of it.

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#9 Posted by MezZa (3048 posts) -

Between college and work I use email a lot. Beyond that...its useful for package tracking and password resets I guess?

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#10 Edited by Slaps2 (638 posts) -

It's not useless... how else am I supposed to reset all the passwords I can't remember?

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#11 Posted by Noobsmog (147 posts) -
@slaps2 said:

It's not useless... how else am I supposed to reset all the passwords I can't remember?


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#12 Edited by ripelivejam (13185 posts) -

i only care about work email and hardly look at or use my personal email. which is odd now that i think about it.

e: also what slaps2 said.

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#13 Posted by imhungry (1124 posts) -

Gmail does a pretty fantastic job of filtering spam and auto-sorting your different emails into different folders to the point that the only emails that go into my Primary inbox are the ones that I really care about and I know exactly where to find other types of emails if need be. So still finding myself using email a fair amount.

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#14 Edited by ChosenOne (248 posts) -

I still like email for personal and business use because it allows people to contact me without the pressure of me needing to be instantly available, something that I sometimes feel with text messages.

Also one of my email addresses I signed up for pretty early on back when gmail was still invite only. I was able to snag an address that consists of two common words. That being the case it's become an annyoance for random people to sign up for various websites (usually twitter or some mmo) and use my address as the recovery email. Even had some weirder instances like when one of the producers on the reality tv show "Dance Moms" kept including me in a group email about script revisions and scheduled meetings. This was after I repeatedly told him that he had the wrong guy but each time he would never respond to me. The emails did stop eventually but I was kind of dissapointed when they did haha.

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#15 Posted by 49th (3899 posts) -

That's crazy to me, I check 2 email accounts multiple times a day. I have 0 unread emails because I delete spam and look at anything relevant.

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#16 Edited by probablytuna (5008 posts) -

I've found recently there are some spam emails that have crept back into my inbox. Normally Gmail does a fantastic job automatically moves them to the spam folder but some have managed to slip through the cracks. It's mildly irritating having to manually delete these emails but not the end of the world. Email is still extremely important because of work as well as personal online security so I wouldn't say it's useless, the spam filtering just need some improvements.

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#17 Edited by NTM (11808 posts) -

I kind of hate emails, and how some things want your email for accounts because I rarely check my email. When I do, I'll clear it out, but there's always a bunch of crap in it almost never worth reading. My manager emailed me a few months ago but probably won't continue since she knows I don't use it, and texting is the better way to go I think she found out. It's pretty unnecessary to me just in terms of contacting people, but emails are still needed for many things, so in some integral ways, it's not useless.

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#18 Posted by korwin (3918 posts) -

Email is far from useless.

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#19 Posted by Eder (638 posts) -

@korwin said:

Email is far from useless.

Yeah when you have an office job email is mandatory. Only kids say email is useless.

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#20 Edited by Luchalma (541 posts) -

My Gmail sorts everything into Primary/Social/Promotion with spam going where spam goes. It's worked out very well and I only really check my email when things show up in Primary.

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#21 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (7832 posts) -

I mean, as far as personal uses (Like talking to family and friends) email comes close to zero. But I just don't understand the sentiment that it's useless. I use it all the time. I manage accounts with it, I use it for business, I use it for buying and selling, I use it for newsletters, I use it to get alerts of when I need to pay my bills (Health insurance, credit card payments, etc.), I use it extensively for my job. I used to use it back when I was taking college courses. Saying email is useless is like saying flood or earthquake insurance is useless because you live in an area where neither of those things happen. In that case it may be useless for you, but there are tons of other people elsewhere in the world that really need it. A lot of this stuff is definitely not something I would want to handle over a text, call, social media, or have to login into website after website checking to see if something updated. Having a hub that I can go to to manage all these things is incredibly useful.

Here's an example on another, but similar subject. I find Twitter very useless. I don't have account and probably never will, unless something job related demands it. But I recognize that Twitter has a lot of value for other people. It allows information to be spread when regular news outlets may not be able to provide that info. It can connect people that are thousands of miles away. It can allow us to come together and give coverage to a particular need or cause (Disease, minorities, culture, etc.) Just because I don't have a use for it, I'm aware other people find is useful.

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#22 Posted by Nick (1039 posts) -

I've been using the same personal email since 2001 and i barely get any spam, although i keep on top of unsubscribing from website emailing lists.

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#23 Posted by JoystickJunkie (72 posts) -

I used to think email was a little bit dead until I started interning and seeing parts of the workforce - it ain't dead at all. There's lots of alternatives, sure, but email is far from dead.

Applying for jobs? Email. Sending through examples of work? Email. I use email to message people on buy/swap/sell websites. I'm about to start a job next week and I've had to email back and forth with the HR person. I have two/three accounts - one for logins and sign-ups and the other strictly for work. Had that drilled into me since high school: have a professional email that isn't something stupid.

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#24 Posted by Funkydupe (3614 posts) -

I check my email quite often. I like email. If you have a good client/webpage to check on it on desktop and a good app on your phone it makes stuff simple enough.

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#25 Posted by TobbRobb (6583 posts) -

I have thousands of unread emails that I just ignore. It's the only way to use email at this point. The key for me is to never ONLY have important information in an email, since it'll eventually just get dragged down into the mess. So I keep notes in other places for things that matter. That way I only really have to skim new mail every day for a few minutes and decide whats worth opening and then move on.

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#26 Posted by Arabes (744 posts) -

I use my email all the time and have an empty inbox. Stop signing up to things and use the unsubscribe option on anything that you have signed up to.

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#27 Posted by paulmako (1958 posts) -

The problem is you haven't really made a case for it being useless. You just said that you get too much spam.

Gmail now does a pretty good job of sorting 'normal', social, and promotional email into different categories. I generally only get a couple of 'normal' emails a day. The social/promotional parts of my inbox are almost all unread but that's OK.

If you're getting unusable amounts of spam then you probably need to adjust something on your end. See if there are things you can unsubscribe from.

Or just make a new email account. I made an Outlook to use for occasional work emails and it gets zero spam because I haven't used it elsewhere.

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#28 Edited by Newfangled (302 posts) -

Evidently in a profession, or engaging in a lifestyle wherein electronic correspondence is not a fundamental bridge between individuals. I can speak for academics and (post-)graduates, for which email is something of an absolute necessity. A friend in the pharmaceutical industry occasionally excuses himself from our conversations as he receives email from the US arm of his company in the evening, so, inflammatory thread titles aside, email is still top dog.

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#29 Posted by hermes (2611 posts) -

Not useless at all.

I have 3 accounts, one of which I use for random crap like origin, facebook or steam account, while the others I use for work. I try to keep my "serious accounts" at zero unread messages (since I associate unread mails with clients that need answers), although many times I just mark unimportant mails as read.

Your issue seems to be that you use your accounts for registering on uncontrolled places, so they end up filling you with spam.

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#30 Posted by Rigas (828 posts) -

It's about how you treat it and need to use it for your life. Setting up the right filters etc is very useful for keeping relevant stuff near the top. Gmail is pretty good at figuring it out, but needs a little help on occasion. The biggest hole people fall into is getting stuck in there inbox more than is productive and then treating email like it's an instant messaging service. As part my job I have the pleasure of educating people on office productivity. Now obviously if your job customer service for example or answering email then this doesn't apply.

But nowadays I will check my email in the morning and again in the afternoon, anything more urgent than that, pick up the phone and call me. When I'm teaching people the example I use if you house is on fire you don't email the Fire Department to help you. Learn to prioritise messages, you don't need to respond 5 minutes after you receive the message, it's okay to wait a few hours to get to it.

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#31 Posted by dudeglove (13746 posts) -

I get hundreds of emails to my inbox every day. 99.9% of them are just auto generated things (thanks, information technology sector). Email isn't useless, but outside of the rare essay I need to write people on how/why x y or z is fucked, I use it mostly as a form of formal communication. Messengers like Slack have taken over the workplace but they have issues (as they are very much transient). Ain't no one gonna dispute that I didn't send you that an email, not when I CC'd your boss in it.

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#32 Posted by RenegadeSaint (1640 posts) -

Back around 2004-5 when Gmail came out I made a few different accounts (personal/business/spam) but even with filters on each one gets more random BS email that I know what to do with. It's at the point where I don't really ever check them anymore.

Do you try to keep your inbox at zero? What's your email strategy beyond just making new ones every so often and starting over from zero?

While not totally useless, its usefulness has certainly declined with the ubiquity of cell phones and the quality of group messaging apps. Still nice for official documents though. If you really want a productive inbox, consider starting anew with an address you only use for business and personal communications and never provide it to any websites. There are also numerous extensions and filters which can help you manage things more cleanly.

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#33 Edited by sammo21 (5971 posts) -

I think the question you are looking for is "When Did Email Become Useless for Me" or at best "Has Email Become Useless for You?"

Between work, correspondents, and business I can say email has not become useless for me at all. Now, the USPS? Yeah, that has become useless for me. Unlike email, I cannot say, "Please stop sending me this crap."

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#34 Posted by Brendan (9215 posts) -

Email isn't really relevant for personal use (for me) anymore, since so many different types of files can be shared over more commonly used social media platforms now. Email is mostly for work stuff where it is incredibly useful because it is wholly seperate from any social media accounts I use. Other than that stuff like flight/movie/event tickets/bills/events/other adulting stuff are files that are sent to me through email and that works just fine. My gmail filters work decently well; I always have a bunch of emails in the social/promotional inboxes but my main inbox is pretty bullshit free.

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#35 Edited by Hamst3r (5480 posts) -

I get zero spam in my inboxes. All four of them. So I still use email and it works great.

