Yay! I did it!! I did it!! Inbox@zero!
I have a total of 10 email ids (including work and personal stuff). Though I use only three of them regularly, I still maintain the others for specific reasons. I also manage a few DLs. So the amount of email communication that I do is high (compared to what I was doing earlier). As part of my take-back-my-life process, I decided to handle the email monster first. The first step was to get my inbox to zero. It was hard with a large number of emails needing me to read them and take some action or doing some more reading/working, etc. So, a bunch of tasks got added to my to-do list but I was able to clear them from my inbox.
I also found that a number of mails that I could've responded immediately were caught in the process and bunched up with other mail that needed more attention/work. The batch processing I do needs some tweaking, surely! It was funny to go and reply back to some of them - the messages were trivial but I had hung on to them since I wanted to tell/ask something. A good purge, in all!
I'm seriously considering routing the mails of all accounts to my three accounts and setting up some rules on those three to handle them. Another bother was that, I check these accounts so sparingly that I forgot the passwords of most of them. I finally had to use password recovery option. I'm wondering if I should have a common password (or two) for most of them and regularly recycle the three that I use. I know that once someone hacks into one of the accounts, they can easily hack others if the same password is used (one point of failure). But the chances of that and connecting the mail ids is pretty hard that unless someone breaks into my main ones, I can have peace of mind. But I'm still thinking.....
The next step is to move my mailboxes to zero. But that task doesn't have a high priority in life since that would require me to take a hard look at ALL the mails I've received/sent/kept so far. And knowing me, that can easily take weeks. With no immediate necessity or benefit, that goes into my someday list (the list I'll get to if I have nothing else to do in life... translates to never!).
Purging inboxes is strangely cathartic. I guess I'll keep at maintaining this zero inbox and purge every weekend. For, the look is so lovely and zen-like! :)
P.S: As an aftereffect, I cleared up my reader too. Now, I do have a large number of starred items and I do have to read through them. But clearing the starred list is on someday list as well. But I can't seem to enjoy the zero reader view. Simply because I subscribe to so many blogs and feeds that every few minutes I have some content or the other to read. I'm getting better at glancing through stuff though I worry that this may affect my ability to read and enjoy complex prose. I've already lost the habit of reading complex novels that are not too interesting (666 was a very good example). Any suggestions how to combat the reading list and get a more permanent zero-reader view? (short of unsubscribing from all blogs and feeds). And how do you manage the items on starred list???