Cleaning out email inbox: journalistic hoarding: E-Hoarding.

Does anyone else do this: save the voice recordings of interviews, talks, etc (all acquired with permission, of course!), on a flashdrive or in your mailbox?

What about saving all relevant notes and versions of an article in several word documents?

What about keeping all pieces of literature, hand-outs, press releases, or scheduling correspondences in your inbox, along with an and ALL relevant attachments?


That’s just me?


I love emails. I love being able to defer to old documents when necessary. However, only a handful of times have I had to look back at old messages to confirm one thing, or dispute another. Usually it’s about quotes, attribution of sources,  or timeline logistical errors. But still. I love it.

About a week ago, I cleaned out my two gmail accounts, with my trusty ally and bestie at my side, pressing the little trash can icon when I just didn’t have the strength. From over my shoulder, he asked, “yes or no.” in a flat tone. Just what I needed. Objectivity. Indifference. De-cluttering my inbox, de-cluttering my mind.

I still save the voice documents/ voice recordings in emails and compartmentalized them in email folders. But, what do I do about the handful of flashdrives that hold information from my freshman year of HIGH SCHOOL?!?

I mean, it’s compartmentalized, right…?

Confession: I’m an e-hoarder.

Pinterest hasn’t helped one bit.

I periodically clean out my bookmarks, and close tabs often (there are 18 open at the moment on my browser bar. This is an unusual low. Don’t judge.)

Between my fear of losing information, and my inability to give up control, coupled with my never-ending quest to purge myself (as evidenced here), I seriously don’t know what to do! BusinessWeek wrote on the subject a in 2011, listing the pros and cons of this sort of e-hoarding.

From the article:

“E-clutter, which results from e-hoarding, is costly, both mentally and monetarily. We have the same capacity to digest information as our forefathers, but the amount of information zinging its way into our lives is increasing exponentially.

According to the research firm Basex, information overload costs the U.S. economy a minimum of $900 billion per year in lowered employee productivity and reduced innovation. It adds time to normal tasks and creates stress.” 

On the other side…

“As businesses continue to use e-mail as the primary form of communication, keeping a digital trail of conversations and documents is critical, making deletion an increasingly irresponsible action. Findability remains the key, and today’s impressive search and retrieval tools for e-mail and personal files make virtually any digital information available with just a few keystrokes.”

 Where do you fall on e-hoarding? Do you read and delete, or let the megabytes collect e-dust? 

My new model:

No emails please,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: