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The many inboxes of David

Random bird

I recently discovered something fascinating about my father-in-law David: he has six email inboxes.

He’s been retired for a few years now so wasn’t sure why he would need six. But he has a lot of hobbies. And he likes to keep the email relating to these hobbies completely segregated. So he has: one email account for family correspondence, one for online shopping, one for bird watching, one for the allotment, one for golf and one for photography.

Personally I’m a Gmail devotee, corralling my different email addresses (personal, online shopping, blog & business) into one Gmail inbox so I only have to check one place. It’s obsessively organised with filters, labels and aliases. So I found his One Account Per Subject approach baffling but totally charming. Not to mention admiring his ability to remember six different passwords!

I asked him about the logic of the system and he said, “Some days I only want to think about golf so I just check the golf account. Other days I’ll catch up on my bird watching newsletters and don’t want to bother with other things.”

I can imagine some days he can’t be fussed dealing with pesky son or daughter-in-law emails so he’ll log on to photography instead. Hehehe.

The thing I love about my father-in-law is that he never stops being curious about the world and when he gets into a new hobby, he really gets into it. So I wonder how many email addresses he will end up with?

Anyone else out there take this approach to inbox management?

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


11 thoughts on “The many inboxes of David

  1. I dooooo! Same with Facebook. It’s easier for me to keep track of multiple ids. MS brain gets confused with filters. By looking at the id I know what/who I’m supposed to write/be in that moment. 😉

    BTW Kiddlywink just look at your name up on the left in red, and asked, “Does that say Showna (like shower) Reid?” Not bad for her first ever attempt at reading your name. 🙂 (Uniforms, we have uniforms and she starts school in ten weeks! Where did the time go!)

  2. years back I had one email address for work and home but I found that personal emails were distracting me from work and it was very liberating to be able to check my personal emails at work just when I took a break. My partner has different facebook feeds which is a bit like different emails – I keep meaning to set some up. I get distracted so easily that it is good to minimise distractions and focus!!!!

  3. I have a personal email, a professional email address, and a give-to-businesses email address. I don’t like junk about this offer or that offer filling up my personal mail.

  4. I have a work email, a personal email, and a junk mail/mailing list/register for a site email. The work one uses my work domain, so I believe it looks a bit more professional than a Gmail. I also like keeping the work and stuff separate. I tend to check the work email first in the morning to see if anything has gone awry that needs my attention. So, yeah, I guess I use a similar approach as your dad, though I don’t have 6 active emails. I have several old email addresses I have set to forward to one of my 3 main ones, but really it just boils down to those. And they’re all managed in Thunderbird, so I only have to use one program to manage everything.

  5. cool idea. I have one email on g mail just for blog…weight and wt loss. and health related things and one other for everything else…plus there’s work which is on the work computer.. It’s enough.

  6. But what happens if he happens to see a rare bird while on the golf course? Does he go into meltdown deciding which account to use to tell everyone? And suppose one of his family happened to be there at the time? It’s a disaster waiting to happen.

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