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#36 Posted by mellotronrules (2609 posts) -

@korwin said:

Email is far from useless.

absolutely- i always thought it was crazy when people make blanket assertions about email being over (and switching to an alternative like twitter DMs, fb messenger, slack, etc). it's one of the very few communication standards we have.

i get the sense it's less that email itself is the problem, and more that people don't manage it effectively. don't get me wrong, it has pitfalls- but it still feels vital.

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#37 Posted by huntad (2407 posts) -

This is a weird post. I use email every day. Like someone above me said, being in a university setting means that I constantly have things I need to check. It just depends on what field you are currently in.

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#38 Posted by frytup (1315 posts) -

I use it for work constantly and for personal communication occasionally. Definitely not useless.

Gmail's spam filters work well for me. I don't have junk land in my actual inbox more than once or twice a month. Maybe I've been lucky in that the spammers that are aware of my email are really obvious (e.g., "NEW PILL TO ICRESE YER MANHOOD").

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#39 Posted by dagas (3667 posts) -

My biggest problem is not spam if you by spam mean shady viagra emails and such. My biggest problem is the millions of newsletters that I get from everything. For example when I applied for jobs I had to sign up for several different job sites because all jobs now require you to sign up to a bunch of services just to apply for them. Now I get several emails per day from different places about random jobs that doesn't have anything to do with me and I am not even looking for a job now. I also get a bunch of emails from sites I have bought something from. For example I bought a bike a few years ago and get emailed every day about deals from them even if I have not bought anything since. I get emails from a razor shop where I never even bought anything but I sent them a question 10 years ago asking about one of their products. That along with dozens of forums, services like facebook and twitter that bombards me with things I have no interest in I don't read emails unless it is something important. I take a look at where it is sent from and then forget about it. I don't even delete them I just have tens of thousands of them not being read ever.

I only look at emails on my phone and I wish there was some way to block all the sites I don't want email from but I can't find it. Using the gmail client on Android.

Avatar image for frytup
#40 Posted by frytup (1315 posts) -

Legit sites include unsubscribe links in their emails. I use them. They work.

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#41 Posted by cikame (2823 posts) -

All my subscriptions, insurances and account security issues require me to keep a constant check on my e-mail, i've only ever had 1 address which gets about 10 spam messages a day which i consider to be pretty lucky, i check it once a day when i get home from work unless i'm expecting something or trying to put a card up on the Steam marketplace.

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#42 Posted by Zelyre (1901 posts) -

It's a must. It will save your ass when someone says, "I didn't get XYZ and now I'm super angry at you and will jump through hoops to see you suffer." and you go, "This was sent fourteen weeks ago at 2pm. I then sent a follow up one week later."

For personal stuff, gmail filters work perfectly for me. Looking at my gmail inbox and other tabs, every email in there is something I want, and I delete nothing outside of the spam folder which is set to auto purge, anyways. And for some reason, all that spam is in French...

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#43 Posted by Rotten_Avocado (100 posts) -

Call me old fashion but I like emails.

They are items of record and present the opportunity for thoughtful, mapped out, discourse (where IM'ing is a constant spout of gibberish and noise -- looking at you Slack...)

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#44 Posted by junkiiiii (15 posts) -

@49th: Same. I do not understand how you can rack up thousands of email but I know it happens to people. At one point my personal email was getting spammed with junk I didn't care about. Between 2015 and 2016 I decided to slowly unsubscribe to a ton of places I didn't want emails from. Now I only get emails from sites I am interested in. Granted most of my emails are adverts from sites I actually want adverts from, news stories to various gaming sites and the daily groupon email but I still clean it all up nicely. And I get all of my payment receipts there too so I save them just in case.

I also use my work email constantly.

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#45 Posted by scrappypixels (209 posts) -

Using e-mail is something i couldn't do my job without. I think i have to check about 4 e-mail accounts a day at this point

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#46 Edited by Max_Cherry (1594 posts) -

Email is the way of the future.

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#47 Posted by hippie_genocide (2439 posts) -

I couldn't do my job without email. It's a form of communication anybody can use, and it serves as a record so there's no dispute over what was done or said. My work email is Outlook and my personal is gmail for the most part. I get a lot of junk in my gmail account but I just let it filter into the Promotion and Social email ghettos never to be read.

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#48 Posted by Mirado (2557 posts) -

Never? The answer is never, right?

I still use it all the damn time, probably even more than I'd like.

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#49 Posted by mithhunter55 (1099 posts) -

The secret wasn't that inbox zero is some way of losing stress, not caring at all is the best way to go. Important box grabs most of the stuff you don't want to fade to page 2. Once something shifts off the first page pretend it is gone forever.

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#50 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7573 posts) -

I have to check mine for business, and we have a physical hardware and software filter on our mail server, which cuts down on really malicous spam and malware. But I use the spam tools and various filters to pre-trash stuff that is more like mass-mailings from companies. For annoying people I just black-list their email or their domain.