SOUND OFF: What kind of emailer are you?

Email. I don’t know anyone who really likes it. In its short life in the public eye — 25 years give or take — it’s gone from being the coolest thing in the world, to our biggest annoyance, to something we just groan and try not to think about. Still, try as you might, you won’t be able to avoid emails. They’re here to stay.

The real question is, how do you deal with your emails? I’ve observed several different trends in the world of email, and I wonder if you’ll be courageous enough to leave a comment saying which sort of emailer you are.

The “Inbox Zero” type

This is the emailer we all wish we were, or so we say. We’re all secretly jealous of the people who keep their inboxes nice and tidy, but at the same time we kinda hate folks like this. Unless of course you are a person like this, in which case you look at other people’s email inboxes and shudder.

If you’re this sort of person, I say “great!” Not everyone has the organizational skills you have.

The inbox stuffer

Does this look like your phone? It’s perfectly ok, You get a lot of emails and the ones from days past just melt into a big pile. You’re never going to be able to clean out that inbox no matter how hard you try, so why bother trying?

Folks like this are focused on the emails they need to look at and don’t bother even opening the ones they don’t need to look at. Nothing wrong with that… it helps you get on and off your device quickly.

The rulemaker

If this screen looks familiar to you, or if you use something like it, you’re a rulemaker. You’ve set up a complex set of rules so that emails you don’t care about just disappear.

Most people don’t know that their desktop email client of choice has powerful rule-making tools. You can choose to ignore certain people, automatically forward their messages to someone else, or throw them away altogether. Rulemakers aren’t necessarily aiming for “inbox zero” but they are probably close anyway, since they just don’t see lot of the annoying emails that the rest of us do.

The texter

If you’re under 35, this one is going to seem more familiar. A lot of younger millennials and zoomers don’t bother with email at all. Oh, they have an inbox, which they’ll occasionally use if one of the “olds” needs to get in touch with them. They probably have a school-issued email they use for submitting work. But otherwise they just act as if email doesn’t exist. You need them? Text them.

Honestly I have to wonder if this crowd really has the best idea. A lot of times I think email is just a wasteland and I wish I didn’t have to interact with it. But, it’s part of the modern world.

What kind are you?

Do any of these sound like the way you interact with email? Are you willing to admit to it? Leave us a comment below. I’ll know you did, because I’ll get an email notification about it.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.