Just saying the year sounds like the opening of a science fiction movie, “In the year 2020, human technology had long outgrown the archaic communication medium known as ’email’…”
To be fair, quite a few famous sci-fi films were wildly off on where we would be in 2020. Instead of interstellar travel by 2016 (Blade Runner), moon colonies and superhuman AI (2001: A Space Odyssey), or hoverboards and flying cars in 2015 (Back to Future Part 2), instead we have entire governments, economies and even generations struggling with overflowing, polluted inboxes based on a technology developed in 1972.
Email is 48 years old. Microsoft Outlook is officially 30 years old.
In celebration of exactly how much email has stayed the same, I’m cataloging past blogs I wrote about managing email that, sadly, still apply, even years later. Fortunately, they should still be useful to you, managing your email in the distant year “2020”:
- Petraeus-Gate and Fallacy of Email Privacy (2012) – TLDR: your email is not private. Seven years later, surprise surprise – still not private.
- Your email is not private (2014) – TLDR: Email providers host your email governed by Terms of Service that state they can read your email. Still true in 2020.
- Email’s growing problem (2015) – TLDR: Email boxes got huge, but programs to manage them haven’t kept up. Sadly still true, and even more so now that people have a decade or more of email stored.
- Dealing with oversized inboxes, Part 1 and Part 2 (2015) – TLDR: Part 1 has several ways you can thin out your bloated inbox. Part 2 discusses why you might not be deleting your emails.
- Get rid of those old email accounts (2017) – TLDR: Wherein I exhort you to get rid of your old email accounts. Full disclosure 2020: I still have my Gmail account that I created in 2005.
- What to do with all those old emails (2017) – TLDR: I discuss ways you can keep the data but not the email accounts. Three years and umpteen-thousand emails later, those old emails aren’t going away by themselves.
- How to spot fake emails (2017) – TLDR: I dissect a fake email that almost fooled me. Fast forward to now – fake emails are still around and trickier than ever, but the basic spotting concepts still apply.