Quoted: on email overload

“We could also say when we walk out the front door of where we live, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s so many blades of grass, I have lawn overload.’ ”

— Linda Stone, former Microsoft and Apple executive, says that a common refrain — too many emails — is a matter of perspective. An NPR story looks at email overload in the wake of  SAC Capital hedge fund manager Steven Cohen’s lawyers contention that he did not read a key email because he receives too many emails and opens only 11 percent of them. (The Securities and Exchange Commission says the email preceded Cohen’s unloading of millions of dollars worth of Dell shares.) SAC Capital this morning pleaded not guilty to charges of insider trading over a 10-year period. But back to emails: According to one analysis NPR mentions, some workers spend up to half their day dealing with emails and other messages. Mailbox, a relatively new mobile app that promises to help people get a handle on their email and reach tech nirvana (zero emails in the inbox), got a lot of buzz earlier this year. And here’s a list of different email-reading styles, which range from “managing up,” or reading emails only if they’re sent by those who are above one’s pay grade, to reading all of them. Every. Single. One.


Mailbox logo from company’s press kit


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  • Email gets a bad rap. Email communications is great. People send too many and spend too much time on non-work essential reading and browsing. Company leadership should wake up, understand the losses and stop perpetuating an email and information overloaded world of work. Bob